tv Kate Kelly and Robin Pogrebin The Education of Brett Kavanaugh CSPAN September 22, 2019 7:00pm-8:07pm EDT
[applause] ♪ good evening, everybody. welcome to the national press club. my name is alice fitzgerald and i'm the 112th president of the press and incoming investigations editor of the associated press. we had a terrific program tonight. i don't think i've ever seen a book around here that is as old, so thanks for coming. we invite you to listen, watch and follow along on twitter @clubdc at #dclive. if you have questions this
evening, there will be question cards around the room. writes the questions on the card and pass it to the end of the line and they will be sent up to me. we will leave plenty of time for questions. i just want to take a moment to acknowledge our headliners team, the chairs laurie russo of communications online with dc media strategy and staff at liaison lindsey underwood who put this event together this evening. so, we are delighted to have with us tonight "new york times" reporters robin pogrebin and kate kelly, the authors of "the education of brett kavanaugh. [applause] the book is about three days old and it's been three days of uproar and controversy. as provost president called it a mass resignation of smear time
staffers and democrats to call for justice brett kavanaugh to be impeached, and "the new york times" had to retract a poorly conceived tweet. a piece published included excerpts into new allegations against brett kavanaugh that were both all about when the paper revealed edited as the key detail that the woman behind the allegations were the subject of the allegations said she doesn't necessarily remember the event. he offers that go deep into the allegations of sexual misconduct that dodged justice kavanaugh during the confirmation for supreme court described their account as nuanced. the "washington post" called it, quote, a remarkable work of slowdown journalism that mary is the offense rather than opening on that rather than analyzing them or opining on them. so, we are excited to have our two authors here to speak with us this evening about the reporting and want a hoped they had achieved with the book.
we welcome robin pogrebin, reporters on the times. she covered the cultural institutions exploring internal politics, finances and government of the museum's auction houses and performance organizations. she is a graduate we will hear more aboutut that. and covered the media for the business in the city news and metro. kate kelly, to my immediate righright, covers wall street ad and is an experienced television author and street fighter the best account of the bank failures to set up the financial thisis. for the times, she works the new york observer, wall street journal and cnbc and attended the national cathedral school in washington before setting off for via. so, please join me in welcoming kate kelly and robin pogrebin. [applause] as i mentioned in my intro, a
lot of talk about your book has been subject in the last couple of days and i would like us to focus more on the books today if possible. can you talk a little bit about what was your goal, what are you hoping to achieve and what happened so quickly after the confirmation process when it was brash backs backs >> i would like to answer that question. we appreciate people that come to listen to the book and look forward to everyone's questions. what we wanted to do is provide a little bit more information or closure about the confirmation process. these allegations that the rows of the sexual misconduct, the questions that were not answered, the fbi inquiry that was short and left a lot of
potential information providersn unaddressed, not spoken to. when justice kavanaugh was confirmed, i think if people felt unsettled and unsatisfied in the spectrum of thinking. people who found the women to be credible found that they haven't had their investigations done adequately and people who wbelieve justice kavanaugh was innocent of all these accusations perhaps felt that he had encountered his side of the story corroborated well enough for her adequately enough, and we wanted to know who the fbi hadn't talked to, people they did talk to, but sort of information contex context of ag gate. the report was generated was reviewed only by senators and key staffers in a location so the public have no idea what the findings were. we wanted to take a look at some of the story and some of the relatively current stories and
try to share whatever we found with the public, with our readers. >> talking a little bit about the process h you went through that we haven't already heard from. >> kate and i had already pulled into the coverage of originally because of the personal associations we have. i was in his class at yale, we were both class of 87. we weren't friends, but knew him to say hello. we lived in the same freshman dorm our freshman year and have a sort of social circles that overlapped some want. thatom had kind of felt in my reporting initially to reach out to former classmates and kate grew up in this area. so, we were both part of this team which was play large coming and i'm sure if many of you were on the story as well, i don't need to remind you it was kind of a frenzy of information seeking and romance in real time where even as the confirmation
inhearings were unfolding, we we scrambling to flesh things out as much as possible and it was hard to do so under that pressure and also people have a lot at stake in the outcome. i think that we both really felt it was a story for our time not just because it resonated with a personal level and the people that were so incredibly polarizing that it speaks to this culture that we are in so much that we have the sense that people saw in the s story what they wanted to see the kind of regardless of the facts and the merit that, you know, they just umrt of people we talked to that assumed, even when i said the reason we went back to this kind of back of these even in the book is to revisit them any more thoughtfully and in depth detailed way with the benefit of time. but, i did have people that i've talked to and say i'm writing this book and they were like oh, you're going to get him. or people that would say you're going to finally show that this
guy was railroaded and treated terribly. so, given the incredible extremes, you know, i think our outcome is that kind of nasty in between which is probably unsatisfying to satisfy no one. we found these allegations of these women but we also kind of got to know kavanaugh better, which most of the country hasn't quite frankly. we started to see his record, kind of 12 years on the second circuit and kind of put those decisions were in the kind of his more of a roberts and ghscalia. it might be helpful for people to know that that were very worried about him being a hright-wing ideologue. that he is respected and most mprofessional and personal circles. everyone we spoke to spoke incredibly highly of him, but he's promoted women in a meaningful way on a the bank. these were some of the kind of hacounterintuitive things that e covered that i think were sort of evolved into the flurry and
rush to judgment originally.he >> it sounds like that was surprising perhaps. were there any things specific surprised you on this factor? >> one thing to most striking is he had read a "new york times" article about y how few women we becoming supreme court clerks. he sort of made it his mission to address that. and as a result, really had the highest record of hiring women. you could argue -- >> even ginsberg acknowledged him to have for female clerks. >> there were people who cynically say that was politically strategic, perhaps. in a time when we are all politically correct, he had a good poinhas agood point for th. others say he tried to preempt the allegations at the time. he knew this and so he did this
creating a good record with women.n. we found whatever his motivations he did this in a sincere way into so many women attest to the fact he didn't just hire them as clerks but over time making sure they went to the supreme court and really mentor them in a nurturing kind off masterful way. there was one story that was particularly striking. somebody testified at the heritage foundation panel coming and she talked about it she was in on orthodox clerk for him. she had a toddler and sh he said you are coming to clerk for me. i've never done this before and you've never done this before. let's figure out how you are going to make this work since you have a kid. that is a detai the detail thats humanizing and shows a side of him that i don't think came across at all when we were sort of demonizing him or the culture was on some level.
so i i think that was surprisin. on the deborah ramirez type of things, i think that was all lost in the flow where it started to feel like a piling on of allegations. quite frankly the right was doing a lot with the book and i think -- they think we are out to get him. there are certain things we didn't find credible. it's not like we believe all women here, we investigated to the extent because in ten months and we found the allegations didn't pan out. case can speak into more detail as to why. whereas with deborah ramirez, we found repeated stories of people that ha have heard about that in the years since he well in advance of him becoming a federal judge, so that was meaningful. >> just one point, it is interesting what you say about believing all women cause i heard senator christin gillibrand on the daily i think
it was talking about the notion of believe all women and what does that mean. she says it means do the investigation cost the allegations seriously, to conduct the investigation, see what is there and what may have happened or did not happen. that was very much to eat those going through this. >> i want to get to that fbi investigation, but i want to go back a little bit because you mentioned in passing that you were in his yale class. i was told that you both -- part of your culture, you are starting to get calls sort of organically when he was nominated; is that how it started? can you talk about that? >> it's interesting, i don't think i've ever talked about this, but, this is kind of good. i had a college -- a college friend who, like september 14 z.xt did the u un under the name
deborah ramirez. so, someone was asking her about deborah ramirez andam i said i don't know. can you send me a picture of her from your yearbook? i texted itt to her and then she came back and said do you remember tracy harmon, there was another name, and can you send me that picture so i did. it was because she had a friend who was -- worked for a senator who was trying to find out more about the name. september 14. >> for context, the christine blasey ford story came out in the "washington post" with her name on the record into the descriptioand thedescription ofs on september 16. i think it was days before that, i'm not sure if it was 14 or before that, the intercept reported on the existence of a letter that we would later learn to be the christine blasey ford allegations that there were o nt a lot of these known at the time. >> so those from yale were talking and it was floating around come and we definitely
heard that in the course of mine reporting that there is a whole part in our bob where we talk about there were some parts that made the theory that i should say justice kavanaugh now, but we called him brett but he was trying to preempt these obligations in advance. as far back as july, there was a kind of communication about don't say anything bad. >> don't say anything bad about brett, among the people at yale? just answer the question how i came to the story which would seem a little out of the blue. i grew up here. this is b my hometown. and i was national cathedral school class of 93. so, i was in school ten years after justice kavanaugh graduated from georgetown prep, though i'm not a contemporary in that sense. but i was part off the event
single sex scene and familiar with the social scene as he ten years later. i knew some people that came through in the 80s. interestingly, at the time of the kavanaugh confirmation process, i didn't realize that i even knew anyone that was an alumni of such urged him proud. tom pratt. i knew people through church or family or others. and it was one of those people who said to me you need to look into some things here. what was being shared with me was about the yearbook and the issues around the young woman named grenada who was bragged about in the yearbook by kavanaugh and some of his friends being members of a club and we later learned that there were some sexually themed jokes about her that were not strictly true. it's a very messy story anyway because those young boys at the
time, men now, some of them i think including justice kavanaugh respected her and she's a nurse and in a social circle. they care about her at the time and theyey do now but there wasa sort of cultural through line at the time based on the alums from the 1980s that i talked to, sort of one of those peoples words were casual misogyny joking around about women and sometimes in a disparaging way. and the renada yearbook if mentioned as well as the talk around campus at the time on renada even if it was intended to be sort of humorous it was harsh and belittling. >> did you speak to her? >> she made a statement to "the new york times" saying and i'm paraphrasing here but she essentially said she had been on aware of the meaning of those
jokes or even the yearbook references back then and she found them hurtful and ho in hee hopes these folks don't treat their own daughters that way. so that is what we got from her and i spoke to some of her friends who talked a little bit without the social scene at the time, and they set forth, there were not sex acts going on between remata and these boys, so it shows you that even now, even so many years later it can be very painful and hurtful to be talked about in that way and to think people have a certain impression of you from high school that is erroneous.. >> i read your essay where you sort of describe your conclusi conclusion, and what is it that you find justice kavanaugh had any allegations of bad behavior post college as far as you could find, so the nuanced conclusion.
what do you come away with in terms of how we deal with past behaviors, especially when somebody was essentially a kid. >> is something we wrestled with write a bit, since we don't have daughters and son -- we both have daughters and sons. if he did these things when he was 17 or 18 or are they disqualifying if he has kind of improved and has been a better person and had kind of exemplary conduct ever since? 3 didn't find anything in the last 36 years. i'm not saying there may not be something out there, but we didn't and we thought that was meaningful particularly since i have done a lot of me too stories and there's been a dsttern of behavior. one woman leads to another and
it isn't hard to establish that this is a predator. someone like judge kaczynski who kavanaugh became close to come and there were five women, eight, 1015 and that didn't happen in this case. so it's really a difficult question for how are you evaluating him coming and we've talked to people who do feel velike whenever you do something in your life, even if it is unacceptable behavior before you are of age is still unacceptable forever there are others that feel like we should make the chance even if he had a conscious effort to address the behavior they concluded we have to stick to what we do as journalists which is a cover and
prevent as many facts as we possibly m could. this is a fact-based book to let the readers can decide for themselves. this is ultimately the president'sis decision, the senate, voters that have been weighed in v on the midterm election and it wasn't for us to say whether justice kavanaugh deserves to be on the court. >> there was this controversy about the allegation from the party at yale where the victim did not want to speak to you and people included it in the book. it was also illustrative of the investigation. can you talkk about the decision-making around including the end of the? >> of the additional allegations to quickly summarize attitude of
a drunken dormitory party at yale in which allegedly a young brett kavanaugh exposed himself and had friends push his genitals into a classmate, female classmates hand. we hade two sources on that and it was also in a document that was prepared for the fbi by lawyers for christine blasey ford a description of the incident with theip woman's name so itin was kind of circulatinga year ago, but what we found is outhere was a person in the room when this happened butat observd that, a washington figure who had some history doing work on behalf of the clintons but for years has been nonpartisan government advocate and is a respected figure. he says he witnessed this event
and told it to multiple senators last year as well as tried to contact the fbi and share the details of that with the fbi. he tried among other things via chris kunz who wrote a letter to the director last october 2 referring to saying he was someone who should be followed ldup with. in terms of the reporting, we had two sources. spire has declined to discuss publicly and the woman involved did talk to us about this for the buck but i will let you say more about friends of hers have said she doesn't recall the incident and that may be because from what we understand, pretty much everyone, while she and others t at the party were intoxicated or under the influence if not intoxicated.
am i forgetting anything? >> it's really different and so often people say you have all this hearsay about what happened butet here somebody witnessed otmething and solve it and people have made the claim that the former editor of the times said on fox news of all things if he were motivated why didn't he blow this up in the confirmation hearing which he didn't. from our understanding he has a specific agenda which is to bring this information to the people that were evaluating him and beyond that he wanted to go no further so once he was confirmed, he was done and that's why he hasn'tgh thought about it. >> when you look into the fbi investigation, to what degree do you find facebook to people that you spoke to? >> so many people that felt frustrated by the process felt
that it was unfinished business. i think basically what you have here is they wanted to confirm him as fast as possible, it was a fact track for him, mcconnell's mission to get it done before the midterms before the court resumed. they had no interest in dragging it out further and on the other hand you have this culture and moment that have explicit allegations that they needed to eaat least have an additional lk into the allegations but they also didn't want to be a fishing expedition that went on indefinitely so they kind of established a very circumscribed investigation directed by theve president. there was a lot of confusion. i remember when we were reporting abou at the time, liko is a directing this, who is creating boundaries and i think
actually what you found is to try to limit it to people with firsthand knowledge although they didn't go back to interview them so they just wanted the key players. >> what started off as a bipartisan agreement between senator kunzec and senator flake at the time who said we are going to hold hands and jump off a bridge here was a sort of inside joke at a the time. i very much became an effort driven by certain key republicans in the white house in the sense that senators coons and lake and murkowski talked about what they might do and what we understand it goes well into double digits and republican senators met with mitch mcconnell about what should be done and it was handed to the white house.
it was initially suggesting for witnesses be interviewed from the allegedly christine blasey ford incident and that you know, we have 25 people on the list. there were 13 that were named in a letter with the lawyers to the fbi and scores more that were not made that kind of suggest based on their affiliation for the various events. but to try to reach them and being sent to thehe tip line.
did they tell you their information will ask >> these were people like when we have these kind of people that heard about the ramirez allegation that was important. there's also a woman that debbie ramirez told about the incident and graduated and signed an affidavit to that effect and brought it to the fbi and told us this very story. so things like that, somebody trying to get their information across. they said what is interesting is the sense that some people blame the fbi that they were sort of following orders and one kind of way that we found that iillustrative the degree to whh their handsha were tied his the two agents in boulder cop out of that interview with deborah ramirez after hearing her stories that we foundnd few credible and we will do more if we are kind of permitted to do more.
one of her attorneys said they seemed a little apologetic. >> so, you've talked to a lot of erople who said they talked to the fbi that they were not able to but you haven't come out with 15 new allegations. so, shall we come that the fbi investigation was adequate in the end the report was adequate in the end? >> that is ahe good question. i think what we were able to do by doing some journalistic interviews was established much more of a picture to understand why you see these images. it have tod do with leland kaisr
and this is a set of facts but was working in his favor. he was alleged to be atge the gathering and to make a long story short, she said consistently she doesn't remember that evening and really can't say based on any memory whether they did or didn't happen but upon reflection, she's become dubious of the accuracy of the portrayal. she told that the fbi in a second meeting. there was the older brett kavanaugh and just thinking boabout that there was a memberf reasons that she wasn't confident in the story including just the circumstances like, for example, for the talked about
the country club and had the impression that the party started at the club with these people and migrated to the house and the events that unfolded. he said i was a member abaco be a club and i did go there and christine was on the team and an allegation that we go by we actually come a leland was an athlete an and plays six or eigt varsity sports and have a good eye for these things so she said that would have been that she was spending most of her timedit the club. she said things like she doesn't remember his speech from prior to the controversy she didn't remember him as a youngy perso. she thought she would have, so there are a number of things that are interesting and reasonable reasons to raise questions about the account. and we put it all on our book
because we think that it's relevant. in the end though, we didn't necessarily feel like the recollections were a record because for example she acknowledges maybe i did go to the country at some point and another interesting thing is that kaiser david mark judge who was the justice's good friend back in high school and was the person alleged to be in the room when the alleged assault occurred and forth told me in subsequent interviews that she thinks maybe the gatheringt that she remembered came together as a result of kaiser and judge planning it's not because everybody ran to each other at the court, but these are some of the interesting details that come out coming and we do talk at the end of the book about our own an analysis as sort of a people with common sense who can
put all this together and make a deduction, but we invite the readers to take for a minute what they see and just talk to inform their perspectives. >> i think also to your question even if the conclusion is the same that people will succumb to david with more information than they did based on what the fbi investigation was. i feel like there's a lot that we feel like we lay out in this book where people on both sides of this issue will kind of feel like okay now i'm making much more of an informed kind of ijudgment than i did initially when these were flying by. i want to get questions from the audience i just want to ask one more and wait for the cards to be delivered. you talked a little bit about how you were trying to figure
out [inaudible] this was a reporting challenge and i'm happy to talk about it. three i went through the public record, everything that they said about her recollection of the house. and i had a series of conversations occur and down any details that were held down, and so did give you -- some of you probably remedy for this wild -- it was -- and i'm combining what he learned in the process of -- somewhere in montgomery county and country club in her house on it, i won't name the street, but the potomac near burning tree.
not necessarily want from the countrwalkabout fromthe country. it was at least a two-story house. it had a narrow set of stairs from the ground leve at the groe the party was going on this upper-level, where there was a bedroom in a bathroom across the hall. there were a number of things like that. one interesting thing is that she had a recollection of mark judge,is who was kavanaugh's friend seemed to have a possessive kind of approach to the house. not that it was his house, that's more or less been rolled out ines my reporting, but thatt was maybe a friend of his or her family members or something like that. so t i went through the mark jue universe of that time that i could come if she was kind of afraid of taking care of the house, someone might come back to the house. they had to be out by a certain time. there was the fear if you break
something or is this something is on me. >> he was the link to the house. >> to make a long story short, i certainly could be wrong, but i narrowed it down to the possible causes. one belonging to a judge family friend, and one belonging to another prep classmate from 83. i shared forward some details on the houses and it became hard to make a your judgment, and if there were not for pins that i need to be from 1982. montgomery county hasn't kept it out of their archives. there was a digital leader on which is fair enough. i'm sure are probably some of those exist. that was about it well.
>> no this is a question i kind of had. did he lie at his confirmation's >> i think what we realize here is a very good lawyer and judge. he probably wouldn't get up there and lie in front of the american people, but he navigated the truth of his a good way to put it. he said he had to many beers for example that understates the reporting how accessible he is
drinking the. it wasn't a technical y. the drinking was a through line that he founded and about is frankly kind of helps understand this development personally and he was like as at young person in might shed a light on explaining them and drinking was a big part of that. that is what brought so many oassmates out of the wood work t the hearing had kind of planned tuesday on the sidelines and wanted to say wait a minute, that his environment. it was a different level of extreme. he kind of parse things out, perhaps. it's also the question of his temperament towards the end.
there is an element to which people argued what has he done and he said i've done some stupid things when i was young. i'm sorry about that and it any have hurt people in the process. i've been a good has been ever since and i've madee an effort o be a better person. i think the argument is that in this moment that would have been kind of inconceivable to think that he could still have made his way to the course, but it's all about fighting back and rere is no room to be walled right now. our understanding is although he did apologize for examples of these to amy chart, senator klobuchar and how when he wrote an op-ed in "the wall street journal" there was no room for
concessions. he did apologize to the renata at the hearing will and he feels very bad about davis had come out. maybe he was referring to the media coverage, the idea was to him and in terms of saying i don't remember something like this but if i hurt anybody in the past, i'm sorry. that hasn't happened. >> it is amazing how they suggest how too would have meant i think that christine is
thinking maybe she could call him to save let's not do this which was so unrealistic on some level. deborahiz ramirez committed here that might have been enough, there were enough victims that i've talked to that of said sometimes that kind of what you need for closure is just an acknowledgment that or not these were alleged situations, i think that gets sometimes lost in the conversation is how far they could go. >> not to go over on this is an interesting topic should there le an apology. the cultural moment we are living in is it so hard.
it's a cultural moment in which you have the advent of social media where you can say any hateful thing to somebody if they could do this and put in a family and this happened to christine blasey ford, to brett kavanaugh, ashley kavanaugh, deborah ramirez, the lawyers, key players. they worry about death threats and a lot of that comes from social media and anything goes when it comes to language. the need to movement has also been galvanizing in the cultural event and at the time of the confirmation hearing, the movement had been under way for raphael and i think there was a backlash brewing over looking the investigation that i talked about earlier you had a president does advocate taking
tough stands as an has talked as talked about allegations of sexual misconduct where you need to deny, so it becomes very hard to just acknowledge any flaws in that environment. i think it's also one of the things that we encounter as reporters and is interesting. we had to find our own assumptions about us as well as preconceptions. we are to men and i think people assume that we would be absolutely on the site of and begin within a kind of critical way and because we are at "the new york times" that we have a liberal agenda. i think it was important for us to falls into his shoes and really imagine that someone is being falsely accused and kind of go there andd explore about and try to understand will is the temperament was iraq's, but
imagine as you are sliding slidg toward the personal professional life and i think we try to reflect that in the. of the hard. we really wanted to talk to people who and it was hard because they just assumed, they have all sortshe of ideas that reminded me what we were setting out to do. the controversy over the excer excerpt. fact of the alleged victim didn't remembedidremember the ie party has been fed into this idea that you forgot t are out t hem, and maybe undermined the credibility of the book a little bit even though it is in the path. one question asked if able to read it before it was published in if you knew that it was taken out, and number two, what was
your reaction's was to essentially we prepared the story it was an excerpt in the book. it is always going to be a small oaction of what he tried to cover every single case, but you can't do that in an excerpt by definition. the focus was on the debbie ramirez story a kind of condensed version of the con and some additional corroboration found in of additional from a shared class that heard about the incident around the time asd well as a relatively short for years afterwards and why her experience was challenging. she felt like a fish out of water and then comes this incident makes her feel on a well filmed.
this was germane because it was a similar situation. we had crafted language that used the woman's name and talked about the fact that there was a witness backs his tires we about earlier. that he hadn't wanted to talk about it publicly but shared it with government officials andt ultimately the woman declined to talk to us about this specifically in said she doesn't remember it. during the editing process that wine was taken out along with the woman's identity. there is a mentality of the times the amount of protected women who are victims of the situation with anonymity lets say they want to come forward and talk t about it. so that was the intent. we had some dialogue with the editor but in the end, it was taken out and he had it.
we addressed that oversight as soon as we realized that and we regret the omission and the concern that has caused. >> i have a follow-up post your editor playful break now. you mentioned deborah ramirez. she ended up seeming quite hopeful and one of the questions and talks about addressing the 19 '80s drinking rape culture and she seemed to suggest the whole episode may be making people talk about the world was like and how it may be different now. >> when i originally reached out
to her, things were still pretty raw and it was difficult and she also by no means was ready to talk to me that over time i thinthink what happened with boh christine blasey ford and debbie ramirez they received an outpouringng of support but also huge responses from people who said thank you for telling my story and making me feel validated and not allowed. debbie ramirez had a huge box of letters and notes that she saved that included not only from other victims but men who said it made them more sensitive and how they are talking. having contributed to a dialogue, she feltet better abot it and also didn't testify publicly andt i think to some
extent wasn't held over the coals perhaps pipes to the degree christine blase christind wasn't so maybe the cigars are a little less damaging the --'s -. >> do you agree with? >> in terms of talking about it, i struggle dot the outcome was the same so how much had chang changed. the way the country treated the allegations is different they took the christine blasey ford seriously because they had to and had more respect than anita hill. she wasn't dismissed or kind of take it as crazy.
i think it was amazing as i'm sure all of you experienced watching her testimony and thought when she finished so powerfully and they realized the optics of having a panel of white judges and there were some advances although they jettisoned her. i think their are plenty of people i talk to her feel like nothing has changed, the patriarchy reigns. >> if i could add training 91 versus now there's an interesting poll the site and the epilogue that' epilogue thai believe it's from lastst decembr hearings from the research firm. 49% had a largely unfavorable impression of kavanaugh as
compared to 29% amid favorable. 35% of the senate did the right thing confirming ten and 41%, so fairly close, disagreed. by contrast an overwhelming 58% of americans [inaudible] tsupport up to 30% opposed and ultimately 55% of the voters who were asked. word over kavanaugh. so you don't have a perfect comparison in the sense of the believability that when you look at the favorability of thomas after the anita hill hearings it's a different picture from last year. >> people have asked did you speak to justice kavanaugh? is we were on our way to walsh in ten -- washington but wete couldn't agree on the terms we
felt comfortable with was that he didn't feel like we could. >> do you want to tell us about the disagreement? schenectady debated whether to talk about this but it is what it is. he wanted us to say we haven't spoken to him. he even went to negotiate the phrasing of that where we are willing to say nothing, not to talk spoke to port our sources if you wanted a lion and mayor saying we did not and we felt like misleading the readers in a book that deals with issues of truth that would probably not be a good step forward. >> interesting. speak to the microphone went out.
>> he said he had t we had to he in there saying that we didn't speak to him, but he declined to be interviewed even if he had spoken to him on background or off the record. [inaudible] >> it happened late. we got at this poin to this poi. the book was about to literally go to the press. [inaudible] >> we did not meett with him so what is in the book is true and the back story tha but shared wh you isn't in the book -- she is saying the situation unfolded very late in the game but i think also we were ambivalent when we realized we were protecting him by not and again in the feature additions it's hard because we did feel good
kind of a back to talk to him. at a certain point you have to be forthcoming about the truth on these things and the reality of for less. >> the book was about him, it's not as though he were a smaller player. we can talk or about th this ifu want, but just briefly, as a reporter which we are and i'm sure many are coming you meet with key figures from time to time and kind of have a state of the union conversation and you get those thoughts on different things and there are things you canan honestly say and so declid to be interviewed for this
article. at the meeting is to talk about things that were i in and keephe focus of the is the said the vehicle unfortunately. >> a few people say you've already beethat you'vealready bs the point of all of this? >> i think what it attests to is the experience isn't going away and for whatever reason it has a kind of seismic effect and i'm sure you've been asked plenty of dinner tables with this continues to deny the strong feelings from people on a lot of levels and i'm not sure if it'll ever get to a sense of the resolution adopted at grappling with these issues is important in this something that has frustrated us about why the times ha is obscured what we are trying to give.
in terms of what this meant and why you is s it is so importanto many people accept applications for the rest of the time. if it comes up how we are dealingow with, christine blasey ford was considered for the pinnacle of this moment. are we in her backlash as a result .-full-stop but it was too run amok on some levels of these are issues that we will continue to have and they will come around again and some a otr form. >> partisanship aside for a second even though it is a line there needs to be a fair process
for everybody, judges considered conservative and liberal forwa forward. i pleaded with jen rubin wrote a column on the topic of kavanaugh saying that there should be in an query tthem. the investigation into what was done during the period will. because it woul that would be uo see how it was conducted, underfunded marching orders, what information was gathered anand further wordprocessed wals perhaps that could be amended for the future candidates because we all want a fair court and a fair process. >> i think i'm quoting the justice saying i want a fair process. >> we have just time for a few more questions.
we have some nitty-gritt nitty-i want to get to. some people if you spoke to mark judge and the song goes on to say did you know his whereabouts. [laughter] this one listed for other why she left her friend in the house after an attempted rape, so they are getting into the details. >> i love this question with a roomful of reporters. mark judge, i was tasked with finding mark judge. that wasn't that easy. he's been kind of the itinerant in this period last fall he was hunkered down with some beach friends and i think the "washington post" tracked him down. at the time we were working on this last year earlier this year especially he had been staying
with family friends. i knocked on some doors and they said she stayed here last night mouthpiece somewhere else. [laughter] i eventually i landed on a place where he was saying and i was turned away by a person answered thedo door but they did business card and is there and got a call from him telling me to buzz off. [laughter] a brief conversation with david coe i can't say a lot about it basically the upshot of the judge reporting that i've done and the things that he's told other people is that she doesn't recall this incident. that has been his perspective all along.
the question why she let him out of the house and leave her friend bear, that is the picture that emerged last fall. in night reporting i got a more detailed version of that. let me start by saying i said i understand from what you have said that you told a senate judiciary committee everything you could remember. .. i shared what i . new at the time. the guesstimate is that she would have left the house with leland and said we need to leave, i want to go home and leland would have driven her home. she says she thanks it's
highly unlikely that she walked on from this house because they didn't walk anywhere at the time. she lived near burning tree and i believe leland's family was up in rockville. so, her best thought, although she doesn't really remember specifically is that leland drove her home and leland also said to me i probably would have driven me her home but i don't remember that. it would seem she didn't leave her friend there, but it's an interesting question. >> a couple people are asking about molly hemingway's book about kavanaugh. just wondering what you think. >> she's obviously taken the song quite strongly and spent a lot of time on her book, kind of combating it on twitter. i actually read their book, we read it right away and i found it really valuable for us and
quite good. i was, i appreciated it for the details we weren't able to get, we wanted to portray them in a 360-degree way which is also something we thought we'd missed and just things like kavanaugh was inspired by reading. [inaudible] and that he listens to country just some of who he is and now as a person, that kind of stuff, but also just the way in which the republicans were working behind the scene, it's
something we were interested in. we wanted to get the tick-tock of this, how everybody was getting ready for these hearings and preparing and i feel like they have a lot of good stuff along those lines. unfortunately they are t so clearly partisan in that they do have a clear agenda and make no bones about it and i think that sort of is unfortunate in that you can't base the book on the merits of writing a dispassionate book. >> from what we understand they did not call christine was a ford even after the comments that were in the book. >> so i have one more question, before i p do i want to present you both with the highly covete coveted. [inaudible] >> i been using it. u thank you. >> i'm glad you've been using it. after we finish here, they will sign booksks over there. there are a lot of people,
i'll try to move through it a little bit quickly, and finally, how are you dealing with all the vitriol on social media and elsewhere. >> robin keeps telling me to it get off twitter. [laughter] of it, reading much i'll speak for myself, but i was expecting a lot of heat, this is an inflammatory topic and we understand why people are so passionate about it. i ran into a neighbor of mine in new york a number of months ago and he said hey kate, i heard you're writing a book, what's the book about.. i told him it was about bret kavanaugh and he was like oh my god, that guy, he sort of went offen about him and i did what i always do when someone takes a strong position for or against, ik kind of took him on because as we probably said at 9:00 p.m. that are book is a
comp located story so when people have a very strong perspective that he's a good guy or a bad guy, we always want to challenge that and he just dug in. i was just losing the argument big time and i walked away from it thinking, whatever people thought a year ago and people have very strong feelings, it's kind of larger now in edition of new information and perspective. i don't know if we'll have any success inuc broadening perspectives, modifying, changing perspectives to accept other points of view, but there's a lot of pain i think in the process of trying to do that. >> you definitely have to be thick skinned to do that and i think it's hard inevitably when you put a lot of work into something you really did go to great length to be balanced and faire and take yourself out of it.
to have it particularly be caughtht up in taking a line out of an op-ed or a really bad tweet which ends up obscuring what you actually set out to do and it feels like a lot of noise sometimes youou hope you can get past so people actually consider the work you did with an open mind and sort of just take our work seriously the way we try to. >> thank you very much for being with us. [applause]