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tv   The Last Word With Lawrence O Donnell  MSNBC  September 15, 2018 7:00pm-8:00pm PDT

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particular story about kavanaugh, to continue to develop through the weekend. republicans definitely want to steam ahead with voting on him as soon as next wednesday or thursday. it's hard to see how that happens while this story is still developing, but watch this space. that does it for us tonight. we will see you again on monday. now it's time for the last word with lawrence oh dodge. good evening, lawrence. >> you know how this show starts at 10:00 or i should say is supposed to start at 10:00? >> mm-hmm. >> and every once in a while it starts 15 seconds later, 30 seconds later. >> my fault, sorry. >> and it's a pretty organized and ritdialistic thing, and that's the way it's supposed to work. but we can change that. we can change that on the fly if we have to and if something happens and if there was some kind of giant breaking news event, we would deal with that whole concept differently, and the senate judiciary committee can do exactly the same thing. ask that is what they did with anita hill when the confirmation hearing was over. clarence thomas' hearing was over, and it was reopened
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because of this dramatic new information. >> hmm. >> and orrin hatch is pretending tonight that there's some kind of schedule, there's some kind of thing that prevents them from reopening any of this on the senate judiciary committee, and that is simply not true. there's no time limit. they could take the rest of the year if they wanted to. but you're going to hear a lot of that about, you know, it's over and time's up. and time is never up on the confirmation process. >> and, you know, with professor anita hill personally weighing in on this today, saying that she has personally experienced what happens when these things get weaponized against the accuser and there ought to be a way for people to approach the senate when they have personal information that is relevant to an important nominee. that still has not been fixed since her time there. it's an incredibly important point you're making, one precedent that was set by her allegations against clarence thomas, which, again, she never expected to become public either. she never expected to have her name associated with those allegations, but she made them.
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it reopened the confirmation process, and it played out the way it did. that is the closest thing we've got to a precedent here. i don't know what republicans are going to try to do, but i think they're going to be a little bit towed along on this story by the fact that the story is going to continue to develop over the next few days. >> it may be all up to susan collins what they do next. what might she demand from her own party or lisa murkowski? but, rachel, we're going to begin tonight with the paul manafort agreement, and it's the agreement part of what paul manafort will deliver for his plea that has to have everybody named trump, especially if the first name is donald, whether it's senior or junior, very worried tonight. >> it's breathtaking. honestly, i mean, lawrence, i am -- i'm in los angeles tonight on a friday night, which is weird. i'm in california because i have the day off today because i'm supposed to be spending the weekend with my family out here. >> i know that. >> i am not taking the night
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off. i am on tv from california because of that breathtaking cooperation agreement from manafort. i totally believed it was possible he was going to plead guilty. i totally believed they'd come up with maybe some limited cooperation deal. maybe that was a possibility. never in a million years would i have told you that he would have a full monty cooperation agreement. it is breathtaking. it has got to be a terrifying day for the president and his family, and this is -- this is potentially a game-changer. it's a really big deal. >> and it turns out all that public praise from donald trump to paul manafort about what a brave man he is and honorable man and all of that couldn't quite carry paul manafort through this part of the process. >> no. and what happens next? i mean manafort's back in jail tonight, right, thinking about his cooperation deal, thinking about what his ultimate sentencing, thinking about how much he has to talk to prosecutors and investigators until he can get to his sentencing, until he can see a light at the end of the tunnel. i mean his whole life has
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changed, but the president's life may very well have changed too. >> and the mueller investigation might be turning a profit now with something over $20 million in seized assets from paul manafort. this just might give them some extra lunch money. >> with that trump tower apartment being one of the things that manafort had to forfeit, i do sort of imagine them moving like a little part of the justice department into that apartment, you know? just like put some h.r. folks in there or some little thing, you know, some little aspect of the justice department just to remind everybody that actually that paul manafort apartment is now owned by the u.s. taxpayers. >> they'll think of something. rachel, get out of there. go hang with the family. >> i will do. >> love to the family. thanks for coming in tonight. >> appreciate it. well, paul manafort's guilty plea today might be the single worst development in donald trump's life, and it might be the single worst development in donald trump jr.'s life because paul manafort was in the room with donald trump jr. in trump tower during the presidential
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campaign meeting that donald trump jr. arranged with a group of russians who promised dirt on hillary clinton. paul manafort has promised to tell special prosecutor robert mueller every single thing that happened in that room, every word that paul manafort can remember was said in that room and what paul manafort remembers might lead to the first federal criminal prosecution of the son of a president of the united states. paul manafort could be the key witness in a case that would be entitled "the united states of america versus donald trump jr.," and president trump could once again be identified as an unindicted co-conspirator in such a case if paul manafort and others can testify credibly that presidential candidate donald trump knew about that meeting and was a participant in a conspiracy to obtain dirt on hillary clinton from russians. and so the big news of the day for anyone named donald trump is that robert mueller has a new witness, a big new witness.
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and that is even bigger news than that witness saying in court today, "i plead guilty." paul manafort spent this week telling the special prosecutor's team everything he knows about every crime he has committed or every crime he knows about. some of paul manafort's crimes were described in court today by andrew weissmann of the special counsel's office, but prosecutor weissman was careful to point out that nothing that he publicly described in court today includes anything that paul manafort has told the special prosecutor in his first week of cooperation with the special prosecutor. so there is a lot, lot more to come from paul manafort. and we know that the special prosecutor reached this plea bargain agreement with paul manafort today because paul manafort has already provided and will continue to provide valuable information to the special prosecutor. the moment that officially
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changed donald trump and donald trump jr.'s lives came after andrew weissmann outlined the crimes that paul manafort confessed to this week -- conspiracy, obstruction of justice, conspiracy against the united states. judge amy berman jackson said to paul manafort, so are you prepared to tell me now whether you wish to plead guilty or whether you wish to go to trial? and paul manafort said, i am -- and the judge said, what is your decision? and paul manafort said, "i plead guilty." and with that, every member of the trump campaign team who has been charged which robert mueller has now pleaded guilty. every single one of them. robert mueller and his team are undefeated against the trump team. and everyone in the trump team who was ever in a room with paul manafort or on the phone with paul manafort or sent an e-mail to paul manafort or received an e-mail from paul manafort has to try to fall asleep tonight
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wondering who's next. who will paul manafort hand over to robert mueller? leading off our discussion now, jill wine-banks, former assistant watergate special prosecutor and an msnbc legal contributor. also former federal prosecutor glen kirschner. jill, as rachel mentioned at the top, there were a couple of ways for this to go today. there wasn't a lot of suspense left in whether he was going to plead guilty. but he could have just walked in from and pleaded guilty. he could have just done that and sat back and hoped and waited for his pardon. but he didn't. he went all the way over the line and is now on team mueller. >> and you know what that says to me? that says how untrustworthy donald trump is that his campaign adviser, his campaign chief couldn't rely on him for a pardon and had to take the chance of going with full disclosure to the prosecutor and cooperating. that's what it says to me. and it's a big break because
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he's someone who was in at least several key meetings, including of course the june meeting in trump tower, which has been very much a focus of the investigation and could be part of the conspiracy to work with russia on the campaign to affect the outcome of the election. and so it's a very important time for mueller. and as you pointed out, it is 100% win for mueller and zero for team trump. >> glen kirschner, your perspective on what we saw in court today? >> so, lawrence, i think, yeah, it's a hugely consequential turn of events for both the mueller investigation and for the president and his administration. when i got a hold of a copy of the plea agreement in the manafort case earlier today, i was looking for one phrase, and i found it on page 2, paragraph 3. let me just read the legalese and talk about what it actually means. it says that no other charges
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will be brought against the defendant, paul manafort, for his heretofore disclosed participation in criminal activity. in layman's terms, what that means is the following. when we meet with a defendant who is an aspiring cooperating witness, we interview them over and over and over again, and we frankly try to wring dry every drop of information that the cooperator has about the criminal conduct of others. but equally important, the criminal conduct of mr. manafort himself because the last thing we want as -- i was a career prosecutor. the last thing a prosecutor wants is for there to be any surprises about the crimes a cooperator committed before we make the decision to bring them onboard as a cooperating witness. and there's a benefit to the cooperator when he sits down with the prosecutors and provides all that information about his own criminal conduct. we put a term like this in his
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plea agreement, and it says, as long as you've told us about other crimes you've committed, you get a pass. you basically get immunity because we rolled it into today's plea agreement. so what that means is he could have sat down and provided all sorts of information about him, mr. manafort personally, colluding with russians to undermine the election, coordinating that with the president, with don junior, with jared kushner, with others. i'm not saying he did that. we have to wait and see. but if he provided that information, that is probably what prompted robert mueller, after the many meetings that they had, which we learned about in today's hearing. robert mueller to say, you know what, mr. manafort? you've brought enough value to the process as a cooperator that we are going to give you a plea agreement even after you've been convicted in one of your criminal cases. lawrence, that leads me to
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conclude paul manafort must have blockbuster information. he's provided it to the special counsel, and now we have to wait for the next very large shoe to drop. >> yeah, and jill, to that point, in general terms certainly in all of these kinds of agreements that i've ever seen and witnessed in court, the person -- the thing of value that they tend to be giving over is someone bigger than themselves. it's someone above them in the chain of command of whatever enterprise they're in. it is of value still to hand over material on people who are kind of below you in that target list by prosecutors. but to glenn's point, given how good a deal, as you could describe it, how good a deal this is for paul manafort at this stage given how clearly guilty he is, you certainly get the feeling that something large has been handed over to robert mueller this week.
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>> i think we can assume that that is true, that it would either be jared kushner or donald trump jr. or the president himself. there is, of course -- i want to caution. there is the possibility that it was just, i'm willing to take responsibility. i'm willing to plead guilty to my own crimes. i don't want to pay for a defense. i don't want to make the government pay for the prosecution, and i'm just giving up. he's forfeiting almost all of his assets, his real estate, his bank accounts. so he may just feel like, well, that's what i'm doing, and there may be nothing more. but given the language that was used in court in terms of the plea agreement itself, i agree with glenn that it is very likely that he has told them quite a great deal. and glenn is right. you wouldn't take a plea agreement unless you had had a proffer of all the evidence that
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the witness has before you would agree to it. so i think we can look forward to many weeks and months of disclosures and new indictments that may be the result of this and to the investigations that will follow up on the details that he provided to them in the proffer leading up to the plea agreement. >> let's listen to some of the spin that rudy giuliani offered on fox news tonight, and then we will analyze what he had to say after we listen to this. >> the plea is to crimes that have to do with manafort's past. no involvement with president trump. no involvement with the campaign. no involvement with russia. and by the way, there's also no evidence of obstruction. there have been four guilty pleas now, and they're completely irrelevant. >> glenn, your reaction to that. >> you know, lawrence, i've heard this over and over again from either the president himself or sarah huckabee sanders or mr. giuliani.
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they keep complaining and protesting with each guilty plea that's obtained, with each conviction that's obtained. they complain that that conviction, that guilty plea doesn't prove russian collusion. and, you know, i can envision the three of them sitting in a movie theater. and every time they watch another trailer, a preview of coming attractions, they sit there and they complain that, this is not the movie. this is not the movie. we all know this is not the movie. we all know these cases that have been brought thus far by mr. mueller are not the russian collusion cases. but guess what? the movie's coming. and the movie will be when mr. mueller makes that decision whether to issue a report that ultimately will be released to congress about his findings or drop a great big conspiracy indictment on everybody who may have participated in a conspiracy with russia to
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undermine our presidential elections and obstructed by perhaps covering it up. that will be the movie. all of these other things are just the previews of things to come. >> and let's consider rudy giuliani's most insane comment of the night to the fox news audience, and i don't know how much of this they actually take as real. but rudy giuliani says he's hanging his head in shame because the justice department has found crimes and decided to prosecute those crimes. let's listen to this. >> my head hangs in shame for the department that i gave 16 years of my life to, the department of justice. i was the third ranking official in the department of justice, when i could proudly say it was the department of justice. and the only thing that can be done now is as relentless of an investigation of these people as they did to president trump. >> jill, your reaction to all of that. >> my reaction is that we have seen a march to the truth.
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we have seen cases build upon cases, and each person who has pled guilty has been from the trump team and has said, "i committed crimes." one of them said in court under oath that he committed a crime at the direction of the president himself. you can't get any better than that. and the fact that all of these people have pled guilty shows how carefully mueller has proceeded and how he has developed the evidence. all you have to do is read the information that manafort pled guilty to today. it is a detailed layout of all of the things that he did, all the conversations he had, all the illegal transfers of money he had. mueller has facts, and just like paula duncan concluded in the first manafort trial, although she is a loyal trump support and although she said the investigation is a hoax and a witch hunt, she said, but the
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evidence against manafort was real. those were facts, and i voted to convict him on 18 counts. and i'm hoping that the american people will start to see the facts once mueller either issues an indictment that names higher ups or issues a report that names them and spells out in detail what they have done wrong. that's when people will start to see the truth and will turn their opinion and vote in the way that they should against the trump team, who has committed these crimes. >> and rudy giuliani and the trump team always seem to forget that michael flynn actually pleaded guilty to committing crimes in the white house, while in the trump administration. jill wine-banks, glen kirschner, thank you both for starting off our discussion tonight. when we come back, paul manafort is the latest trump team member to plead guilty. but the first one who was in that trump tower meeting -- the first one to plead guilty who was in the trump tower meeting. what happens now to donald trump
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so to be clear, mr. trump has no financial relationships with any russian oligarchs? >> that's what he said. that's what i -- that's obviously what our position is. >> paul manafort is now giving a much clearer answer to that question to special prosecutor robert mueller and his staff. paul manafort is the first
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person who attended the trump tower meeting with russians who has decided to cooperate with the special prosecutor. joining our discussion now david corn, washington bureau chief for mother jones and the co-author of the book russian roulette, and craig unger, journalist and author of the book "house of trump, house of putin." david corn, what does this mean to what we're going to be understanding eventually about that trump tower meeting? we have someone now from inside the meeting who we also know was taking notes, who is now cooperating with robert mueller. >> well, there's a difference between what we will understand and what bob mueller will understand. bob mueller, you know, in theory will understand everything, what led up to the meeting, what happened in the meeting, and what paul manafort knows of any follow-up. remember, they had this meeting on june 9th, and then about a month or so later, the wikileaks
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released the dnc hacked e-mails and manafort went on tv and said the russians have nothing to do with any of this. this is just all a hoax. he started that line of defense when he had been in a meeting that had been set up because the campaign had been told the kremlin had a plot, had a scheme to help the trump campaign. so he'll tell bob mueller supposedly everything he knows on that front. the question is does it lead to a prosecution or to public information for us to find out at some point in time? >> craig unger, what do you expect the special prosecutor's office to find out as a result of this plea? >> i think there are a couple of clues in the documents mueller filed today that have if you pulled them, the threads start to unravel, and they start to expose trump's and manafort's ties to the russian mafia. let me just mention a couple of them. one is if you look at the documents, you see that manafort laundered money through a
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company called the lus cal company. that company was tied to a guy named ivan thurson who is partners with the brains by the russian mafia, and operatives have been around trump for more than 35 years. trump started laundering money through the russian mafia as early as 1984. the fei chases operatives all over brooklyn, found out they actually lived in trump tower. and there have been russia mafia operations based in trump tower for many of these years. there's also a day who is not mentioned by name but by his position, and if you'll excuse my ukrainian -- his real name is sirhay lavachkan, and he was chief of staff toi yanukovych. if you look at what they'll really doing, it gets to the root of what i think this whole
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scandal is really about. it's that russia is a kleptocracy with putin at the very top. they are stealing russia's natural resources and profiting enormously from the ukraine energy trade. and they brought in manafort to back them up politically in ukraine, and that's where the money comes from. >> david corn, this kind of -- craig's answer to that pretty simple question is really extraordinary, and it shows you the kind of depth that's possible. that's the tip of the iceberg of what craig knows. robert mueller must be sitting on an even bigger iceberg at this point. >> well, you know, i hate the iceberg cliche but i've used it for the mueller probe because time and time again, we've learned when he makes public filings, that he's looking at things or has discovered things that we didn't even know existed. and to me, a big question here in this investigation is whether mueller is digging deep into some of these financial issues.
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trump's finances are very opaque, not just with any interactions with russia, but just in general. big loans from deutsche bank. we don't fully understand the origin or why they exist. that's the type of thing that mueller has a team assembled who specialize in white collar crime, money laundering. they could really dig into and that manafort might have some insight into. but we're still waiting to see -- you know, we don't have a lot of public signs yet, whether that is one big part of the probe or not. but if it is, you know, this could go on for a long time and go much deeper than just russia collusion. >> and, craig, what is your view of what kind of exposure donald trump personally has on the russian money laundering you described? is it possible he didn't know who was buying these apartments and what money they were using to buy these apartments? >> well, it's absolutely possible or, rather, it's very difficult to prove what he does
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know. i certainly can't get inside his mind. but there is -- i'm not a lawyer, but there is a legal concept known as willful ignorance or willful blindness. and when you look at the scale of the money laundering, buzzfeed reported that there were 1,300 condos, trump-branded condos, that were sold under conditions that appear to be money laundering. and i think a good prosecutor could make the case that that's not random or co-ince dental, that this was a pattern and it was deliberate and done with knowledge. >> david corn, craig unger, thank you both for joining our discussion tonight. and coming up, the "new yorker" is reporting more details about the woman who claims that supreme court nominee brett kavanaugh sexually assaulted her when they were both in high school. "the new york times" has more details on it. but republicans seem to think there is nothing to talk about here. that's coming up. (burke) fender-biter.
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you confirmed three times in a row, and this is your fourth time, and you should be confirmed here. never once were you attacked like this by anybody, and i know you. and the people who know you the best -- and that involves hundreds of people -- think the world of you. >> and orrin hatch thinks the world of brett kavanaugh. today republican senator orrin hatch issued this statement. i do not attend to allow judge kavanaugh's confirmation to be stalled because of an 11th hour
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accusation that democrats did not see fit to raise for over a month. the claims are wholly unverifiable and come at the tail end of a process that was already marred by ugly innuendo, dishonesty, and the nastiest form of our politics. the american people deserve much better from the senate as an institution. and that is essentially the same defense that orrin hatch offered for clarence thomas, who faced accusations from anita hill after -- after his confirmation hearing was over. but because there are no time limits on how long the confirmation process can take, the senate judiciary committee then reopened the clarence thomas hearings and heard from anita hill, after which clarence thomas was then confirmed by the senate, 52-48. before anita hill testified, clarence thomas was probably on his way to getting at least 80 votes in favor of his confirmation in the senate.
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the senate judiciary committee has the same option now as it did for clarence thomas. the committee can slow down the process and reopen the confirmation hearing if judge kavanaugh's accuser changes her mind and is willing to reveal herself publicly and testify about what she said in a confidential letter to a member of congress about what brett kavanaugh did to her when they were both in high school. "the new york times" and "the new yorker" revealed more of the details about that letter today, writing in "the new yorker," ronan farrow and jane mayer report, in the letter, the woman alleged that during an encounter at a party, kavanaugh held her down and that he attempted to force himself on her. she claimed in the letter that kavanaugh and a classmate of his, both of whom had been drinking, turned up music that was playing in the room to conceal the sound of her protests, and that kavanaugh covered her mouth with his hand. she was able to free herself. in recent months, the woman had told friends that kavanaugh's nomination had revived the pain
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of the memory and that she was grappling with whether to go public with her story. she contacted her congresswoman, anna eshoo, a democrat, sending a letter describing her allegation. california congresswoman anna eshoo then passed that letter along to california's senior senator, dianne feinstein, the senior democrat on the senate judiciary committee. "the new yorker" reports the woman considered speaking publicly about her experience with brett kavanaugh but, quote, after the interactions with eshoo's and feinstein's offices, the woman decided not to speak about the matter publicly. republican senator susan collins had a pre-scheduled hour-long telephone discussion with brett kavanaugh today, but senator collins made no comment, no public comment about that discussion or about the new accusation against judge kavanaugh. so what will the judiciary committee do next? after this break, we will be joined by jill wine-banks and lisa graves, who is the former chief counsel for nominations on
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improving efficiency is what we do best. ♪ one look at you and i can't disguise ♪ ♪ i've got hungry eyes applebee's new 3-course meal starting at $11.99. now that's eatin' good in the neighborhood. kavanaugh clamped a hand over her mouth and held her down and attempted to force himself on her. she did escape, but she said in her communications and her letter to these individuals on the hill that this was a traumatic incident, so much so that she had to seek psychological treatment for it. >> joining the discussion now,
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lisa graves, former chief counsel for nominations for the democratic side of the senate judiciary committee. she was a department assistant attorney general in the department of justice. and jill wine-banks is back with us. lisa, no one knows more about this process than you do. what happens next in the senate judiciary committee? >> well, there's nothing stopping senator grassley from reopening the hearings, from having additional hearings or providing more time. as you point out, there's no rule that requires this process to go so fast. and in fact, i know that with all these claims that this is an 11th hour allegation, the fact is that brett kavanaugh was nominated only on july 10th. it was less than 60 days before his hearings began, and they've been quite rushed given the many controversies in his background. and so the senate could have a closed session with the senate judiciary committee to consider this further. there could be time for this victim to come forward or other victims to come forward. and there should be actually more time for the entire nation to learn more about brett
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kavanaugh. certainly we know that numerous documents that the senate democrats have requested have not been provided, and the documents thus far show that he's been untruthful even though he testified under oath about several matters to the senate over the course of 2004-2006 and now. and so i think there's more than enough reason to slow down and in fact stop this process from moving forward. >> jill, it is so extraordinary. lisa points out that you can find things in brett kavanaugh's testimony that are simply not true. and some people are calling them lies. i'm not sure what else you call them. but when you have a nominee whose credibility has already been very successfully challenged as a truth-teller in that hearing, and today he issues a statement denying these accusations, he's issuing that statement after a confirmation hearing has significantly weakened his credibility. >> yes. i agree with everything lisa
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said, and abowith what you said. and i appreciate you saying that there is no rule that forces this to go forward. we need to have a full investigation. we need to hold off a vote in the senate until there is time for a full exploration of this. if he is innocent, we need to see that. if he's guilty, we need to see that. and the fact about the memos that were stolen from the democrats that he says, oh, i didn't know, that doesn't ring true to me. so there are a lot of issues besides this one that have been sort of shuffled under the rug and that need to be explored. i would urge this woman -- i know how hard it must be to come forward, but i really hope you will. i'm pleading with you to come forward and speak out on this because there is so much at stake. the times are different now. the "me too" movement has made you able to be heard and believed in a way that anita
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hill didn't have a chance for. so please come forward and let us hear the whole story of this. i also think it raises the issue of the time that he clerked -- he, kavanaugh -- clerk the for kozinski, who left the bench because of sexual misconduct in his chambers. and we need to know more about what kavanaugh knew. i know he's denied that he knew anything. but the knowledge was everywhere. people knew about it. how could he not have known, and if he did know, why did he do nothing? i think there are a lot of questions that need answering before the senate votes on this. >> and, lisa, there is criticism developing on both the democratic side and on the republican side about how senator feinstein has handled her end of it. given what we know about it, what is your view of how senator feinstein has handled this? >> well, i have to say that this is almost the definition of being between a rock and a hard place. you have a victim who has come forward who has asked for her
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information not to be shared. and of course it's necessary to honor her request for confidentiality. and yet you have this very significant allegation that bears on the ability of this man -- the appropriateness of this man to be appointed to the united states supreme court. and we know through history with anita hill that we have someone who is on the supreme court in which there were credible allegations of his sexual misconduct, of sexual harassment, and i think anita hill has certainly been vindicated over the course of time. and yet we're still -- we still have justice thomas on the court. and so these are very serious matters, which is exactly why, as jill said, there's no need to rush forward. we need to get to the bottom of this. and the other matters, quite frankly, it was a digital watergate what happened in the senate with the senate's own files being taken and stolen and then given in many instances to brett kavanaugh. and i do believe that he lied about what he knew and when he knew it, and i believe it's quite clear to me based on that episode and many more in terms
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of his answers in 2004 and 2006 that he lied under oath. and that's one of the most serious things that can be alleged about a judge because the most important thing for a judge in this country and any country is that they be honest about the facts and the law. and we have a man here who i think has demonstrated over and over again that he's not honest about the facts and the law. and the fact is, is that you can't just be someone who can cite cases off the top of your head. that doesn't make you a good judge. what makes you a good judge is you're fair and honest not just about the law but about the facts and i don't think brett kavanaugh has been honest about the facts. and i think it's important to believe a woman who comes forward under these circumstances even if her identity is confidential. >> if you still had your old job at the judiciary committee, i am sure at some point in the last few weeks, it would have fallen to you to have a conversation somehow with this woman. what would you tell her? >> i would tell her what jill told her, which is that it's so important to come forward if you
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can possibly come forward. certainly she would be attacked. senator grassley was also there at the time, and he also attacked anita hill just like orrin hatch. but there are so many more women who have come forward, who would stand behind her, who would defend her against the scurrilous attacks of republicans, who have already been lining up with attacks on her. her character is her own possession, and i know that she would be surrounded by millions of other men who would stand by her. >> lisa graves and jill wine-banks, thank you very much for joining us in this important discussion tonight. appreciate it. >> thank you so much. when we come back, another bad news week for president trump ending as other weeks have, with a guilty plea. but this week also ending with a challenge to his supreme court nominee, the kind of challenge we have not seen since clarence thomas' confirmation. but our tempur-pedic helps us make it all work. it gives us the best night sleep ever.
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things were looking bad enough for the republicans with just 53 days left until the midterm congressional elections, but now president trump's campaign chairman has pleaded guilty and become a cooperating witness with the special prosecutor, and the president's nominee for the supreme court faces a new accusation of sexual assault when he was a teenager. joining our discussion now, edward sigfried, the author of gop pgs. and david corn is back with us. and, evan, from the republican
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perspective, the polling is about as bad as it gets. 538 is generic congressional ballot. democrats, 48.9%. republicans. 39.8%. that's the best number the democrats have had since trump has been in office, they say. >> yes, it is. we've been having terrible weeks as republicans. part of it is due to the president and part of it is due to us not standing up to himful i'm seeing a great deal of enthusiasm among voters. in colorado, new voter registrations are up 333% up over how they were -- >> how is that going? >> more people are registering as democrats and more people who are likely democratic voters such as younger voters and women are registering outpacing men. it's a problem. in the republican party they've
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lost. you're seeing it in ohio, pennsylvania. these are states that require this. i think people are not really realizing that in addition to the suburban white women voting against republicans and have already in special elections in 2017, younger voters, especially millenials will turn out. >> seems like the bret kavanagh score is going to still be with us next week and after that. next week is at the moment is the scheduled vote in the judiciary committee that there's still time after that before the vote on the senate floor, so we don't know what damage is going to be done to bret kavanagh or to the republicans in the next week with that story. >> look at it this way. if you're not part of the basi basie-est base, it's either
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chaos, unhin jds tweets, or you know, you've got the bret kavanagh story which may or may not explode on the basis of these allegations that in and of itself only appeals to his evangelical base. you were in the middle. a lot of voters voted for trump with like i'm going to roll the dice a little bit. i don't like hillary, he's kind of wild, let me see what he does, those people are not rushing to embrace the republican party. it doesn't even exists exist anymore. no consistent philosophy except tax cuts for the rich. evan, you are saddled with this but this election is going to be a referendum. the republicans, one is jerry plannedered districts and voter suppression tactics. other than that, the win is going against the gop. >> the only known political
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strategy, if we can call it that, for a party when there are problematic investigations going against them on their side, is to simply stay absolutely silent about the investigations and talk about other things. donald trump can't stay silent about this investigation of him, his administration, his cam parngs and so the republicans out there who are trying to campaign and trying to avoid that subject get hit with it every day by donald trump. >> they do, but they haven't seen the tweets is the excuse. >> there you go. >> republicans are trying talk about immigration as well as fire up the base saying we need you to turn out. i think other things -- i think the public has tuned out the investigation. it's very intricate. they're are looking at the economy but they're knots feeling the economy. there's a disconnect between how great the economy is and how people are doing. when you ask the question in
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polling are you better or worse off than a year ago. >> in the high teens they say they're better off if they're not a republican and member of the party's base. we don't have much to hang our hats on other than neil gorsuch. i need the woman to come forward. we saw it happen with roy moore. we were able to july his accuser's credibility. until i see that and diane fine stipe shares this with everyone, i'm skeptical but i want to know more. >> david, as evan points out, there just isn't a version of anything that's working for the democrats, including this rushed confirmation process tsh. >> you mean republicans. >> noerlt republicans including this rushed confirmation process. >> midterm elections are an
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amalgamation optical a series of local elections with local personalities of the candidates and local issues have a big role to may, dominant role to play but they occur within overarching narratives that either, you know, go with the wind or go against the wind. the republicans have no narrative other that what's up with trump? and that doesn't work for them. >> evan and david, thank you for joining us tonight. tonight's last word is next.
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. time for tonight's last word. >> trump has had major problems with the department of justice. mainly the justice part. but here's the thing -- they continue think anyone can be firmed and on top of that no one in the gop wants the job. senator john cornyn says we already have an attorney general i love my job. ch lindsey graham said no, there are plenty more qualified people than me, bunches of them, thousands. and rand paul replied, what ist
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das attorney general? i have no opinions. i like that hans guy. >> steven colbert gets tonight's last word.

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