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tv   Hardball With Chris Matthews  MSNBC  September 24, 2018 4:00pm-5:00pm PDT

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susan collins saying that his second accuser, miss ramirez, should be afforded the opportunity to address the senate under oath. that is a story surely to watch. that does it for us. we'll be back at 6:00 p.m. eastern tomorrow night. "hardball" with chris matthews is up next. kavanaugh at the abyss. let's play "hardball." good evening, i'm chris matthews from washington. the news tonight is that brett kavanaugh finds himself in a desperate fight to save his nomination to the u.s. supreme court. with two women now making accusations against him. on thursday at 10:00 a.m. this week, dr. christine blasey ford will sit across from 21 members of the senate judiciary committee to accuse brett kavanaugh of sexually assaulting her when they were teenagers. the full power of her accusation is set forth in the letter dr.
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ford sent senator dianne feinstein released late last night. ford wrote kavanaugh physically pushed me into a bedroom as i was headed for a bathroom. they locked the door and played loud music, precluding any successful attempts to yell for help. kavanaugh was on top of me while laughing with judge, who periodically jumped onto kavanaugh. they both laughed as kavanaugh tried to disrobe me in their highly inebriated state. with kavanaugh's hand over my mouth, i feared he may inadvertently kill me. in the letter sent to the committee today, dr. ford wrote the decision to first report the assault to my congresswoman was a very difficult one, but i felt that this was something that a citizen couldn't not do. meanwhile today, judge kavanaugh spoke publicly for the first time since ford's allegation became public. >> the truth is i've never sexually assaulted anyone in high school or otherwise.
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i am not questioning and have not questioned that perhaps dr. ford at some point in her life was sexually assaulted by someone in someplace. but what i know is i have never sexually assaulted anyone. >> kavanaugh is also defending himself now against a second accuser. deborah ramirez is a former classmate of kavanaugh's from yale. she told the "new yorker" that she remembers kavanaugh had exposed himself, exposed himself in a drunken dormitory party, thrust his blank in her face and caused her to touch it without her consent. as she pushed him away. she acknowledged that there are gaps in her memory and she had been drinking a lot during her encounter. republican staff for the senate judiciary committee have reached out to deborah ramirez' lawyer for a preliminary inquiry into her allegation. kavanaugh denied the allegations, claiming they were a smear. the president, according to the associated press, believes that the allegations were a democratic plot being advanced
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by the media, once again publicly voiced his support again for kavanaugh. let's watch. >> it would be sad indeed if something happened to reroute that. this is a fine man and we certainly hope he's going to be confirmed and quickly. his family has suffered. his family has suffered. what's going on is not something that should happen. brett kavanaugh is an absolute outstanding person. hopefully he will be confirmed quickly. >> majority leader mitch mcconnell who dismissed the new allegations as part of a larger smear campaign vowed to plow ahead, that was his phrase before, with the nomination. >> i want to make it perfectly clear, mr. president, judge kavanaugh will be voted on here on the senate floor, up or down, on the senate floor. this fine nominee to the supreme court will receive a vote in
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this senate in the near future. >> given the new allegations, the ranking member on the judiciary committee, senator dianne feinstein, has called for a postponement of the kavanaugh nomination. for the latest, i'm joined by heidi przybyla, eugene washington, and robert costa. robert, what's the latest on this? the president is supporting this. they're pushing this. mitch mcconnell wants to, as he keeps fragphrasing it, plow it through demanding a vote and yet now we have a second accuser. >> they have been keeping close tabs on senate republicans. as long as senator collins, senator flake and senator murkowski don't break and continue to say they want to hear from dr. ford at thursday's hearing, then this nomination moves forward. it's not going to get pulled. the president in private conversations with senate leaders has been pretty defiant. he sees this as a war against political correctness as much as it is a battle for his own nominee. >> what's the political -- help
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me here. what's politically correct or incorrect about the charge made by dr. ford here? who said it's okay to behave like this accusation runs? >> of course any sexual assault would be inappropriate and wrong. kavanaugh's nomination has become a totem for many on the right who see this as part of their war against the establishment. so you see conservatives across the board, whether it's rush limbaugh on radio, conservative groups on air in ads, they're fighting for this nomination. this is not just about the allegations at hand, it's about reshaping the federal judiciary for generations to come. >> are they defending the behavior or their side politically? >> at this point they are saying they're just dug in with kavanaugh. that this is a war they think against kavanaugh that's wrong. he's going on fox news to talk about it. they know there's a lot of pressure for him to step down just weeks before the midterm elections. a lot of unease when i'm talking to my top gop sources but for
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now they're holding steady because of what they see at the ending of the horizon. >> what they're doing is they're trying to avoid attacking the accuser. >> right. >> because that will look terrible. >> yeah. >> but they suggest she's dizzy, she's confused. mistaken identity. >> exactly. >> any way to avoid saying -- but how do they deal with the fact if it's true? if he makes a credible case on thursday, how are they going to deal with it? >> the problem to me and what sort of hollows out any argument that the republicans are making is that they won't investigate. they don't want an investigation. they don't want to do any actual fact finding or attempt any actual fact finding. they say, well, it will just be he said/she said. how do they know? >> you want to bring the guy who she says was in the room the whole time and was part of this misconduct or even assault. >> well, he's changed hez position slightly. at first he adamantly denied anything like this ever happened and then he said, quote, he had no memory and he said no
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interest in testifying. >> what about his tales of drunken behavior with his buddy, bart o'kavanaugh. >> it could be the republicans don't want any association there. if you read the latest reporting from "the new yorker" the accusations against mark judge are far more troubling than the accusations against brett kavanaugh if you read in the piece. there is an allegation by a former girlfriend that he had admitted to her his participation in what sounded like a gang rape. and so to have someone like that in any way associated with brett kavanaugh -- >> gang rape, if you will, multiple males and one woman but he was saying it was consensual on the woman's part. >> but it's no longer he said/she said. it's he said/they said. and can this process be perceived as fair in the end if none of these other witnesses, corroborating witnesses are allowed to come forward. all of the people who are wanting the investigation are the accusers and not the
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accused. >> it's like the florida recount. let's stop counting. we've got one vote and let's not hear anymore. how do you say you're not going to hear from ramirez. >> susan collins just came out and said we need to hear from the second accuser. the senate needs to hear from her. now, collins is not on that committee, but she is one of the pivotal votes. and what she says carries a lot of weight in the senate. so i'm sure mitch mcconnell is listening. i don't know how you can -- i just don't know how you can vote without saying, look, we're going to look into this as opposed to just ram it through or plow ahead as mitch mcconnell says. >> here's michael avenatti who represents adult film star stormy daniels said he is now representing an accuser who says she has credible information about kavanaugh and his high school friend, mark judge. he tweets we will demand the opportunity to present testimony to the committee and likewise be
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demanding that judge and others be subpoenaed to testify. the nomination must be withdrawn. h he said his client will go public in the next 48 hours. from the president's point of view or his public point of view, his attitude publicly, does he believe this stuff is made up, all three of these cases? >> he stands with kavanaugh and he's been a little bit at a distance from the preparations for thursday's hearing. he knows that it's an uneasy situation. he's been delegating a lot to don mcgahn, his white house counsel, who really has wanted kavanaugh to be the nominee for months. but you have the presidencying this as part of a broader political fight he's waging. if he backs down on kavanaugh, he feels like he could open himself vulnerably in a way politically that he doesn't want this close to the midterm elections. you can see the white house is listening to senate republicans. as long as they're there at this moment, they're not going to start trying to rethink the whole nomination. >> well, over the weekend it was reported publicly that kavanaugh has spent the past week
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preparing for the upcoming hearing. according to "the washington post" kavanaugh grew frustrated when it came to questions that dug into his private life, particularly his drinking hakts an his sexual proclivities. >> we're talking about an allegation of sexual assault. i've never sexual assaulted anyone. i did not have sexual intercourse or anything close to sexual intercourse in high school or for many years thereafter. and the girls from the schools i went to and i were friends. >> so you're saying that through all these years that are in question, you were a virgin? >> that's correct. >> never had sexual intercourse with anyone in high school? >> correct. >> and through what years in college, since we're probing into your personal life here? >> many years after, i'll leave it at that. many years after. >> what do you think the relevance of that is? >> too much information.
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too much information. >> i'm glad you didn't come to me on that one. >> why is he saying all that? >> i don't know, because it's not relevant to the accusations. the accusation are not sexual intercourse. the accusation is a2e7ttempting tear a woman's clothes off while keeping her locked in a bedroom and cover her mouth with your hand which sounds like an attempted rape and exposing himself. but they're not about sex. >> let me bring up something about her fear for her life. she said her fear for her life. an expert who wrote a book about "gift of fear" and you have to follow youryour instincts, this who was going to rape a woman and he did rape her, he closes the window. she realized he closed that window because he didn't want my screams to be heard. when you lock the door with a woman, haul them into a room and then you turn the music up so the squeals can't be heard and
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then put your hand over her mouth so her squeals will not be heard, you have a reason to fear. it's not about sex, it's about power. >> can i just say something that i don't think has been analyzed enough in this whole scenario, which is that the circumstantial evidence here that something very traumatic happened to dr. ford is strong. she -- if you read this "washington post" piece, she underwent a personality transformation in between high school and college. she became reclusive. her grades were failing. it was after that that she moved across the country and she chose to dedicate her life studies to studying the impact of trauma on depression and anxiety. i have to say there's a similar chord there as well with deborah ramirez who volunteers at a center for victims of sexual abuse, i think it is. >> the fear is real and the trauma is real. and the idea that she's part of some left-wing conspiracy is an insult to this person. every individual counts.
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every american counts. you have a right to petition congress. congress ought to listen to people like this or else what are they there for. they're supposed to represent people. if they don't represent people like this, who do they represent. anyway, heidi przybyla, thank you for that last analysis, eugene washington and rob aert costa. plus today's other major development, rod rosenstein's future seems more uncertain. the man overseeing the mueller probe will meet with president trump this week. and president trump and republican leaders continue to stand by kavanaugh. will that decision come to bite them in the midterms? and in the future if this guy gets in. do they want him that dirty? finally let me finish with trump watch. he definitely won't like this. this is "hardball," where the action is. this is "hardball," w action is.
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arriving at the u.n. this morning, president trump was asked about the state of u.s.
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relations with north korea three months after trump's summit with kim jong-un. >> it looks like we'll have a second summit quite soon. as you know, kim jong-un wrote a letter, a beautiful letter, asking for a second meeting, and we will be doing that. secretary pompeo will work that out in the immediate future. it looks like it's moving very, very well. tremendous progress on north korea. >> critics say there's been anything but tremendous progress on denuclearization. with intelligence officials reporting that north korea is stepping up efforts to hide its nuclear activities from outside observers. we'll be right back. observers. we'll be right back. cer treatmes of america, we use diagnostic tools that help us better understand what drives each person's cancer. like christine bray. after battling ovarian cancer for several years, her test results revealed a drug therapy that targeted her tumor. today, christine's metastatic cancer is in remission. we're not just fighting cancer.
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there's a chance that this could be one of the single most unfair, unjust things to happen to a candidate for anything, but i am with judge kavanaugh and i look forward to a vote. and for people to come out of
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the woodwork from 36 years ago and 30 years ago and never mentioned it, all of a sudden it happens, in my opinion it's totally political. it's totally political. >> welcome back to "hardball." that was president trump standing by brett kavanaugh in the wake of a second allegation of sexual misconduct against him published now by the "new yorker." it comes just days before both kavanaugh and christine blasey ford will testify before the senate judiciary committee about ford's allegation that he sexually assaulted her while they were teenagers. kavanaugh denies both claims. axios reports republicans plan to fight foggy memories of his accusers. the plan is to fight back right away and to emphasize denials and hazy recollections and the mission is to portray the debate as cheap-shot politics orchestrated by liberals and abetted by the media.
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today kavanaugh once again called the allegations against him smears, pure and simple. white house counselor kellyanne conway leveled a similar charge in an interview with cbs this morning. >> i thought that his comment last night about the second so-called accuser is incredibly instructive. he's now calling this a smear campaign. indeed this is starting to feel like a vast left-wing conspiracy. >> there's a phrase. anyway on capitol hill today, senator majority leader mitch mcconnell carried that argument a step further, pointing the finger at his democratic colleagues. let's watch. >> even by the far left standards this shameful, shameful smear campaign has hit a new low. senate democrats and their allies are trying to destroy a man's personal and professional life on the basis of decades-old allegations that are unsubstantiated and
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uncorroborated. >> for more i'm joined by donna edwards, a former democratic congresswoman from maryland, and charlie sykes, krcontributing editor to "the weekly standard." charlie, i'm curious what you're hearing and what you're thinking about how this has been handled and how the republican party will get past this, win or lose. how will they look after a vote is held next week, perhaps? >> yeah, it's a very dangerous moment but emotions are running very, very high. obviously you have some irreconcilable differences here. you have tremendous stakes. maybe the truth is unnoble. but there was tremendous blowback to that "new yorker" story. i think you do need to separate that out from dr. ford. the fact that there is -- the evidence is so thin. it is weak tea. and the fact that "the new york times" spoke to what they said were dozens of potential witnesses, none of whom who could corroborate all of this. so i think that what's happened at least for the moment, and this is dangerous i think for the republicans, because they are so angry about that, what
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they regard as a smear, that there is unusual pressure, do not cave in, do not let them get away with all of this. so who knows how this will play out over the next several days. >> do you think you can read the republicans? do they believe -- is it their judgment that if these stories are true, that the nomination should not be confirmed? >> no, i don't think that's what they're -- obviously there are some who are willing to say that, but i mean obviously these charges are disqualifying and obviously his denials would be disqualifying if in fact he did it. but i do think that the second allegation in some ways has the effect of undermining the credibility of the first one. look, this is the moment where you want solid, credible information that lines up. this is also why i think it's a huge mistake for republicans not to reopen the fbi investigation. if they are concerned about these false allegations, make people tell them to the fbi.
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put some real takes there. so the fact that they are still reluctant i think is somewhat inconsistent with their concern about finding out what in fact is true. >> donna, we've got the protesters now. meanwhile citizens were making their voices heard on capitol hill today. big crowds demonstrated their opposition, there they are, to kavanaugh outside the offices of several republican senators, including ben sasse, susan collins and jeff flake. look at the people. axios reports that kavanaugh's future rests partly with susan collins and lisa murkowski of alaska but the senator who most worries kavanaugh supporters is jeff flake of arizona, who has ripped trump and has been ripped by trump. first of all, there's three accusations because of michael avenatti, so here we are. >> that's right. here's the thing. if republicans really wanted to give the judge, judge kavanaugh, a clean pathway into the supreme court, what they would do is open up an fbi investigation.
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they would start where they started at the beginning, which is to hear christine ford, hear dr. ford, hear her out. but it seems that they have already come to judgment before that, which raises the question for women all across this country. what does it mean to have a hearing if you've already decided that you're going to plow forward with the investigation. >> well, "the new york times" reports president trump has privately vented his frustration about the republican response to the allegations against kavanaugh but remains largely row dusd to a spectator. constrained by his party's perilous electoral prospects and the accusations of sexual misconduct he himself has faced in the past, the president is virtually powerless to influence the outcome of his administration's top priority. the fact that they really don't want to have an fbi investigation, they don't want to hear from the guy judge, mark judge, who is a pretty interesting character to put it lightly according to the "new yorker" piece, a pretty bad guy
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perhaps and yet they don't want to hear from him. how do they defend that? why not bring in the prime witness? >> i think that's going to have a long-term -- they'll have long-term consequences. at the moment they don't want to be rolled by the democrats. but if they rush ahead and do plow ahead with this and do this confirmation, it will stick with them because people will say why didn't you know this? why didn't you slow down to get the facts? look, in a court of law there's a presumption of innocence, right? you have to prove that somebody is guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. but the standard for being on the u.s. supreme court also ought to be that you are qualified beyond a reasonable doubt. if these are in fact serious charges, which they are, wouldn't you do everything possible to get as close to the truth as you can. and again, reopening the fbi investigation seems to be the simple no-brainer here, so you have to ask why are they not doing it. and their failure to do it is going to be very difficult to explain going forward. >> last thought? >> look, i think that this is
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going to come down to christine ford sitting in the senate and offering her testimony and her believability, her credibility. and i think it ends right there. i'll be surprised if judge kavanaugh lasts through the gavel opening. >> i don't think he looks too strong. we'll wait to see how strong she is. i agree with donna, this is live television, daytime television. everybody will make their own judgment. they don't have to hear from the commentators. they'll watch her and say yeah, yeah, looks like slice of life to me. anyway, thank you, former congresswoman donna edwards and charlie sykes. up next, deputy attorney general rod rosenstein has not been fired, but what's ahead for the man? there he is coming from his house overseeing the russia investigation. if he gets lopped off, trump may grab control of this thing and save himself. this is "hardball," where the action is. is "hardball," where action is.
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mr. president, are you going to fire rod rosenstein? >> i'm meeting with rod rosenstein on thursday when i get back from all of these meetings. we'll be meeting at the white house. we'll be determining what's going on. we want to have transparency. we want to have openness. and i look forward to meeting with rod at that time. >> welcome back to "hardball." that was president trump this afternoon announcing he'll meet with the deputy attorney general
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this thursday. with his job on the line, you might think, rod rosenstein met with chief of staff john kelly today before a regularly scheduled meeting at the white house. the two could be seen shaking hands outside before rosenstein departed. isn't this fascinating? "the new york times" reported rosenstein was ready to resign and convinced the president was about to fire him. so he wanted to quit before he was fired. nbc news says he also discussed his future with white house counsel don mcgahn this saturday. well, according to a person familiar with that conversation, rosenstein made clear he would not accept being terminated by chief of staff kelly. wouldn't let kelly fire him. instead it had to come from the president. he wanted the president to fire him if anybody fires him. rosenstein's job was in jeopardy after "the new york times" reported in a meeting last year he discussed secretly recording the president and possibly using the 25th amendment to remove trump from office. as the only person overseeing the special counsel's probe,
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it's rosenstein's job to decide what happens to robert mueller's final report. does he turn it over to congress for impeachment? what does he do? does he go ahead with indictments? i'm joined by julia ainsley, national security and justice reporter for nbc news, and glenn kirschner. is this like a trip to the woodshed? is this trump trying to show i'm the muscle guy, you're the little guy action you're the bureaucrat. i'm going to let you come see me and scare me a little bit. i'll let you stay if you give me a little sign of support. >> he's hanging this over his head for sure but it seems clear that both of these men were headed toward the end of rod rosenstein's work at the justice department and that something pulled them back from the brink. we know from people who talked to rod rosenstein, he was talking about resignation and a lot of them said wait until you're fired. don't -- it actually means a lot --
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>> why is it a better deal for him to be fired? >> under the federal vacancies act it's a lot more difficult for the president to put whoever he wants in that job if he is fired rather than resigns. it's easier for the president if he resigns. then with the president, we see publicly the advice he's gotten. we've seen sean hannity -- >> he said don't fire him. >> don't take this bait. so something pulled them back. and part of it is that reporting that we have that he wanted to talk to the president himself, not john kelly. then it's a win for trump because he gets to hold this over his head and have a distraction when we get into this kavanaugh hearings on thursday. >> the question that's been bugging me all weekend, what's the plumbing route? if you're the plumber and you want to find a way that pipes you to where you can get rid or basically quash the investigation by mueller, who do you have to fire "saturday night live" style to get to that point where you're the boss? >> i think you have to fire, first of all, rod rosenstein and then replace him with somebody who's more amenable to doing your dirty work.
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>> how do you get that person in the chain of command? how do you get them in there? >> right now it looks like it goes down to the solicitor general, but there's a investigation that he may be conflicted out because his law firm actually was representing trump, so then it continues down the line. so i'm not sure how you get there. >> can he spook out somebody who's willing to play ball with him. i hear there's a really good guy five levels down, u.s. attorney's office in i don't know where, montana, but get him or her in there and they'll kill this investigation. is there anybody like that? >> technically under this vacancies act, he can go with anyone who has been presidentially appointed and senate approved isn't in anything. >> so he can take the ambassador to the vatican and put her in charge of this thing. >> but here's why it matters whether he's fired or resigns. first of all, let's assume rosenstein does nothing wrong. he's not going to walk in there and resign and give that president that opening to appoint somebody. moreover, if he's done nothing wrong, it looks a lot different
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on the obstruction front if the president actually takes that step and fires rosenstein as opposed to rosenstein resigning. and rosenstein is at his core a prosecutor. he knows the difference between those two things. i suspect we know how he's going to play it. >> what about making him his guy. is trump trying to do that you think? is he trying to soften up rosenstein? he's summoned to the white house today. he'll be summoned on thursday. is he going to get a whipping? >> that's a good question. why would he draw it out? it seems that a lot of conversations will happen between now and thursday. i don't know that the president really knows what he will do on thursday. >> by the way, he didn't deny, i read that statement carefully, he didn't deny talking about wiretapping the president. he said i didn't pursue it, i didn't go through with it, but he didn't say he didn't talk about it. >> it doesn't surprise me. i know everybody said this is crazy that a deputy attorney general is thinking about wearing a wire to talk to the
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president? let's look at the president's track record. when he's behind closed doors with comey and says one thing, he denies it later. i'm not saying everybody needs to wire themselves up to go in and meet with the president, but how else are you going to protect yourself? >> that is a reasonable conversation. >> some people who have talked to rod rosenstein over the weekend says he thinks the 25th amendment piece that he brought that up is absurd. he's still denying that and he is saying this is a knife in the back. he feels like he has been the victim of people -- >> who? >> someone who was in that meeting. someone who is a current justice department official -- >> isn't washington wonderful? thank you, julia and glenn. we're going to see. i'm watching trump's way of getting out of the whole business, including his son getting indicted. i think that's what he's got his eye on right now, donald junior. president trump is doubling down on defending his nominee for the supreme court. is this the right move for republicans during the midterms? do you want to be a republican senator who voted for this guy without an investigation?
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mr. president, do you still support judge kavanaugh? >> mr. president, people jut have concerns about -- >> he's a fine man with an unblemished past. these are highly unsubstantiated statements from people represented by lawyers. you should look into the lawyers doing the representation. judge kavanaugh is an outstanding person. i am with him all the way. >> welcome back to "hardball." the more he gets accused of stuff, the more he gets perfect in the mind of this president. he's standing by brett kavanaugh even after these new allegations have been made against the supreme court nominee. today kavanaugh said he spoke with the president about his nomination. let's watch that.
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>> do you believe that president trump is going to stand by you throughout? >> i know he's going to stand by me. he called me this afternoon and said he's standing by me. >> let's bring in tonight's roundtable, ginger gibson from reuters, david corn, washington bureau chief for mother jones and beth fouhy. beth, you start. this case, i mean the drama is like we've never seen. one on one in daytime. i remember tim russert once said the recent clarence came out on top is he got to speak at primetime and anita had to speak in daytime. >> at this point last week we really didn't think this meeting, this clash of the titans was actually going to happen. lo and behold when it was actually scheduled, i think we were all looking at each like we are going to see the most important moment of political television in quite some time on thursday. hopefully everybody will stop and watch and listen to what these people are saying.
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everybody is coming from their corners. everybody has on their jerseys and has decided who they're with and not with. hopefully a little bit of light will be shed on both of these people's stories and people can ascertain the truth out of it. >> it's a national jury scene. >> it sure is. >> it really is. david? you've got to watch one person. i think she's telling the truth. i think he's scared, i think he did it and that's the way some jurors will look at it. >> each person will get to present their case. brett kavanaugh has spent his career listening to cases and presenting cases. i think it's a harder territory for dr. ford. but we will be -- >> why is it harder? >> because she's never done anything like this. she's never been in the public like this. >> and he's also getting a lot of, what do they call it -- >> coaching. but we will be missing an important element, an investigation. nobody, you know, on the republican side has allowed for an fbi investigation. trump hasn't called for it. the republicans haven't called for it.
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they did it in the anita hill/clarence thomas case. so as beth said, people are coming from their different corners wearing their different jerseys and it's pretty clear who's going to think she did better and who's going to believe judge kavanaugh. and yet we won't have -- we probably won't have a lot of new information to evaluate who might be telling the truth. >> and we're not even getting into the question, cory booker on one side is going for president and kamala harris. on the other side you have the old fogies like orrin hatch who just want to say she must be confused, that kind of argument. he always does that. >> they all know this isn't just a jury watching at home, they are all voters who are going to be voting in less than six weeks. that's really important to remember. women across the country have watched in polls as the approval for kavanaugh has fallen off after these accusations. it's going to matter how these senators handle this process. if they think this is all a ruse and they have already decided who they believe in, there are
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so many women who have had an experience or know someone who's had an experience like this. >> how about the senator who said are we going to have an investigation of this or not? that's a powerful demand. anyway breaking news just now. senate republicans on the judiciary committee say they will hold a committee vote on kavanaugh's nomination as soon as possible if not compelling new information comes out on thursday's hearing. according to john cornyn, it could be by the end of the week. senator mcconnell has made it clear we're going to process it through the committee and come to the floor and vote. beth, it looks like they're going to rush this baby the minute they get out of there. >> you know, this is such a mistake. there's no way that republicans can come out looking good in this. unless dr. ford comes off as completely implausible, which is really hard to imagine at this point given what we know about her story and the steps that she has taken to have that story vetted through her therapist. she's talking to lawyers who are credible people who aren't going to work with some flake.
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if she gets out there, describes this horrifying thing that happened to her on national television and then the 11 men on the senate judiciary committee say, well, let's go to a vote, that's not going to fly. people need to listen to what she says, process that information. they cannot push it through like that. >> it will be interesting to watch the faces of the members. it's going to be like howie mandel judging the talent. you can see the camera going to member and they're going like this. and the other guys are going like you're just doing, i don't believe a word of this. they're looking at the faces at the committee members. >> they will, and they will be judged. but it seems to me as with so much of the trump presidency and the republican tenure in congress, they're playing to just one segment of the population. the fox news crowd. that's all they care about. you know, the women that you mentioned, ginger -- >> why did brett kavanaugh go on one tv network. >> he went on fox news and said
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things no one expected a supreme court nominee to ever say. they want to show, at least their base, that they are willing to crush the liberals even if it means ignoring the ramifications of the testimony that may come up on thursday. i mean i think it's stupid. >> robert costa earlier in the program tonight said they see it as a political correctness issue. >> oh, god. >> i don't think an issue of assault is okay with one party and not okay with the other. >> they almost see themselves being in a no lose situation. i've had republicans already tell me if they have to yank kavanaugh's nomination at the last minute, that it could bring them electoral wins. >> explain that one. >> a vacant supreme court seat is what they attribute having won a 2016 election. you now motivate an election. >> we're just six weeks away from the midterm elections and a new poll shows democrats with a
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12-point lead about who should control the congress among registered voters. it also showed the polls that brett kavanaugh has a net disapproval rating at 34% positive, 38% opposing him. ginger. >> this is going to be in the minds of most of these members of congress. they are looking at generic numbers. many think that 12 points would be a wave. that's when we start talking seriously about the democrats winning the senate. and they have to know that voters are paying attention. daytime or primetime, this story is not going to be missed by many of the americans. >> do you think the senate could go democrat? >> i think it's a real possibility and i think republicans believe that too. >> if you look deeper into that poll, the thing that is most striking is the gender gap is extraordinary. you have men wanting a republican congress by plus 3. you have women wanting a democratic congress by a margin of plus 25. we're not seeing a blue wave, we're seeing a pink wave. that is what's driving this. it's women. it's women in the suburbs, it's educated women. even married women who typically vote for republicans are starting to move into the
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democratic camp. this is not the fight republicans ought to be having. >> i think suburban men pay attention to how their wives vote. i think there will be some male voting supporting the candidates. >> consider what's going to happen between now and election day that may have a big impact on this. this fight will continue, but what is donald trump doing that is addressing concerns of the women or anybody else out there? we may have a shutdown. there may be more chaos. if he fires rod rosenstein at some point, chaos, chaos, chaos. it's not going to help these numbers. the republicans are looking at things, the prospects of things only getting worse before election day, not a lot of sunlight for them in the next couple of weeks. >> the highest stock market in history practically is not help. finally, multiple sources tell nbc news that it was over the weekend that donald trump made the decision not to fire his deputy attorney general, rod rosenstein. the president discussed it with his staff and outside allies, sean hannity, who said he shouldn't do it. let's watch. >> i have a message for the
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president tonight. under zero circumstances should the president fire anybody. the president needs to know it is all a setup. >> not since edward r. murrow has someone in the news had so much power. >> i think what we're watching unfold here is an internal dispute, forces pushing trump to not do, not fire rosenstein, not fire sessions. all of this leak and this misinformation and is he fired or isn't he fired is what happens and has happened previously when the white house is in that kind of turmoil. people trying to persuade him through hannity, through leaks to "the new york times." that's what -- this play has been played before. >> the brain trust of one has a lot of power. >> we had this thing this morning, right, where it was reported he was resigning, reported he was being fired, then he was not being fired. washington feels like it's on thin ice. that at any moment we could be through a constitutional crisis and total upheaval.
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you know, trump i think likes that. >> what phrase is trump known for? >> chaos. >> you're fired. the roundtable is sticking with us. up next these three will tell me something i don't know. you're watching "hardball." know you're watching "hardball. these techs in a lab. this builder in a hardhat... ...the welders and electricians who do all of that. the diner staffed up 'cause they all needed lunch. teachers... doctors... jobs grew a bunch. what started with one job spread all around. because each job in energy creates many more in this town. energy lives here. 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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that's right, $36,000. which i used to offer health insurance to my employees. my unlimited 2% cash back is more than just a perk, it's our healthcare. can i say it? what's in your wallet? tell me something i don't know. >> the u.n. is meeting this week. and one thing to pay attention to is the story of my coworkers who have been imprisoned in myanmar for 287 days now, way lone -- >> who they work for? >> they work for warners. this is something that will get more attention as they push for freedom of press in this country. >> eye hope you'i hope you're r. i hope they do. matt whitaker, chief of staff for jeff sessions was talked about today replacing rod rosenstein should he be fired.
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well, he is a very interesting background. he has denounced the maufrlt ra -- manafort raid. he said if mueller looks at trump's finances it goes across the red line. he retweeted -- >> trump wants to hear, he's going to condense the mandate. >> he may not be in charge of it, but trump will have an ally -- >> go ahead, beth. >> a little lighter, i like to bing watch fun tv when i get home. i didn't get to the sopranos when they first came out. watching it now. watched the finale, donald trump invades tony sopranos son says his year goal is to be donald trump's personal helicopter pilot. >> that's what he says? >> that's what he said. >> amazing. art and life. now it's life. ginger gibson, david and beth. when we return, let me finish tonight with trump watch. you're watching "hardball."
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trump watch, september 24th, 2018, there's surprising common ground on dr. christine blasey ford's accusation. and its proper influence on the brett kavanagh supreme court nomination. a, she was clearly within her constitutional rights in getting
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her accusation to the senate. we have a first amendment right to petition the government. b, she had a duty to inform the congress of what she had witnessed. how many times have we told, if you see something, say something? how can witnessing a sexual assault not be relevant information on a confirmation to the supreme court? c, the senate judiciary committee has been right to have her testify. does anyone argue that they should have swept dr. ford's account under the rug to act like her story doesn't exist? here we go into thursday with a witness being heard and judgments to be made. the next part will be difficult. i believe the senate needs to have the incident dr. ford describes investigated by the fbi. i believe we need to leave the matter of brett kavanagh's confirmation held open until other witnesses have had a chance to come forward. only then will we have a situation where all sides can claim they have done the right thing. short of that, we will have a real division in this country on the value of citizens right to
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be heard and respected. that's "hardball." all-in with chris hayes starts right now. >> tonight on all in. >> we believe women. we believe women. >> protesters fill the capital as kavanagh campaigns on trump tv. >> the truth is i've never sexually assaulted anyone in high school or otherwise. >> tonight, why neither side is backing down in the supreme court fight. and what we're learning about new allegations against brett kavanagh. then rod rosenstein's white house fire drill. >> a meeting with rod rosenstein on thursday when i get back from all of these meetings. >> new questions about why the man overseeing the mueller probe was summoned to the white house today. as lawmakers in both parties raise alarms. >> this looks to me like a slow-moving saturday night massacre. >> "all in" starts right now. >> good evening from


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