tv MSNBC Live With Alex Witt MSNBC September 29, 2018 10:00am-11:00am PDT
up next, the fbi better gins the fyi, but there enough time to find the truth? >> you had just sexual assaulted one of the two girls, would you add the girls ease names to your calendar? >> the details in the date lines, how much does the calendar mean for investigators? >> look at me when i'm talking to you. you're telling me my assault doesn't matter. >> this is ripping the country apart. >> he's acts as a heat shield for the other members too ig in in the senate. >> the fury and the heat, the political calculation, the potential fallout from flake's
about-face. hey there, everyone. i'm alex witt, let's get to what's happening out there. we begin this hour with new reaction from one of the women who confronted senator jeff flake and may have played a key role in his decision to call for an investigation so here's anna maria archula, in an interview with my colleague joy reid a bit earlier. >> if we had an opportunity we wanted to make sure he heard us, he felt the rage and pain that women are feeling in these moments, watching the senate potentially put in the separate someone who is accused of radio illustrating women. senator flake was simply saying thank you, i need to go. all he wanted to at that moment was to end that confrontation, to end, he would make sure he heard us. we would make sure he felt the
rage and the pain that women across the country are feeling in these moments, watching 9 senate potential he put in the supreme court someone who is accused of violating women. >> our coverage this hour includes mike viqueira, and a legal panel of wendy murphys, john murrow and ashley some. >> mike, i know you're hearing from minority leader nancy pelosi today. give us the latest from your vanta vantage. >> reporter: first, the process is on hold. it was approved by the white house. this would be a second investigation but of course this comes as the dramatic eye vents. you saw the two protesters confronting senator flake yesterday, and the dramatic upshot of that, as well as his conversations with some of his fellow senators, changing his mind at the last minute about
his support, effectively blocking consideration that was supposed to start today, that process. that has been kicked down the road. the senate is empty here. all is quiet after a tumultuous week of protest eers who have flooded this es has, sometimes in silent protest, pup often being arrested by the capitol police. we no he that nancy pelosi is obviously the minority leader, she could be speaker come january. many people especially on the left want the house to do something looking into brett kavanaugh, even if he we are to assume that seat on the supreme court. here's what she had to say. >> if he is not telling the truth to congress or to the fbi, then he's not fit not only to be on the supreme court but to be
in the -- on the court that he's on right now. so it's not time for a, shall we say hysterical biased person to go to the court and expect us to say isn't that wonderful? >> so what's happening with that fbi investigation? of course we can't really know, alex, but i have spoken with some people who are familiar with fbi investigations, including those -- the one that took place some 27 years ago after the allegations were raised by anita hill against clarence thomas, of course. the speculation, the expectation is that the fbi is going to flood the zone. people will be pulled off whatever they're doing. we have a week's time to get this done. the baltimore field office will be involved. so stay tuned, alex. everything on hold of course here in the senate with that
nomination. >> mike viqueira, thank you. let's get to the white house. geoff bennett is standing by for us. the president has yet to comment on this at least today, but i understand you have new reporting on why that is. >> reporter: you're right, but i'm told the president is taking the advice of senior white house officials and top senate republicans who have urged the strategy of presidential restraint. president trump for the most part has really heeded their advice with a few glaring exceptions such as last week when he cast explicit doubt on dr. ford's credibility, but i'm told with the super can't this is where he does take the advice of others, so mostly silent, except for the tweet, where he talks about the fbi have aition, which he has now ordered.
the president, kavanaugh's defenders make the point he's undergone six previous investigations, all of those turned up nothing. the expectations is the seventh one will turn up nothing as well. though i will flag that some legal experts could, if it chooses, in many ways determine the results of what the fbi finds by tightly controlling the process if they so choose. so we'll have to see how that plays out. when this news bros that jeff flake was calling for a short pause in this confirm ace process to take a closer look. here's how he he responded. >> what did you think of dr. foe's testimony.
>> i thought her testimony was compelling, and she looks like a very fine woman. i thought bret's testimony likewise was really something that i haven't seen before. it was incredible. it was an incredible moment i think in the history of our country. >> reporter: so this rare reversal, him now ordering this fbi investigation that he initially resisted reflects the political reality, without the full support from senator flake, lisa murkowski, susan collins, republicans cannot get believe kavanaugh confirmed. >> it looks as if he didn't have a choice. geoff, thank you so much. thank you. wendy murphy and john lawyer lauero, jon, to you first. "new york times" is es it is going to include the allegations from debra ramirez and dr.
christine blasey ford in the investigation, what do you think the chances are that the scope could expand beyond that as this week wears on? do they have the ability to go wherever this leads? >> they do. in fact, if i was judge kavanaugh, i would invite that. i would basically say, listen, have at it. look, every single allegation that's out there, draw a conclusion from it, but the fbi is not going to be limited in what they're reviewing right now. i think the american people want a full and complete investigation, then some answers with respect to these accusations, and the bottom line is i think it benefits everyone if the investigation is thorough. >> john, we have heard, though, that the white house can limit the scope. that i believe is the specific vernacular being used. is it that the timeline is restricted, or do you think it prohibts them from going where are they need to, whomever they
needs to be interviewed. are they allowed to do that? i think it would be a flawed investigation if there was a credible investigation that was not investigated. so it's a real political problem if there's any control over what the fbi is doing. i think from the republicans' standpoint they should want an investigation that is thorough and complete. >> wendy "new york times" reports that rod rosenstein says one week, that's the deadline. it would be feasible, but unlikely to unearth much more than was already known. do you agree with rosenstein's assessment? >> no way. this has been described as the seventh fbi investigation, technically correct. this is not a background check. the fbi does a lot of things and a background check is vastly different than an investigation
that you can't even call a criminal investigation, though the purpose is not to create a prosecutable case or not. it's to uncover the credibility and validity of some of the allegations made. to just present that to the senate and let them make the decision about how they feel about the information. that has not been done. it was not done by the senate judiciary impliee at all, nothing even close to a full vetting of this information has occurred yet. here's one of the interesting issues that i haven't heard a lot of people talk about. the fbi has at its disposal the capacity to subject brett kavanaugh to a polygrapher test. we know that dr. ford willingly submitted to a polygraph test and she passed. we know that brett kavanaugh did not. he was asked questions -- >> he did not even take one. >> i don't mean to suggest he did not pass. he did not even take one.
the interesting thing about the fbi is, unlike local law enforcement, the feds use polygraphs all the time. one of the reasons they do is because they want to see how the person reacts when they ask the question, are you willing to submit to a polygraph. so whatever happens, brett kavanaugh could get in trouble with this investigation if he says, i choose not to submit to one, which he can. he can, but if he takes one and the fbi does its job well, with polygraves, which is their area of expertise, we may well get a scientific piece of evidence on this case that we have not yet had. >> he was quite emotional during that hearing. he called the process a circus. the president reportedly told white house aides that he liked the tone. as a defense attorney, might he have been too aggressive. can it hurt?
help him? >> it definitely can. his demeanor was remarkable. you could see how easily he was agitated. when a judge is easily agitated, that's not a good mix. a judge should be a neutral arbitrator. the way he evaded the questions, that was very troublesome. the way he -- just his entire demeanor was troublesome. >> you're saying this can be a problem, the way he performed is not going to help him, it can only hurts him? >> right. definitely. the way he performed can definitely hurt him. he was very partisan, he was very angry. he did not respond with el under pressure. i think that is a problem when you've got a judge who's going to be hearing from other parties, and basically loses his cool under pressure. that is definitely a problem. the biggest problem is how partisan he was in the allegations. it makes you think he may not go into this as a neutral judge and
as a neutral nonpartisan person. >> even further than that, wendy, in a new article you detail why kavanaugh was not credibility. you say that kavanaugh himself corroborated ford's claims by conducting himself with arrogance and disrespect from members of the judiciary committee. you also went to to criticize this moment. let's take a listen to that. >> you're saying there's never been a case where you drank so much that you didn't remember what happened the night before or part of what happened? >> you're asking about blackout. i don't know. have you? >> could you answer the question, judge? just to -- so you have -- that's not happened? is that your answer? >> yeah, and i'm curious if you have. >> i gotta say, i was cringing at that one. why was i cringing? why was this such a significant part of the hearing for you? >> oh, wow. this -- yeah, i mean, it took me a long time to recover from
this. >> it was extraordinary, i gotta say. >> it was extraordinary, it was rude, it was sexist, it was disrespectful. the list goes on. the reason in my opinion this was corroborative of dr. ford is simply because that level of arrogance and entitlement, the idea that he was in a position to ask questions of the senate judiciary committee? that level of entitlement is correlated with high incidence rates of sexual assault. in other words, what the research tells us is men who see themselves and act in these ways that are arrogant and entitled are the men disproportionately predisposed to impose themselves on women. to me it was like, as behavioral evidence goes, that's exhibit a. this is the type of man who could sexually assault multiple women. that's the kind of guy he is.
it was ringing so true for me. it wasn't just thinks manner and tone and demeanor, which i prosecuted a lot of sex crimes cases. this would be a guilty verdict based solely on his disrespect for the forum, but then he lied repeatedly about those signals, the phrases that he used under his picture in her yearbook. i don't know a single person in this country who believed him when he said the devil's triangle was a drinking game? i heard a national guffaw when he said that. you cannot like about something trivial about what's under the photograph in the high school yearbook when you're under oath before the senate judiciary committee asking for the most influential important job on this nation. on those two facts alone, i would find him guilty in a criminal court beyond a reasonable doubt. i don't think there's a chance
he makes it past this fbi investigation, not a chance. >> can we look back together at the could you have gnaw's calendar. senator whitehouse outlining this one specific event. >> dr. ford said that kavanaugh and judge and p.j. and at least one other boy were all at a house. the two girls aren't mentioned, but spot me this. if you have just sexually assaulted one of the two girls, would you add the girls ease names for your calendar? i doubt it. >> i want your reaction to that, john, how damning that was, when initially the reason to bring forward these calendars was to hopefully clear his name. >> well, it was bit of an unfair
question, but the bottom line is the fbi has an opportunity to interview these witnesses and anyone else who could have been there. that's what people want to know. have people come in and testified before the fbi honestly and credibly? that's the only way to get to answers. i think there's a lot of speculation as to what is in those calendars, but the only way to get to the truth is having live witnesses being interviewed by very good investigators. >> ashleigh, what worked for kavanaugh? what came out that was good for him? >> about of he started the questions, that was good for him. he did seem sincere. he seemed upset at the beginning. once his anger took over, i think that was telling. that goes to went counter's point. he looked like the person who was capable of committing a crime like this. as a defense lawyer, if my client had like that before a jury, he would be convicted and
i would tell him that. you looked aggressive, angry, indignant that you were even having to go through this process. if you compared the two testimonies in he said/she said, the jury would believe her. i hope when the fbi goes and investigator they further question him, furthers pose these types of request hes, about had you general, what do thinks intrigue means? the answers he gave didn't make sense. the devil's triangle is not a drinking game. the skis is not -- these are sexual terms he's using that he's trying to use in this calendar, and the fbi needs to have a i that. they need to ask his friends. they also need to investigate thinks other allegations. if it's limited in scope to only this one allegation we're not going to get to the truth. anytime you have a sex offense alleged you've got to look for other bad acts. a lot of times that's where you find the motive, the m.o., how you find someone acts. so we can't limit the scope of this investigation. >> look, i'm out of time.
wendy, make it fast. >> look, all i want to say is a single sexual assault against one womb should one woman should be enough. he it's a three said. >> and there's a fourth complaint. >> that's right. we have to remember this is about violence against women, because a single sexual assault against one woman is an assault against every woman in this country. that's what's at stake here. that is the issue. >> got to remind that he has denied all these allegations. i just put that out there, because it's the right thing to do as well. wendy, john, ashleigh, thank you all for joining me. promptesident trump's arch-nemesis set the fbi better talk to his client. that's next. o his client that's next.
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i'm hopeful this investigation is going to be thorough. i'm hopeful that it is going to include my client's allegation. if the fbi does not meet or question her, that's going to call into question who told the fbi not to meet with her. >> michael avenatti calling the fbi to interview his client. arundelmore for bustle.com. alex sietzwall.
>> alex, is there a clear understanding of what would be included? >> the key here is that it is very they're more going to speaking -- >> can someone say, i don't want to speak to you? the fbi can leave the front porch and walk away? >> it doesn't look good, politically if mike judge agrees no the to talk. there are some powers that the fbi has obviously if the senate does not. for instance, you can't lie to a federal agent. if the fbi sits down with mike judge and says -- asks him about the events, he's under intense pressure to tell the truth. judge also didn't speak to the senate. his lawyer has said he will speak. if what doctor. ford says is true, there are
three people on the planet who know about it. "los angeles times" also reported as early as last night the fbi moved to speak to the lawyer of one of these other accuser. just for quickly clarify, it's mark judge. i know you know that. >> aaron blake, your piece headline -- jeff flake stumbles into taking a stand. how much was the senator as decision last minute? do you think he's expecting the outcome that we saw with the whole vote being delayed? early friday morning he came out with a statement he was going to vote for brett kavanaugh. that was supposed to be the nail in the coffin of the democrats'
effort to take him down. four hour later after he gets confronted by protesters, he meets with chris kuntz and changes he mind. i don't think it occurred for had imhe could call for this delay. if you look at his comments, he says he was still unsettled. he said in the statement he even retains significant doubts based upon what he saw on thursday. so it's clear this is a man who is being pulled in multiple directions. on friday morning he felt the pull strongly in one direction, a couple hours later it was very pulling him strongly in the other direction. >> so pretty much aaron -- we do not yet know where they stand long term there. what is the likelihood the two would vote for confirm him? >> they have kept that are opinions very close to the vest not only since we heard on
thursday, of course, but even a bit earlier throughout this process. remember both thof women's senators expressed reservations about this candidate before these allegations even came to light. they have always been seen as the two swing votes, must-get votes. but they're also meeting with senators flake and manchin, and they're discussing the idea of moving forward as a bloc. it is important to look at the extended fbi background check now. certainly more information can be turned up. dr. ford could be corroborated but this extra step could gift think cover for voting yet. political you have to look at it both ways. >> there's quenchal wisdom about flake, whether or not he did the right thing? or are republicans angry that he may have derailed this nominee? >> well, i think privately
there's probably some fuming going on, but publicly more conciliatory. lindsey graham, probably the most outspoken, said these fine, we should allow this to proceed. of course, the president signed off on it. i think as aaron said, if the fbi comes back in a week and says we couldn't turn up anything, which is probably the most likely scenario, then flake, collins and murkowski can say with clean conscience we're going to proceed and they have a strong talking point to throw back at democrats, we conceded, the fbi didn't find anything, so i think it bolsters their case and could give strong political cover for this em. >> aaron blake, there is a sense of how this is being per received in the white house? >> it's remarkably quiet, which is interesting. just before the hearings on thursday, the president came out and said he thought kavanaugh could have been confirmed weeks
ago. you have to wonder if the muted response is because they recognize they can't do anything to stop this fbi investigation that flake and the people who have joined with him have forced their hands on this, or whether they're just that confident that this process isn't going to lead to anywhere, either because it's not robust enough to do that or because they just simply trust brett kavanaugh and his version of events. right now they're confronting something that i think a lot of them clearly didn't plan upon, brett kavanaugh didn't plan on this, judging by the way he conducted himself by making a number of claims that have been fact checked and called into dispute by people. those could be at issue even more so than the underlying allegations of sexual assault. >> guys, thank you so much all of you. coming up next "new york times" editorial warns, women are watching. what does that mean for the republican stranglehold on congress? ican stranglehold on congress
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by his explosive rebuttal, but it all boiled down to the two claims that remain at odds. >> dr. ford, with what degree of certainty do you believe brett kavanaugh assaulted you. >> 100%. >> 100%. >> none of these allegations are true. >> correct. >> no doubt in your minds. >> zero, 100% certain. >> let's bring in peter emerson working in three democratic administrations joel payne, and ashley pratt, board member of republican women for progress. noel, let's go with you, do you think this hearing brought us any closer to resolving this?
even as a spectator you could not be moved. i was on msnbc yesterday afternoon and broke down. it was very sad. these are people's personal stories, gut-wrenching, goes beyond politics. i think that back to your point, i think that it gave everybody a chance to meet both the individuals with judge kavanaugh got a chance to -- you know, you should peer into his personal life. so, you know, i think the fbi, you know, given a week for the fbi for the says, my opinion that's fair. a lot of people on the republican side, you know, they have mixed opinions of it, but overall nobody is really upset with the one-week delay. the one-week delay. it's okay. >> so fair from you, noel.
peter, your perspective? >> i think we did move closer to the resolving the he said a and as ms. some huvy now three "she saids" she declared her terror, under death threats she came forward and gave a very powerful story with gaps in detail that experts of sexual trauma say not only are very common but make it credible. for judge kavanaugh, he arrived and i'm sure he believers that he did not commit a sexual assault on professor ford, but he displayed a very unusual public love and affection, some would say an unhealthy relationship for alcohol. i don't know how many times he talked about how he drinks beer and lovers beer and points on the in adolescents who drink,
there are often memory deficits, so i think the public has a chance to weigh the testimony of both. joel, your biggest takeaway is? >> my biggest takeaway is while judge kavanaugh may have crossed whatever threshold he need to with the senate republicans and the white house and possibly with the public that created some doubt on whether he was the perpetrator, he completely lost the war. the idea here is to show he is capable of being an impartial jurist. he failed that test big time. i think he disqualifier himself as a supreme court justice. if he were confirmed, he would be the first partisan hack to ever be on the supreme court. that's no different than any four of us, all due respect, to my coguests here. we have a perspective. we operatives, we are paid to do
this. judge kavanaugh is supposed to be someone who is above it. if you're planned parenthood or the aclu, naacp, how until world do you think you'd get a fair hearing? >> ashley, what is your big takeaway? >> no one is a winner in this situation. for sure the american people are more divided. it was a very dark day, for myself as a female it was troubling to heard dr. ford come forward and share her story, to see republicans act in the way they did from the very beginning, this was all mishandled. i think it would affect the -- they did have an imagery problem when it came to women anyway. fox nuts polls shod 50% of voters were already opposing -- among women, they were 10% more likely to believe dr. ford. among suburban women, that number jumped up to 17 points higher. i think going into mid terms here and after these testimonies
those numbers will only grow. >> noel, jeff flake calling for the investigation. could that ultimately be what sinks kavanaugh's nomination? and do republicans feel this was a betrayal? >> no, not at all. i think everybody understand what flake was feeling. when you looked at him when he came out of the committee, you is a saw he was conflicted. he's not a man that hides what he feels. and i think that, you know, like i said before, nobody is upset with flake for doing this for his conscience, for doing what he thinking is right for people to move on. let's be frank here. we didn't have the votes. lindsey graham even said, look, i'm a practical man, i'm a practical man, we don't have the votes. if this is what republicans that are on the fence need and maybe even democrats, i don't know, but if this is what somebody
needs, is to allow a week for an fbi investigation to back up dr. ford or back up judge kavanaugh, either/or, then this is the right thing to do. >> do you, ashley, see the democrats' efforts as a delay tactic? >> i don't see it as a delay tactic. i see it as something that needs to happen. they were able to get republicans to come to the table on that. i fully applaud and support senator flake for coming out and doing this. he really showed he was willing to put principle over party and he has done this time and time again. i think the protester, the young woman who came forward to speak with him may have had some sway in that, and i do applaud her for coming forward, too, and for sharing her story. to noel's point, one thing i do want to mention, there was a horrible twitter campaign going on yesterday against senator flake for coming forward and for having the spine to come up against republicans and say we need an investigation, and we need to do right by this
situation. so while i am not mad at him, i fully applaud him, there are a lot of people within the republican space who are very, very upset by his action to do that, and see this as a delay tactic by republicans, not by democrats. >> is that fair, peter, to say that democrats benefit? that may have been -- >> i don't believe it is accurate, to say that democrats will benefit. in fact, there may be some democrats who looked for the democrats to delay the confirmation out of spite for what happened to mer rick, all of -- i have spoken to, and they were doing it for fairness. there were doing it for empathy. they simply wanted to give the opportunity for a woman who's charging that she had been assaulted a fair chance. >> do you agree with peter, joel? >> listen, i think that
democrats did a good job of pushing that narrative. i applaud senator flake for having the spine to change his mind. so many sometimes in washington with criticize people for not being able to change. i think we give credit here that he needed to reverse course. it's interesting to me, the president has waged a two-year war against the fbi. isn't it interesting that the fbi now holds the key potentially to his supreme court justice? i really do -- i'm watching very closely the implications of the president discrediting and disincentivizing the fbi for the last two years and what impact that will have. >> the fact that rod rosenstein was the guy on the phone trying to figure out where this thing would go. this is an exchange between kavanaugh and. let's all listen to this? >> beach week ralph club biggest contributor, what does the world ralph mean?
that. >> that probably refers to throwing up. i'm known to have a weak stomach. >> did the word you used -- >> i already answered the question. if you're -- >> does it relate to alcohol? >> i like beer. i don't know if you do. do you like beer, senator? >> i don't know if it's boob'f' >> that's refers to flat ulens. devil's triangle? >> drinking game. three glasses in a triangle. >> and -- >> have you ever played quarters? >> no. okay. it's a quarter game. >> i don't believe that devil ace triangle is a drinking game, and wobble call you a girl's alum neas is being a girl's friend. >> what do you believe? >> alex, i don't know.
i don't know. who am i to judge? i don't know what devil ace triangle is. i don't know, you know, what boof is. i don't know what little things they had. none of us sitting on this panel, none of us sitting on this panel as political consultants, people that work in politics, none of us know this my answer is i don't know. you guys, thank you so much. appreciate it. in a moment, it maybe must-see tv. the numbers, next. ♪ ♪ i'm going to be your substitute teacher. don't assume the substitute teacher has nothing to offer... same goes for a neighborhood. don't forget that friendships last longer than any broadway run. mr. president. (laughing) don't settle for your first draft. or your 10th draft. ♪ ♪
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the next thing i know, she swam off with the camera. it's like, hey, thats mine! i want to keep doing what i love. that's the retirement plan. with my annuity i know there's a guarantee. annuities can provide protected income for life. learn more at retireyourrisk.org so the details are yet to be spelled out but the president ordered the fbi to reopen judge kavanaugh's background check insisting the supplemental investigation should be limited in scope and completed within a week. clinton, less than a week the christine blasey ford allegation, that's a cold case.
so where does the fbi even begin on all this? is this an all hands on deck operation for the next week? >> well, it really is. number one, as soon as this came up of one person, two people, three people with allegations, i would think the fbi started laying out if we're asked to do it, who are we going to interview? so i would suggest, alks, this was pretty much mapped out to begin with already. the only thing the fbi needed was the president to flip the switch. there were agents across the country. i come interview you and say, alex, what can you tell me about clint van sandt and who else was
at the party and who was his drinking buddy? >> do you have any idea whether the fbi may come across one of these ripples that you're describing? >> you have to run with it. if you come across an allegation that has any significance whatsoever, it's going to be the fbi's responsibility to run with it. now, as we've heard, the fbi doesn't make the final decision, but what were alex and clint, the two fbi agents going out, we'd do the interviews, write them up in a report, everything lead is run out and that report will go back to president and to congress. what worries me as far as a time frame, anything the fbi does in an interview, i don't want to see it go back to congress and say, well, we want to interview that person, too. there's more questions we would
have liked to have asked them. this needs to be -- political aside, this needs to be an up or a down vote on the part of senate and then we need to move on. >> i need a quick yes or no. do these findings eventually get public? >> not necessarily, no. a lot of people ask for confidentiality, and then that is going to go with their statement, too. >> clint van zandt, love talking with you always, my friend. thank you. >> and a look at the events that led up to the fbi background check that is now under way. che.
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ooh, david gura, look at the time. i'm early. >> are you going to the global citizen fest? >> yeah, but i'm going to be watching it. they're going to have monitors. i'm going to stop talking because we're late. go. >> hey, everybody. i'm david gura at msnbc headquarters in new york. the fbi has one week to investigate brett kavanaugh. will they find something? what they can and can't investigate and who the new person the fbi has reached out to. brett kavanaugh plays the politic cards but lashing out at democrats during that hearing and his senate supporters double down. he addrees