tv CNN Newsroom With Brooke Baldwin CNN September 17, 2018 12:00pm-1:00pm PDT
their families have no idea what they are. we can't confirm that fan bingbing that, disappeared by the government, but in this country, it's a possibility, no matter how famous you are. brooke? you are watching cnn. i'm brooke baldwin. thank you for being with me. let me just jog back to 1991. a supreme court nominee faced accusations of sexual harassment. fast forward to 2018. another supreme court nominee faces accusations of sexual and physical assault. and the question is, as the former currently serves a lifetime appointment, will the latter get to do the same? the fate of president trump's nominee hangs in the balance. brett kavanaugh is forcefully denying allegations by christine blasey ford, who accuses him of holding her down, covering her mouth, and trying to take off her clothes. she was nearly 15, he was 17, and drunk, according to her account.
and according to her attorney, she feared for her life. >> the reason she felt that he might inadvertently kill her is he had his hand over her mouth and she was having a difficult time breathing. and he is larger and he was pressing his weight against her, and so ininebriated, he was ignoring the fact that she was attempting to scream and having a difficult time breathing. and she believes that but for his inebriation and his inability to take her clothes off, he would have raped her. >> keep in mind these points. ford says she first raised this in detail during the couple's therapy back in 2012 and her husband echos that. she told her account to "the washington post" and her representatives in congress before his nomination this summer. but she says she wanted to keep it quiet, fearful what going public would do to her and her family. she says she even took a polygraph test and then, as reporters closed in and contacted her, she eventually
decided it was time she would be the one to tell her story. her lawyer says she is willing to testify publicly and kavanaugh says he, too, will talk to senators deciding his fate to refute this allegation and quote, defend his integrity. in fact, we know he's been meeting white house lawyers today to plan for the next steps. we have not heard from the president publicly, but we have heard from kellyanne conway. >> well, this woman should not be insulted and she should not be ignored. so let me make very clear. i've spoken with the president, i've spoken senator graham and others. this woman will be heard. she's going to -- i think the senate judiciary committee will decide how and through which forum. in other words, will it be by telephone? will it be in person? but, remember, too, that has to be weighed against what we've already know, which is that judge kavanaugh is a man of character and integrity who has been through six fbi vettings, which i can tell you firsthand are significant and thorough.
he also has been lauded by women from every different aspect of his life. >> what is also different than 1991, when anita hill testified against clarence thomas is that 2018 is a new era for women. in addition to the me too movement, these accusations come as more and more women are running for office this year than ever before. we can't jump to conclusions. we don't know if kavanaugh did what he's accused of doing, but these allegations must be given serious consideration, serious investigation, because the moral history of a person who could spend the rest of his life making judgments on the highest court of the land really matters. david chalian is with me here, our cnn political director. so, so far, you know, sunlen serfaty was standing outside of chuck grassley's office, the chairman of the senate judiciary and says, so far, this vote is going on. do you see that changing? >> it could change.
and i do this, brooke, what you just were reporting on there, the context of this political moment that we're in -- >> it's not in a vacuum. >> -- is going to dictate the calendar here a little bit. because it is not in a vacuum. and because of the moment that we're in, the me too movement, and an election season that has been powered by female candidates and female voters, really part of that energy, on the democratic side, that we've been talking about -- >> sure. >> -- for the last year, it makes mitch mcconnell and chuck grassley's job here about how to calibrate this precarious. and so they don't want to be seen in any way -- you saw it in chuck grassley's statement, sort of just rushing this through, or not giving proper time to this. and yet, they don't want their nominee to be derailed here, either. the president's nominee. so they have to walk a fine line. we're at monday afternoon now. thursday is not that far away. >> in a sense, it seems so far away. >> a lifetime in politics, but to go through this in that way that everyone on the committee feels they have all the information they need in order to move forward a vote on recommending kavanaugh or not to the full senate, it seems to me
that may take a little bit more time. so, i don't -- i would write that in pencil right now. i would not necessarily write that -- >> okay, in pencil. i want to read. susan collins is saying both kavanaugh and ford should testify. that's happened in the last couple of hours. i want to read a tweet from alyssa milano, who has pointed out what senator collins had said some months ago on senator al franken. so she writes, a little reminder, senator collins, this from 2017, one week after the allegations. collins, franken allegations credible, disgusting, appalling. she says, your move, the women of america are waiting. you spoke to how we are in a different place women now and also, i'm just wondering, do you think in terms of, you know, red state democrats, collin murkowski, do they have more cover given that this is happening? >> well, it's a good question. also, another difference from 1991 to now, when anita hill went to go testify before the senate judiciary committee, she was testifying before a panel entirely made up of men >> that's a great point. >> so it would also look very different, just in terms of who the senators are that she'd be
talking to. there are several women on that committee now. so that also would be a different dynamic at play. in terms of -- collins and murkowski, as we've always known, are the two republican key votes here. they remain so -- even more so now, as -- which is why listening to them for sort of the tea leaves and doing some reading there is important. yes, if collins or murkowski, to answer your question, start getting a little nervous or express real reservations about this nomination, that is going to give some of these deep red state democrats who are up for re-election this year, like a joe manchin or a heidi heitkamp, where they may have been leaning towards favoring kavanaugh's nomination, it's going to give them cover to be able to say, listen, not even all the republicans are unified. so i may not go that way. >> we played the sound from kellyanne conway earlier. what do you make of this president's reticence, publicly? >> it's a difficult political strategy that we're seeing right now than we have seen, right? obviously, he's not a perfect messenger on this because of the accusations that have been made
against him in this realm. >> actually, let me stop you mid-sentence, because i just got in my ear -- thank you to my executive producer -- saying trump did just make comments on this, defending kavanaugh. so he has now -- i mean, he is a -- what did you say, a complex messenger or however you said it, is exactly right. but now, at least, we're hearing, he is defending him. >> which i think is to be expected. i don't think anybody thought -- just on the allegation alone, that he was going to pull the nomination. so the president is defending the man that he has nominated to the supreme court. >> sure. >> and i don't think kellyanne conway necessarily contradicted that this morning. what she said was, and what i meant was, there's a different political strategy at play than we've seen previously in these kind of instances from the white house, she said -- >> she should be heard. >> she should be heard. so there wasn't an instant sort of, that's discredited and we should move forward. i'm interested to hear the president's remarks and how he contextualizes his support for kavanaugh here, and whether he
thinks there should be a full hearing from this woman about her experience, as she speaks it. kellyanne conway getting out there and saying that indicated to me from a political point of view she understands how politically precarious this moment is. and she wanted to make sure not to just dismiss it out of hand. that was a key indicator to me that the white house really understood, they have a problem on their hands. >> i think we're getting the tape -- do we have tape? or we will have tape, eventually, of -- eventually, it's coming. not yet, he says. so hang tight, because i may want you for that. meantime, let's just go back to 1991 and the clarence thomas hearings. i want to play a clip for you. it may be 27 years old, but the comments seem strikingly current. >> after a brief discussion of work, he would turn the conversation to a discussion of sexual matters. his conversations were very vivid. >> did you ever refer to your private parts in conversations
with professor hill? >> absolutely not, senator. >> did you ever brag to professor hill about your sexual prowess? >> no, senator. >> why in god's name would you ever speak to a man like that the rest of your life? >> i was afraid of retaliation. i was afraid of damage to my professional life. >> me now, cnn supreme court analyst, joan misscubic. who has covered the highest court in the land for 25 years. i know there are all kinds of similarities between then and now, but first, highlight the differences for me. >> sure, pboy, hearing that tap, it reminds me of the sense of anticipation then and now, what's going to happen next? how will the accuser present herself and how will the nominee counter her allegations? but here's what's different. obviously, we've had this movement, this me too movement that actually forced off the committee al franken. so the members of the committee don't have to go too far to see
the consequences of it. we have different kinds of allegations here. hill and thomas, they were both adults. she was working for him at the eeoc and the department of education. it was sexual harassment. she never alleged that he had touched her. in the case of brett kavanaugh and his accuser, christine blasey ford, she says that he pulled her into a bedroom, pinned her down, and sexually assaulted her. they were both teenagers at the time, much different than these adults. we also have the context of a very partisan process. he's within just, you know, 51 to 49 republicans control. there's very little margin of error here. back in 1991, in the end, clarence thomas was confirmed 52-48, with the help of 11 democrats. that's such a different atmosphere. >> and that was the closest it's
ever been, right? that sort of vote margin. >> yes. >> closest, brooke, in a full century. >> yeah. yeah. and then, okay, so you walked through the differences. what about the similarities? >> well, here we have this, you know, it feels very late in the game, but it's because women had actually come forward, but their grievances hadn't been fully aired. the committee didn't know exactly how to handle them. both of them, anita hill and christine ford didn't want to come public. so it was simmering in the background. it burst out in public their names and the weekend before crucial senate votes. in both cases, the nominees have categorically denied the allegations. so you have those kinds of similarities. and they're both so sexually charged, which makes everything so tricky right now. >> joan, thank you so much. and as you've just highlighted what happened, you know, back in '91 versus now, we're now hearing, as i mentioned, from
the president of the united states. we are turning that tape around for you momentarily on how he's feeling, how he's defending, and if he's speaking about hearing from miss ford, as well. we're going to get that for you in just a second. stay with me. you're watching cnn. i'm brooke baldwin. unmotivated? feeling like you can't keep up? maybe you're tired of the same old workout. then you need aaptiv. aaptiv offers incredibly motivating music-driven workouts led by the world's best trainers. you'll find classes for everything.
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everybody. never had even a little blemish on his record. the fbi has, i think, gone through a process six times him over the years, where he went to
they'll go through a process and hear everybody out. i think it's important. i believe they think it's important. but again, he is one of the great intellects and one of the finest people that anybody has known. you look at his references, i've never seen anything quite like it. so they'll go through that process and we'll get it done. [ inaudible question ] i don't know, it depends on the process. i would like to see a complete process. i would like everybody to be very happy. most importantly, i want the american people to be happy, because they're getting somebody that is great. i want him to go in at the absolute highest level. and i think to do that, you have to go through this. if it takes a little delay, it will take a little delay. it shouldn't, certainly, be very much. but again, this is something that should have been brought up long before this. they had the information in july, as i understand it. that's a long time ago. and nobody mentioned it until the other day. it's very -- iyou know, it's vey
unfortunate they didn't mention it sooner. but all of that being said, it will, i'm sure, work out very well. you're talking about an individual who is as high a quality individual as you'll ever see. >> have you spoken to him? >> i have not spoken to judge kavanaugh. [ inaudible question ] >> has he offered to withdraw? >> next question. what a ridiculous question that is. say it? >> do you think his path for confirmation is on track? >> i think he's on track. if they delay it just a little bit to make sure everybody's happy -- they want to be happy. i can tell you, the republican senators want to be 100% happy themselves. they're doing it very, very professionally. again, this should have been brought up a long time ago. thank you. thank you very much, everybody. >> let's go! let's go. let's go! >> yeah, you're going to see on china today, right after close of business, we'll be announcing
something and it will be a lot of money coming into the coffers of the united states of america. a lot of money coming in, but you'll be seeing what we're doing right after close of business today. the market's closing. thank you. >> let's go! >> you'll see. >> let's go! >> all right. so that is the first time we've heard from this president publicly speaking about the woman who says his supreme court nominee sexually, physically assaulted her way back when they were in high school. and so just to highlight some of the headlines, the president there obviously saying over and over, he wished the democrats had brought this forward sooner, but though he did say, he would like to hear everybody out, right? this notion that she would, vis-a-vis her attorney, saying she would testify in front of this committee, and he's saying he's okay with a little delay. david chalian, you were listening as well. and when he said, that was ridiculous, the question was, are you thinking about
withdrawing his name? the president says, that's ridiculous. very careful in his words. >> yeah, that was not twitter donald trump and that was not scorched earth donald trump. that was not somebody who just went out and just scolded the democrats or somehow accused this woman, who's telling a story, about surviving a sexual assault. he didn't do any of that. he didn't disparage the woman in any way. this is -- this was one of the more disciplined outings i've seen from the president. again, i think pointing to just how sensitive this moment is to get his nominee on the supreme court. and so, yes, he threw a nod to the democrats and said, hey, i think you're playing politics on the timing here and this should have come out a lot sooner. but that being said, he echoed what kellyanne conway said this morning. everyone should be heard here. a full process should go through. and i told you before, brooke, mark that thursday event in pencil. i think he just took the eraser side of the pencil and said, it's okay if it's a delayed
after that. giving some breathing room for republicans to be able to go through a process here where they feel 100% complete and secure in getting kavanaugh on to the court. which is, of course, their ultimate goal. and they want to do it in a way that is totally unimpeachable. so the president just gave the space and the ability for the republicans to now go through and do that. >> david, thank you. >> sure. >> very much. >> let's go to the white house and our senior white house correspondent there, jeff zeleny. jeff, what did you think of the president just then? >> reporter: well, brooke, there's no question that the president is continuing his discipline over these supreme court nominees. this has been the single-most disciplined area of his presidency. the first supreme court vacancy and now this second one. he's very much following the playbook here that his advisers have laid out for him. i really can't recall, at least in this instance, something where he has been as measured, i would say, and on a subject that we have seen him be not measured
before. he, his instinct, initially, i was thinking back about a year ago to those accusations of sexual misconduct against alabama senate candidate, roy moore. he seized on those. we did not see president trump doing that today. so we will see if this continues, going forward. but this also has the hand, brooke, of senate majority leader mitch mcconnell in it. this is both sides of pennsylvania avenue, capitol hill and the white house, working to do everything they can to keep this nomination on track. they believe the best way to do that is to say, you know, we'll have a hearing, we'll hear from both sides. the president even acknowledging there, he's fibne a short, you know, a pause in this, if it gets the outcome that the american people want. the only sign there, i think, of the president's actual probably, what he's thinking, we know he's angry a little bit behind the scenes here. when a reporter in the room asked him if judge kavanaugh offered to withdraw the nomination, he said, that's a ridiculous question. but as of now, brooke, very
disciplined white house here. they believe they can still get judge kavanaugh through this process. but, boy, looking so much different than it did just a few days ago, brooke. >> mm-hmm. jeff zeleny, thank you so much. let's have a bigger discussion. i've got jim skmulchultz me, fo white house lawyer under president trump, also with maine, maeve reston and areva martin, a civil rights attorney. jim, first to you, you heard the words describing president trump, disciplined, measured. what did you make of how he. handled that, just then? >> i think he had the right tone. look, these are serious allegations and they need to be taken seriously. and a process needs to be borne out here. you know, these allegations were available to senator feinstein back in july. at that time, she could have sent them over to the fbi and the fbi could have done that as part of their initial background investigation. she chose not to do that. >> well, she was -- let me just jump in. she was respecting the wishes of the woman we now know as christine blasey ford, who did
not want to go public on this. >> well, and senate democratic staff decided not to respect her wishes by leaking it. but let's get back to the process for a second here. the issue is, that could have gone through a confidential process where he could have been questioned about it and then he could have been questioned by the committee in closed-door meetings. that didn't happen here. so what we're now faced with, because the process didn't follow, now we're faced with, well, what do we do now, days qualifier beco qualifi before? i'm heartened by the fact that judge kavanaugh came out and said he'll be willing to testify under oath. i'm heartened by the fact that the witness will come forward and discuss it, notwithstanding the fact that the democrats leaked this information. i think that's good for the american people to be able to hear it and make credibility judgments on their own. and let's not forget, they could also bring in the other witness in this and have discussions with him as well. so i think there's a real opportunity here to bear out the facts, let the american people
and the senate, who ultimately have the vote on this, make their credibility judgments on their own. >> right, the other witness who also denies this ever happened. areva, how do you see it? >> yeah, first of all, i don't know where this comment is coming from that the democrats leaked it. there's absolutely no evidence that the democrats leaked this information. senator feinstein respected the wishes of this victim, because this victim knew what would happen if she came forward. we've seen it time and time again, when women come forward and tell their story, they are no longer the victims, they become the villain, they get attacked and humiliated. we watched anita hill get annihilated as she told her story about justice clarence thomas. so i think we should just step it back a little and should be talk about the bravery and the courage that it takes for a woman to cam forward and even tell her story, even in this era of me too, it's still incredibly difficult for women to talk about sexual harassment and sexual assault. so, this big rush to have the hearing, i don't know what the rush is about. obviously, if it takes a week,
if it takes two weeks to get to the truth, i think the country deserves, the american people deserve to have these serious allegations vetted not just a hearing between the two people involved, but there possibly are other witnesses, brooke, who were at this party. other people who can shed light on what happened that night. and they all have information, i think that's invaluable to us getting to the truth and knowing whether this guy, brett kavanaugh, if this judge should have a lifetime appointment on the supreme court. >> she, maeve, did not want to come forward. she had written this letter back in july, she reached out to "the washington post" tip line back in the summer. senator feinstein respected her wishes. she took this polygraph test, passed the polygraph test, and it's no wonder, you know, she really grappled this. it is no wonder why women are so hesitant to come forward. >> well, absolutely. because she knew what was about to happen to her life. i mean, she's now no longer staying at her house, as we know
from our reporters, mj lee, who's been following this case. and i think that one of the most breathtaking things so far, you saw president trump be pretty restrained there, obviously, kellyanne conway, as well. but you just played that interview with senator hatch a few minutes ago, who is suggesting that she was mixed up in her recollection, and, you know, maybe has the wrong guy. and he is making that statement before hearing her testimony under oath. >> let me play that. we were going to play that in a second, but since you brought it up, guys? actually, everyone, stick around. we're going to take a quick break. i want to get to that senator orrin hatch point that maeve was about to get to on izhis recent conversation judge kavanaugh and where he says he was that night. we'll be right back. directly to investors. and now we have zero account fees for brokerage accounts. at fidelity, those zeros really add up. ♪ maybe i'll win, saved by zero ♪
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he's a very strong, decent man. >> and you believe him? >> yeah, i sure do. >> uh-huh. do you believe the accusers at all? >> well, i think she's mistaken. i think she's -- she's mistaken something, but i don't know. i don't know her. >> do you think there should be a public hearing with her? >> yeah, i think that's the only thing we can do now. a public hearing and have the judge express himself on this. >> and did the judge say that
he'd be willing to have a public hearing when you -- >> i didn't talk to him about that, but i may have said we probably need to have a hearing. you know, explain why this is. >> all right. so bringing all of you guys back. and maeve, that's the point you were getting to. and the fact is that senator hatch is -- it seems like he's taking the side, you know, or believes judge kavanaugh and thus the inference is, well, she must have gotten her accusers mixed up? what's your interpretation of that? >> right. it seems like he was saying, well, she must have been mistaken. this was possibly some other guy. i just -- i just find that so startling, that a senator would say something like that. i mean, what decade are we in at this point? where you wouldn't want to hear the facts from both sides? and again, these are just allegations. we don't know what's true and
what's false yet. but to not, you know, let the accuser have her say before members of the judiciary committee. if someone sexually assaults you, tosses you on a bed and claps their hand over your mouth, there's a highly likelihood you're going to remember who that person is. and i just think it's interesting, you know, because i think we're all having these flashbacks to anita hill, it was senator hatch's voice we heard on the clip, you know, that you played earlier -- >> right, way back in the day. >> yeah, just the idea that you wouldn't treat these allegations seriously, i think it's very risky ground for republicans. the problem that they have in the midterm elections is that suburban women are not comfortable president trump and they're going no face a lot of races where those women will be the deciding factor. so i think the senators on the judiciary committee ought to be very careful about what they say publicly before we get all the facts here.
>> would you agree? >> i think the president said it right. it's time to take a pause here. and a brief pause is warranted, because of the seriousness of the allegations, respect for the person making the accusations, and the braver it took to come forward. so certainly, she does deserve to be heard. >> and he said that. he said that. >> and the facts need to be borne out in the hearing. and the president was clear on that. i think everyone should reserve judgment on this, including the senators, until they hear out the testimony. >> but it is, areva, the beginning of how judge kavanaugh would defend himself, right? saying essentially, that wasn't me, i wasn't at that party. >> you're so right, brooke. i've been litigating these cases for over two decades. and i can tell you this narrative that we're hearing from senator hatch, that's the narrative we've heard for decades. you start turning the story around, you start twisting the facts in a way that makes the victim again the villain in this situation. so now we're going to question her memory.
we're going to question her voracity. we're going to question her judgment. and in this case, we already know, dr. ford not only talked about the assault with her husband, she talked about it with her therapist, there apparently are some notes about what she said to the therapist. so we have some other evidence that points to the validity and the voracity of her statement. we even have this polygraph test, although it wouldn't be admissible in a court of law, again, these are the kinds of pieces of evidence that would cause a prosecutor or that would cause a trier of fact to make the conclusion that she's telling the truth. and again, before we allow her to tell her truth, we really need to, you know, roll back the statements like those of senator hatch, that starts to poke holes and undermine her credibility, before she's been given a chance to come forward and tell her story to the american people. >> but let's remember one thing. we wouldn't be in this position. all of these facts would have been borne out through an fbi
background investigation. all of these facts would have been borne out through questioning in a closed-door setting, had the process been followed. now we're faced with something that's going to happen in a very public setting. and the american people now want to know and deserve to know. >> jim, i've got to push back a little bit. what process is there when you are a woman who suffered sexual and physical assault, allegedly, who is all of a sudden realizing this past summer that the person she says assaulted her is the guy who could be the next justice on the u.s. supreme court? >> absolutely. so what i'm talking about -- >> none of us -- hang on, hang on, hang on, hang on. >> okay. >> none of us can begin to understand what that process, her own process looks like, to then have the guts to come forward and write a letter, at first anonymously, because she feared the lashing, which has
begun. so i'm just saying, when you say, "the process," hang on -- >> well, if dianne feinstein has been sensitive to all of this, she's a veteran at this. she's gone through this time and time again, the confirmation hearing process. and the fbi, law enforcement, does the background investigation. they ask questions and then that gets borne out through a series of closed doors meetings before any of the public hearings even happen. >> but i think you're missing the point here. >> he is totally missing the point. >> i'm not missing the point. >> absolutely, you are. >> i firmly believe that someone had the courage to come forward, certainly deserves and should be heard and the american people -- >> but she was not ready to come forward earlier this year. she went back and forth and was making up her mind about whether or not to come forward. >> yeah, but let's not forget, that decision was made for her by a leak. >> and you're attacking senator feinstein as the basis for your tack on her. >> yeah, because it came by way
of a leak. >> jim, you have absolutely no basis for attacking senator feinstein. >> the troubliing issue -- >> senator feinstein handled this matter in the pebest way s could, given what dr. ford said about having this handled. you have to respect the process that victims go through when they are being forced to, in this case. she said it's her civic duty that's now compelling her to come forward something so personal, so intimate. so we have to respect her process, as well. >> i disagree, 100%, we must respect her process, as well. that is what's most important here. and we're also talking about the court, the highest court in the land. and we need someone in there that's credible -- that can credibly go into that position with a record that is unscathed. no question. >> and, and it's a question about character. and that's why this is such an important discussion. if this is the best person to serve on the highest court in the land, then we ought to know what happened in high school.
and as he went forward. you know, this is the party culture of d.c. it's many years ago, there are just a lot of facts that we still need to understand going forward. >> we will continue having conversations just like these. everyone from different perspectives. i appreciate each and every one of you. i just had to take a minute on the process. because it's important to respect that. guys, thank you so much. let's take you now to capitol hill. the senate majority leader, mitch mcconnell, is speaking. >> but now, now that accusation of 36-year-old misconduct dating back to high school has been brought forward at the last minute in an irregular manner. it is an accusation which judge kavanaugh has completely and e unequivocally denied. this is what he said. this is a completely false allegation. i've never done anything like what the accuser describes to
her or to anyone. it is an accusation which the ranking member of the committee of jurisdiction has known about for at least six weeks. known about for six weeks. yet chose to keep secret until the 11th hour. neither she nor any of her democratic colleagues chose to raise this allegation during the committee staff's bipartisan background calls with the nominee. they did not raise it, even when the name -- even with the name redacted, in the 65 meetings judge kavanaugh held with senators before his confirmation hearing, including his private meeting with the ranking member. they did not raise it, even with the name redacted, in four days of exhaustive public hearings, while judge kavanaugh testified
under oath. even though they chose to raise myriad other matters at the hearing, including some times bizarre innuendo. they did not raise it in the closed session, the proper forum where such an allegation could have been addressed with discretion and sensitivity. they did not raise it in the thousands plus follow-up questions that the senator sent to judge kavanaugh in writing. but now, now, at the 11th hour, committee votes on schedule, after democrats have spent weeks and weeks searching for any possible reason that the nomination should be delayed, now, now they choose to introduce this allegation. not through the standard
bipartisan process welco, not b advising the judiciary committee staff through proper channels. oh, but by leaking it to the press. because the chain of custody of this letter runs through the democratic side of the judiciary committee. that's the chain of custody. i can't explain the situation any better than the senior senator from maine put it yesterday evening, when she said, if they believed judge kavanaugh's accuser, why didn't they surface this information earlier so he could be questioned about it? and if day didn't believe her and chose to withhold the information, why did they decide at the 11th hour to release it? it's really not fair to either of them the way it was handled. well, as the senior senator from texas said yesterday, or earlier today, the democrats have so egregiously mishandled this up until now, it's no excuse for us
to do the same. just because the democrats have egregiously mishandled this, said senator cornyn, there's no excuse for us to do the psalm thing. i'm glad that chairman grassley is following standard practice and regular order. and he's stated he plans to pursue this matter by the book, bipartisan interviews of both judge kavanaugh and dr. ford. i have great confidence in chairman grassley and his ability to proceed through this process. >> all right. so, the senate majority leader there speaking out about these allegations that have just come to light. chris cillizza, you're with me now from washington. you heard him say over and over and over again, the phrase, coming out at the 11th hour, underscoring this was 36 years ago. this is all the democrats, he's politicizing it and trying to poke holes.
>> right, but, brooke, the only thing that mattered was that last sentence he said, which is, i trust senator grassley to hear from mrs. ford and judge kavanaugh, because that's the only thing -- everything else before that is spin. now, you could argue he's right, he's wrong, it doesn't really matter. what matters is you now have the chairman of the senate judiciary committee and the senate majority leader essentially saying, yes, we're going to hear from these two people. now, when is that going to happen? is it going to be public testimony? is it going to be in private? i think it would be very hard at this point to not make it public, given that the accuser said she's happy to have it be public, or at least her lawyers said that. but that's where we are. it seems to me, it's very hard and i don't think republicans want give up on this yet, but i don't see how given what grassley, mcconnell, senator susan collins, what they've all said over the last 24 hours, i don't see how you could possibly
stay on this thursday vote schedu schedule. the judiciary committee is ostensibly still voting on thursday. i don't see how you do that. because it now seems as though we are having these two configuration bacfigures back in kavanaugh's case to answer questions, in some way, shape, or form. if that doesn't happen tomorrow, which seems unlikely to me, i don't know, i think you're going to have to push. and the mcconnells of the world do not want this delayed, but this has -- yes, this is a human story, but it also has huge political implications. we're 50 days away from the midterms. >> i was about to ask, how many days? >> we're 50 days away from the midterms. i keep a running clock up here. 50 days from the midterms, brooke. we have a president in the white house who was the subject of 12 allegations, more than a dozen allegations about his own conduct women in the run-up to the election. republicans have a huge problem female voters. they can't just ally this and
hope it all works out in the end. they have to be careful and by the book and that's what mcconnell said, and i don't see how that comports with saying, we're going to vote on this this week, at all. >> chris cillizza, thank you very much. any moment now, one of the key swing votes on brett kavanaugh's confirmation, senator susan collins, will speak to reporters. this is happening as president trump came to judge kavanaugh's defense moments ago. stay with us for live coverage from capitol hill. (vo) this is not a video game. this is not a screensaver. this is the destruction of a cancer cell by the body's own immune system, thanks to medicine that didn't exist until now. and today can save your life. ♪
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an nfl player shocked his teammates and fans by abruptly retiring in the middle of the game. buffalo bills' vontae davis went out like no other player in history. he started the game in uniform. during halftime he changed into street clothes and quit. never returning to the field. he released a statement, this is in part what he said -- "i have been doing what my body has been programmed to do, get ready to play on game day. i've endured multiple surgeries and played through many injuries throughout my career. and over the last few weeks, this was the latest physical challenge. but today on the field, reality hit me fast and hard. i shouldn't be out there
anymore." with me, retired nfl player ephraim salam. when you saw this, what were you thinking? >> i was thinking, i understand what he's talking about when he says his body isn't in it anymore. football is one of those sports if you're not all in, it's difficult to play especially at the highest level. i understand that sentiment. >> but? >> but -- >> i feel a but coming. >> of course. but retiring at halftime of a game -- that to me, that's disrespectful because it's one of the most selfish things you can do. think about those other guys, those 53 guys on the team who are counting on you, whether you're on the field or not. to come in at halftime and decide i've had enough and leave, that's one of the most selfish things you can do. >> listen to what one of his teammates said. >> never seen it ever -- pop warner, high school, college, pros, never heard of it, never seen it. and it's just completely
disrespectful to his teammates. >> did he say anything to you? >> no -- didn't say nothing to nobody. >> he left? >> yeah. you know as much as i know. i know -- i found out going into second half of the game. coming out, they said he's not coming out, he retired. >> quickly, what are -- are there ramifications to what he did? what happens? >> he probably forfeits some of the $5 million he signed for. and look. when we -- we have kids -- i always tell my kids, if you start something, you can't quit in the middle of it. and i just think it's the wrong message to send. you've made it to that highest level. at least wait until an hour and a half later after the game, you go in, you speak to the coaches and your teammates and say, guys, it's just not in me anymore. >> good to see you. thank you very much. >> thank you. >> thank you. back to the big story now. we just heard from the president of the united states. now we are about to hear from a key senator on this committee in the whole confirmation of supreme court nominee brett kavanaugh. republican senator susan collins will be speaking in mere
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unexpected situation? aha. (gasps) l'oréal's magic root cover up. 3 seconds to flawless roots. 3, 2, 1. roots gone! magic root cover up by l'oréal paris. look for the turquoise one. tv's biggest night, the 70th primetime emmy awards, is this evening. all eyes on netflix which garnered 112 nominations. besting hbo by four. "snl," colin jost and michael che are hosting. "game of thrones" leads with 22 nods followed by "west world"
and "saturday night live" with 21 nominations each. good luck to all of them. i'm brooke baldwin. thank you very much for being with me. let's go to washington. "the lead with jake tapper" starts right now. could president trump's supreme court nomination be crumbling to pieces? "the lead" starts right now. moments ago, president trump weighing in on the sex assault allegations against brett kavanaugh, defending his supreme court nominee as one of the finest people he's ever known. could trump's own struggles with the me too movement impact his next move? today judge kavanaugh went to the white house after his nomination was thrown into chaos as key republicans with critical votes say his accuser should be heard. plus, towns turned into islands. the death toll rising as the waters rapidly rise as florence may have saved