tv At This Hour With Kate Bolduan CNN October 4, 2018 8:00am-9:00am PDT
what has this meant to your story? how have you coped with this? thanks for being with us. we'll see you in d.c. tomorrow morning. i'm poppy harlow. >> i'm jim sciutto. at this hour with kate bolduan starts right now. hello, everyone. i'm kate bolduan. you're looking at lipictures. after more than 30 hours of testimony, three women on the record with allegations of sexual assault or sexual misconduct, and a seventh background investigation, and don't forget, a nation on edge, today it comes down to one document in a secure location on capitol hill. the 100 senators allowed to view it, and only will show you these five senators who are undecided. this is the pivotal day in the nomination of brett kavanaugh to the supreme court, and do not forget, the president of the united states has everything riding on this as well. we'll take you back to the live picture on capitol hill and the ohio corridor, and that's where
we have our eyes at this moment because we'll hear the first response from senate democrats after we assume they have viewed the report, been briefed on it. we will all see together. we'll bring that to you when they come out. they should be walking out any moment. it will be senator chuck schumer and other senate democrats coming out to give their assessment of the state of play. right now, we already know that some republicans are speaking out. manu raju is on capitol hill. he's following all this right now. what are you hearing right now? >> well, republicans are making it very clear that they have not seen anything in this report that corroborates the allegations made against brett kavanaugh. chuck grassley, the judiciary committee chairman made that clear after he got his own staff briefing and as he headed into a larger republican-only briefing that's happening right now behind closed doors. that briefing absolutely critical because the key senators who will determine whether or not kavanaugh gets his lifetime seat are in that
briefing. that includes senator susan collins, jeff flake of arizona, and also we expect lisa murkowski. all republican briefing. democrats had their own briefing on a staff level earlier this morning. the staff members just briefed members of the senate judiciary committee in chuck schumer's os. they talked about this. and those members of the committee just left that office, and they said they told me they're going to go read the report themselves. in a matter of moments. now, at the same time, we're expecting chuck schumer, the democratic leader, as well as the top democrat on the committee, dianne feinstein, to brief the press about their assessment of this report. now, the question is, do they see anything that corroborates the allegations? we'll see what they have to say about that. we don't know that answer yet. and we undoubtedly will hear they have concerned this investigation did not go far enough. not enough witnesses were interviewed in their view, and they believe that much more needs to be done to look into what are these very serious
allegations against brett kavanaugh. so these two competing storylines playing out in real time as members get their private briefings ahead of that pivotal vote tomorrow to break a democratic filibuster and move to a final confirmation vote as soon as saturday. so all this riding on these closed-door briefings happening right now behind closed doors. >> and manu, it's tough. you pointed this out earlier. it's tough to really know exactly who's coming and going or bring that to our viewers because our cameras are not allowed to be outside the room where they're viewing this document. do we know if democrats -- i know i have seen a picture of diane feinstein going in to take a look at the documents. do we know how many senators have been able to go through this yet? >> we have -- don't have a full picture of that yet because there are multiple entrances into that secure location. so members can go all sorts of ways to try to avoid the press. of course, we have been denied
access to shoot near the entrance where members would be going in. so we don't have that for the public to see, and the public also will not see what is in the contents of this report. we do know that susan collins is in there. she was spotted by a number of reporters going into the briefing. we know that jeff flake is in there as well. we believe lisa murkowski is in there as well. we await to see whether the two other democratic senators who are at risk of defecting, who may defect, and may consider supporting judge brett kavanaugh, heidi heitkamp and joe manchin, when they will get briefed, but on the democratic side, a smaller group has been briefed on this. the senate judiciary committee members after talking to the staff. we'll wait until the full democratic caucus to see when they get their briefing, but all happening very rapidly on this pivotal day.
>> i'm going to stick with you longer as we wait for them to come out of the doors. here's a bit from chuck grassley, what he said, he did not read the document himself. he was briefed by staff on this. he said there's nothing in it that we didn't already know. these uncorroborated accusations have been unequivocally and repeatedly rejected by judge kavanaugh, and neither the judiciary committee nor the fbi could locate any third party who can attest to any of the allegations. on this key point, manu, i'm very interested to hear what dianne feinstein says when she comes out. >> yeah. i think what we're probably hear from these democrats is that not enough witnesses have been interviewed. from our understanding, about nine witnesses have been interviews. part of these investigations into those two women who made the allegations, christine blasey ford, about her allegation that brett kavanaugh sexually assaulted her when they were teenagers in high school. debbie ramirez, who alleged that brett kavanaugh exposed himself to her while they were at yale
together. both of the representatives from both of those camps said they provided a number of witnesses for the fbi to interview, to potentially corroborate their story, and those representatives for ramirez and ford contend those witnesses were not interviewed. democrats themselves have said there should be roughly two dozen or so witnesses that should be interviewed. that does not appear -- that did not happen, at least it does not appear to be the case, and we'll see. we'll see if democrats raise concerns, and kate, here they enter right now. >> thank you so much, manu. the top democrat in the senate, chuck schumer. top democrat on the judiciary committee, dianne feinstein. >> then the democratic leader will make a brief statement. and i'm not going to take any questions. >> nor am i. >> at 9:00 this morning, my staff and i reviewed the fbi's report into sexual assault
allegations against brett kavanaugh. let me be clear. i can't talk about the detail because this remains a confidential part of the background report. i hope that changes are made and we'll be able to talk more about what the fbi did later. but what i can say is that the most notable part of this report is what's not in it. as we noted by the white house, the fbi did not interview brett kavanaugh. nor did the fbi interview dr. blasey ford. what we have heard from numerous people over the last few days seeking to provide information to the fbi, we have seen even more press reports of witnesses who wanted to speak with the fbi but were not interviewed. deborah ramirez's lawyer said he was unaware of any corroborating witnesses who were interviewed.
candidly, what we reviewed today in a very limited time, i was there. i had to leave. the report is in part, and had the opportunity to read some but not all of it. it looks to be a product of an incomplete investigation that was limited, perhaps by the white house. i don't know. but the white house certainly blocked access to millions of documents from judge kavanaugh's record. i know that. and insured that 90% of his e-mails and memos weren't available for the senate or the public in the hearings. it now appears that they also blocked the fbi from doing its job. democrats agreed that the investigation's scope should be limited. we did not agree that the white house should tie the fbi's hands. it's simply not credible to say
that public testimony in last week's hearing is a substitute for interviews by fbi agents. not only do senators lack the expertise of fbi agents, we were only given five minutes to question judge kavanaugh. so in my view, from what i saw, the investigation was very limited and it will be interesting after all of the members have an opportunity to read the documents, and we have an opportunity in public to discuss our conclusions, what the findings are. >> thank you, senator feinstein. i just have three points to make. one, we had many fears that this was a very limited process that would constrain the fbi from getting all the facts. having received a thorough
briefing on the documents, those fears have been realized. second, i disagree, having received a briefing on all of the documents, i disagree with senator grassley's statement that there was no hint of misconduct. and third, we are reiterated our call, given how limited this -- these documents were and how limited the scope of this investigation was, we are reiterating our call that the documents with proper redaction be made public. why shouldn't all of america see the facts? and second, we are reiterating our call to make the directive that the white house and counsel mcgahn sent to the fbi public because we believe it greatly constrained the investigation
from the get-go. the fact that there's only one document in there for 100 senators is another example of constraining the ability of all senators and the american public to see the whole truth and nothing but. thank you. >> what do you mean, you disagree with senator grassley's statement, there's no hibit nt misconduct, senator? >> just pausing for one more second to see if they would take questions even though they said they would not. chuck schumer, dianne feinstein, in short, they are not happy with the outcome. they think it is an products of an incomplete investigation, is what they say right now. let me bring in gloria borger, cnn's chief political analyst. gloria, very different view, maybe very unsurprisingly from dianne feinstein and chuck schumer than from chuck grassley this morning. >> two very angry senators, if
you watched. they believe that this was quite frankly a whitewash that was ordered by the fbi, by the white house. sorry. and that the fbi investigation is completely incomplete. and what you saw chuck schumer say was, you have to release this to the public because the public ought to be able to look at it for itself. and he said, look, you know, he disagrees with chuck grassley that there was no hint of misconduct through all of those -- >> gloria, i'm interrupting. that's lindsey graham, but i think we're also going to go to mitch mcconnell. whichever one we're going to take, let's take it. >> an acclaimed judge who appears and colleagues praise in the very strongest terms. a jurist whom the american bar association awarded its very highest rating unanimously, well qualified. here's what the aba says it
takes to earn that distinction. to merit a rating of well qualified, the nominee must be at the top of the legal profession in his or her legal community, have outstanding legal ability, breadth of experience, and the highest reputation for integrity and demonstrate the capacity for sound judicial temperament. this is the nonpartisan test that my friend the democratic leader, among others, used to call the gold standard. judge kavanaugh passed that with flying colors. so to be clear, this seal of approval comes from the aba's standing committee on the federal judiciary, an independent entity within the organization. even after the aba's president tried to play politics with the
nomination last week, the standing committee reaffirmed its rating yet again. unanimously well qualified. that's brett kavanaugh. so, how did we end up where we are today? how did we get here? how did we get from a chorus of expert praise and professional respect to wild tales of violence gangs, sexual assault rings, fist fights on boats in rhode island harbors, and the possibility, get this, of an argument in a college bar? an argument in a college bar? several weeks ago, a confidential allegation of misconduct from nearly 40 years ago was leaked to the press. since then, other allegations have poured forth, many were
just patently ridiculous. a feeding frenzy of ridiculous accusations. while some cheered on the feeding frenzy for political purposes, judiciary chairman chuck grassley and his staff rolled up their sleeves and went to work. they promptly investigated the varied allegations that materialized at the last minute. chairman grassley reopened the public hearing so dr. ford and judge kavanaugh could speak directly to those claims under oath. that was after, by the way, he offered dr. ford the option to tell her story at any place of her choosing, either here or in california, either in public or in private, either with staff or
with members, and offered that according to dr. ford's testimony, was seemingly never actually communicated to her by her lawyers despite a professional requirement to do so. now, of course, the fbi has completed a supplemental background investigation and delivered its results to us here in the senate. mr. president, this is now the seventh time the fbi has thoroughly reviewed judge kavanaugh's background. seven fbi investigations. so what did we learn? what are the facts and the evidence telling us after seven fbi investigations? the fact is that these allegations have not been corroborated. none of the allegations have been corroborated by the seventh
fbi investigation. not in the new fbi investigation. not anywhere. so none of these last-minute allegations have been corroborated. as is confirmed by the seventh and latest fbi investigation. as chairman grassley stated this morning, neither the judiciary committee nor the fbi could locate any third parties who can attest to any of these allegations. no backup from any witnesses, including those specifically named as eyewitnesses by the people who brought the allegations in the first place. let me say that again. no backup from any witnesses, including those specifically named as eyewitnesses by the
people who brought these allegations. in addition, one person has completely recanted their whole wild story. another accuser went on television and back pedaled from many of their own ridiculous charges. so the facts do not support the allegations levied at judge kavanaugh's character. instead, many of the facts actually support judge kavanaugh's strong unequivocal denial. which he repeatedly stated to committee investigators under penalty of felony. which he firmly restated under oath last thursday before the full committee and the american people.
which aligns with the testimony of hundreds, literally hundreds of character witnesses who have known him over the years. for goodness sake, this is the united states of america. nobody is supposed to be guilty until proven innocent in this country. nobody is supposed to be guilty until proven innocent in the united states of america. the senate should not set a fundamentally un-american precedent here. judge kavanaugh's right to basic fairness does not disappear just because some disagree with his judicial philosophy. our society is not a place where uncorroborated allegations of misconduct from nearly 40 years
ago, allegations which are vigorously disputed, can nullify someone's career or destroy their reputation. is that what the senate is going to be known for? your nomination comes up here, and we destroy your reputation. that's what the senate is going to participate in? so above the partisan noise, beyond this shameful spectacle, which is an embarrassment to the senate, what will endure are the actual facts before us. the actual facts. upon reviewing them, only one question is left for us to answer. is judge brett kavanaugh qualified to serve on the united states supreme court?
well, mr. president, there's a good reason the political opponents of this nomination have never wanted to litigate that issue. oh, no. they didn't want to talk about that. there's a good reason why they let the politics of personal destruction run away ahead of the facts. in an effort to dodge that very good question. because brett kavanaugh is stunningly and totally qualified for this job. we already know this, but for starters, his academic and legal credentials are second to none. from yale with honors. and on to yale law school. then came not one, not two, but three clerkships in our nation's federal courts. ending up with justice kennedy.
his career continued with work in the office of independent counsel and the office of white house counsel and that was only the beginning. for the last 12 years, brett kavanaugh has served on what is widely considered the second highest court in our land, the d.c. circuit court of appeals. written more than 300 judict opinions, several have formed the basis of later rulings by the supreme court itself. the litany of accomplishments is a fact. a fact. it's a matter of public record. but just as telling the accounts of all of brett kavanaugh the person, that have been volunteered by those who have known him every step of the way over the years. we have heard from literally hundreds of character witnesses who heaped praise on the brett kavanaugh they know.
the loyal friend and teammate, the stand-out student, the talented, hard-working colleague. the brilliant legal writer, the role model and mentor, particularly to women. the devoted husband, father, and coach. these letters and recorded testimony were offered by men and women with nothing to gain for themselves. they were just glad to tell the truth about a nominee who they know possessed the character and temperament and qualifications for this important job. judge kavanaugh's professors and others who knew him at jayale describe an intellectual, a leading mentor and thinker. one goes so far as saying it's hard to name anyone with judicial credentials as strong as those of judge kavanaugh.
his former law clerks in full-throated support say that judge kavanaugh's work ethic flows from a fundamental humility. they say he gives unflinching honest advice and listens carefully to the views of his colleagues and clerks, even when they defer from his own. his parish here in washington of all political persuasions haven't minxed their words. they call him qualified by his intellect and temperament and warn the senate not to miss this opportunity to, quote, put such a strong advocate for decency and civility on our nation's highest court.
so mr. president, let's not lose sight of the opportunity before us. this process has been ruled by fear and anger and underhanded gamesmanship for too long. time for us to stand up to this kind of thing. we owe it to the american people not to be intimidated by these tactics. we owe it to the american people to underscore that you're innocent until proven guilty. it's the senate that's on trial here, mr. president. what kind of image will we convey to the public? can we be scared by all these people rampaging through the halls, accosting members at airports, coming to their homes? they're trying to intimidate the
senate into defeating a good man. are we going to allow this to happen? in this country. so, we will not pretend that partisan histrionics take away the basic fairness that every american deserves. we will not be hoodwinked by those who have tried hard to smear this good man, to drag him through the mud. and when that didn't work, they turned on a dime and started claiming his real sin was he spoke up too forcefully in defense of his good name and his family. oh, they decided he doesn't have the judicial temperament because
he aggressively defended his good name against this outrageous smear conducted in conjunction with senate democrats. who among us would not have been outraged by having a lifetime record drug through the mud with accusations that cannot be proven? and a blatant attempt to decide on the part of at least some senate democrats that the presumption of innocence no longer applies in this country. what kind of person couldn't have been upset about that? they claim he spoke too forcefully in defense of himself after being accused of such
outrageous behavior that cannot be proven. i admire him for standing up for himself and standing up for his family. i would be shocked if it were not done in an aggressive fashion. for goodness sake. so let's reclaim this moment for what it should be. a chance to elevate a stunningly talented and impressive jurist to an important office for which he is so well qualified. so completely and totally qualified. a golden opportunity to give our great nation precisely the kind of brilliant, fair-minded, and collegial supreme court justice that the court deserves. this, mr. president, is the good that senators will have an
opportunity to do. we have a chance to do good here. and to underscore the basic tenant of fairness in our country. so i file cloture on the nomination yesterday evening. and i'll be proud to vote to advance this nomination tomorrow. >> all right, you're listening to the top republican in the senate, mitch mcconnell. he said what he's seen, there's no corroborating evidence in the latest fbi investigation into the allegations of brett kavanaugh. as you can clearly see at the end, he said he's looking forward to moving forward with this nomination. more important right now than mitch mcconnell is republican senator susan collins. one of the senators in the undecided column so far. let me get over to manu raju because she made a very
important statement to cnn. manu. >> a hugely significant statement. susan collins, one of the key senators we have been watching for weeks, coming out of that briefing and saying that, quote, it appears to be a very thorough investigation. now, this is hugely significant because this suggested that she is satisfied with how this investigation went. and what we have heard from republicans emerging from this closed-door briefing, they're saying there was nothing to corroborate the allegations made against brett kavanaugh that he sexually assaulted christine blasey ford when they were teenagers and that he exposed himself to debbie ramirez when they were in college together. the republicans have come out one after another and said there's absolutely nothing to corroborate that in there. the democrats have said, however, this was not a thorough investigation. there needs to be further investigation. they call it incomplete.
they say there needs to be much more, witnesses who need to be interviewed. it's been curtailed, probably by the white house, but susan collins making it clear, kalt, she's siding with the republicans on that key question about whether or not this investigation was done thoroughly and completely. she believes it has. now, what does that mean for her vote? we don't have final answer on that yet. she would not comment when questioned by our colleague, jeremy, about whether or not this means she would vote for kavanaugh. she said she's still looking into it. she may go back for further briefings later. but an nationinitial indication positive for brett kavanaugh, susan emerges and says this appears to have been a very thorough investigation. we'll wait to see what jeff flake, the arizona republican senator has to say, and lisa murkowski, but one key senator making this very important announcement. a key moment here, kate. >> absolutely at a key moment.
manu, thank you for bringing us that. gloria, you heard from dianne feinstein, from chuck schumer, from mitch mcconnell, and then now from susan collins. where do you see this heading? >> what we're seeing are evaluations of the fbi report that are black and white. i mean, they couldn't -- you know, they couldn't be more different. dianne feinstein and chuck schumer are effectively saying it was a whitewash, that it was incomplete, that it did not talk to the people that it needed to talk to. and then you hear susan collins coming out saying it was complete. you have mitch mcconnell on the floor saying that it was complete and that what the democrats are doing is underhanded gamesmanship and that the country should not be hoodwinked by those who want to smear this good man. so i think what you have here is a democrat said/republican said version of what they're reading.
and that's why i think you heard dianne feinstein say this aough to be released to the public so the public can decide whether the fbi has in fact been limited by the white house in who it can interview, and we know that deborah ramirez's attorney has said that, that none of the people that she suggested be interviewed who could corroborate her story were interviewed. so it's hard to make a judgment here when you don't know what -- when you don't know what you're looking at, and senators are coming out with such completely different pictures. >> yeah, and whose word do you take? it's impossible to say right now, gloria. here with me in the studio, cnn political director david chalian, and former fbi supervisory agent josh campbell. david, i hope and pray and dream of a day when on one issue, one document, everyone sees the same thing coming out of capitol
hill. it's a polly anna theory, i know, but wheat we're seeing right now, we are where we were friday. >> i think the ball game is over. what manu raju was reporting about susan collins' statement is a hugely significant moment because the entire argument from the democratic side about the investigation is that it wasn't thorough. that it wasn't complete. and she's not buying into that argument at all. >> and jeff flake was in that as well. >> as an avenue to oppose his nomination. she's made that -- if indeed she were to surprise us and say i'm a no vote, she won't have this as an excuse because she said this is a very thorough investigation. this is the avenue democrats are pursuing. i think it is, as manu was saying, even though we don't know her vote yet, i understand that, but that was a hugely significant statement. remember, jeff flake has already announced his intention to vote to confirm kavanaugh. that happened before he got the
we week pause and the fbi investigation. susan collins is saying i reject this democratic off-ramp. >> jeff flake was all about process and his concern, as he said to chris coons, that it was -- the process was tearing the country apart. and the process now, susan collins says, has been thorough enough, and the process is now moving forward. >> again, we don't know her vote, but every indication right there is as mitch mcconnell was making the case, this is moving towards kavanaugh's confirmation. >> josh, as you were saying, it's republicans are talking about what is in the report. democrats are talking about what is not in the report. >> exactly. i think you nailed it when you said we have one document, and neither side can agree on what this document means. it's because of that fact. they're asking the wrong questions. republicans are looking and saying this is it. this is this person's life. we have gone through it, it looks good to us. democrats are saying there are all these other allegations the fbi has not looked into. the one question, and i don't expect any particular movement
in the next 24 hours, but what democrats will be pushing for, as chuck schumer mentioned, is for the white house to release what directives actually went to the fbi. what were the parameters here? so long as the white house can hold firm on that, not releasing that, i think they'll be able to run out the clock. should the american people see what the fbi was limited it, then questions come about as whether that was comprehensive. >> what appears to be contradictions is what you're getting at where the president is saying that the fbi investigation, they should have free reign to investigate whatever they need, talk to whoever they need, but "the washington post" reporting behind the scenes, there was absolutely restrictions put on who could be talked to and what avenues they should be pursuing in terms of the direction the fbi is taking. and also the fact that there's still out there, the white house this morning saying they were deferring to the senate to tell them what direction this should go. still, we don't have a clear answer on who was running the show. we have much more to come on the
breaking news as senators are going in, they're either being briefed on what is in this fbi investigation document or they're going in and reading it themselves. new reporting on how lengthy this document is and new reaction coming out. we'll be right back. ♪ ok here we go guys, you ready? hi! cinturones por favor. gracias. opportunity is everywhere. ♪ it's gonna be fine. it's a door... ♪ it's doing a lot of kicking down there. waiting to be opened. ♪ whatever your ambition... ♪ whatever your drive... ♪ whatever you're chasing...
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we have more breaking news coming in now. getting some reaction from another key republican senator in terms of the fate of brett kavanaugh's supreme court nomination. senator jeff flake, who has on the fbi's new report, let's go back to manu raju with breaking news for us. >> jeff flake making another very critical announcement after leaving this closed-door briefing with republican staff
who had reviewed the contents of this fbi background investigation into brett kavanaugh, telling this to our colleague, ted barrett. we have seen no additional corroborating information. so he did not say if he would -- how he would vote, but he did say he agreed with senator susan collins of maine, the other key senator who said it was a thorough investigation. flake agreed with that. so if you read the tea leaves there, these two key senators who could undoubtedly raise some red flags right now if they had concerns, they shared the democratic concerns that this was not an investigation done thoroughly, they have not raised those red flags. in fact, they said the opposite. they're happy with this investigation so far. and we have heard other republicans come out and say there's absolutely nothing to corroborate these two allegations of sexual misconduct by brett kavanaugh. so it appears that flake and collins are agreeing with their
colleagues about how this investigation was conducted and one area that appears to have satisfied them is the individual mark judge, a friend of brett kavanaugh, the republicans came out saying that he was interviewed extensively by the fbi. the republicans appear to be okay with how they handled it. but as we know, democrats have not been satisfied with this investigation so far. nevertheless, these key republicans seem to be okay. we'll see if they vote yes as early as tomorrow, kate. >> want to make sure this is not missed. why it's so important we're talking about the fact that two key republicans and the fact that there are two of them is so key. it's just plain and simple. it's just the math we have been discussi discussing, that republicans maintain a 51-49 majority over the democrats. that is why these two matter so much, manu. >> no question about it, because of course, those two vote no, this nomination is over. assuming all democrats also vote no, but if they stick together, they vote yes, even if they lose
that one other republican, lisa murkowski of alaska, we have not yet heard since the briefing happened, if she were to vote no but those two vote yes, brett kavanaugh gets his lifetime seat on the supreme court. and it certainly appears by what they're saying this morning that they're probably more inclined to vote yes tomorrow to advance this nomination, having raised no red flags and talking very positively about this investigation so far. so very significant statements. they both said they want to read more about this report after getting just briefed by the staff. we'll see if anything changes their mind, but at the moment, it does not appear to be the case. >> manu, thank you so much. great reporting. thank you for jumping back on. manu and everybody on capitol hill, our entire team getting this reaction. we'll bring it to you because these are the important things because this is what's going to tell us what this vote is going to look like. let me bring in nia-malika henderson on this. david chalian very importantly reminds everyone when it comes to jeff flake, even as he says,
quote, we have seen no additional corroborating information, that might not tell you how he's going to vote, he did tell the american public how he wanted to vote before he had walked into that committee meeting on friday and that's when everything kind of blew up and they called for a pause. he had said beforehand, he planned to vote for kavanaugh. >> that's right. and with the kind of extended period of review with the fbi, it was clear he sort of needed affirmation from the fbi, sort of underscoring what was going to be his yes vote anyway. and it appears collins might be on the same page as he is at this point. you remember last week, after the hearings, they were sort of the group of four senators. murkowski, collins, flake, and manchin. it looks like at least two of those folks are sticking together. i think the key here is when they came out of this briefing about this fbi report, who did they sound like? did they sound like republicans?
did they sound like independents? did they sound like democrats? they southbounded like republic. the stakes for them rejecting their party and essentially saying no on kavanaugh were always really, really huge. that was a big bet for either of these people to make. obviously, we don't know what this final vote is going to be. but all signs at this point are pointing to flake and collins sticking with their party, sticking with the republicans, and being yes votes on this nominee. >> nia, stick with me. i'm going to bring in mark preston as well. mark, one of the many cliche lines we use on capitol hill all the time or in washington is when you're arguing process, you're losing. do you think that applies here? because that's where i'm seeing the breakdown, right? democrats think the process has been not fair. they think there could be -- and that's what they're saying, an incomplete investigation. republicans say they have seen enough and what they have seen is not disqualifying.
>> right, when you start to get into process, i mean, eyes gloss over. when you talk about the politics and certainly the politics of personal destruction, people are more likely to understand that and relate to that. so i think that's what you're seeing from senate republicans, certainly from mitch mcconnell who has been going to the senate floor really every day and talking about brett kavanaugh as a person. a couple things happened that i really think are important that will give us a little insight into what's happening. we have reporting from elizabeth landers, another colleague on capitol hill, who ran into senator bob corker, and he said that of the people that were interviewed, they were asked about kavanaugh's drinking in high school and in college. so if you take that bit of information and you piece it together with what we have heard from susan collins and from jeff flake, it would seem to be that they haven't received any information from those that they interviewed that would give them any pause about his drinking which of course has been another one of the top issues we have
been discussing, certainly as he moves forward. you know, the second thing is, too, that you have chuck schumer who basically pulled the pin out of the hand grenade and rolled it on the senate floor. he said he disagreed with chuck grassley about the findings of the report, specifically about no hint of misconduct. what does that mean? no hint, meaning chuck schumer saying that there is hints of misconduct. so let's see what they are. >> you have reporters as he was walking away say what does that hint mean? he left it linger. he did not answer. >> correct. he's a shrewd strategist. i just hope he's not playing political games any more than we have seen so far, but certainly, interest is piqued in knowing before the vote what else is in those interviews. >> and this was a little bit of what started with last night, with democrats on the committee writing a letter in response to a tweet. i won't get into it, but they said they would say it's inaccurate to say there was no -- they said width of either
sexual misconduct or alcohol abuse and that's just lingering out there on ppart of democrats. republicans saying they see none of it. regardless, we're here now and getting important reaction into what they're seeing, this all-important, everyone put all their chips on this one, the fbi investigation into brett kavanaugh. we have much more on the reaction from capitol hill coming in. ok look, if you're not the lead dog, the scenery never changes. that's why this is the view for every other full-size pickup. and this year, it's déjà vu all over again 'cuz only the ford f-150 with its high strength, military-grade aluminum alloy body gives you best-in-class torque, best-in-class payload... and you got it, baby... best-in-class towing. still leading the pack. this is the big dog! this is the ford f-150. it doesn't just raise the bar, pal. it is the bar.
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all eyes are on capitol hill as senators, republican and democrat alike are heading into a secured room in the capitol to take a look at the one document everyone wants to see. the further fbi investigation into the background and allegations against supreme court nominee, brett kavanaugh. coming out, we are getting a lot of important reaction from democrats and republicans. senator lindsey graham viewed the document and came out and spoke with reporters a short time ago. >> i'm confident the fbi did a good job. they were not hindered in any way. the focus of the background check was on credible allegations before the committee. i was looking for certain things to be answered by witnesses.
i'm more confident than ever that what the committee found held up and then some. the main thing for me is that you need to go to the fbi and you need to ask them, did they feel like they were able to do their job without interference and i think the answer is yes. they interviewed over 150 people throughout the course of brett kavanaugh's life. for those who suggest he had a problem like this from prior interviews, no evidence of that. that's all manufactured. the senators who requested the supplemental fbi background check got what they requested. i am ready to vote. you confident, sir, that the senators you mentioned -- >> you need to talk to them. i am confident. >> here is confident going in and even more confident going out. >> he echoes a lot of republicans, saying that there was no corroboration and he said
he is more confident than ever. the democrats got what they wanted. he called it a complete check and include the other six investigations and said go to the fbi and ask if they were able to do their job. what's important is the comments from flake and collins as you were talking about. they seemed to say that the investigation was thorough and they see no additional corroborating information. those are the two key votes. i think the democrats can see it slipping away from them, quite honestly. those were the votes. those were the folks pushing for this. flake in particular. we know flake wanted to get to yes. we didn't know that about collins. we are still waiting to hear about murkowski. the democrats are going to fight this, saying this is not complete and it was a white wash. they didn't interview everyone they neededed to interview.
in the end, mitch mcconnell will call for a cloture vote tomorrow and a full vote on saturday. it's all about the math. >> still here with me, a few things about this document that are coming out from the amazing reporting. one source is telling them that the fbi report is more than 1,000 pages long. now i'm understanding why when a senator goes in, we will read the rest later today. that is starting to make sense. several senators are saying that mark judge is one of the interviewers that was needed from the get go. he was interviewed for a total of three hours. what does that tell you about how this investigation was conducted? >> based on the information getting in, if you lookality the report in totality, it includes the testimonial document that is an agent will write up based on
their notes and that goes into the document handed over to at this time white house. this includes information provided from the public in the online portal and the tip line that people are submitting. we don't know if the fbi is going through vetting and verifying that or how that calling went. >> it goes into the file. >> and handed over. i find it hard to believe they get to 1,000 pages of anything in the time frame they have been given. the overarching issue goes back to the comprehensiveness. i have to tell you, my former colleagues, i don't think this is deserved, but they have been prepared efor a major backlash from democrats. with the swing votes, he is going to be confirmed and they are wondering why was this not more comprehensive. the most concerning part is this is part of a white house strategy. i mean the buck doesn't stop in
the oval office. it stops at the fbi or the senate. anywhere but the senate. the white house will not tell us what parameters were placed on the fbi. this is the most simple information they can provide. we are not asking about substantive details, but what did you tell the fbi to? they are now going to be answering for parameters that were set on them by their bosses at 1600 pennsylvania avenue. >> i would not want to be an fbi agent today? what is the most important thing we need to take away. >> flake and collins. there was no corroboration in the reports and collins saying this fbi was very, very thorough. that's the big take away. those are the senators they seem to be indicating they will vote with their party. we don't know.
we have to see what happens tomorrow. everything indicates that's how they will vote. >> it appears to be a very thorough investigation. we see no corroborating evidence. jeff flake. remember those words. an amazing hour today. inside politics with dana bash starts now. welcome to inside politics. i'm dana bash. john king is off. the clock is ticking towards a monumental vote on whether brett kavanaugh will be confirmed to the supreme court. the tension here in washington is palpable. key senators pore over the new report. the report is not being released to the public. this just in as well from a key republican senator, jeff flake. the man who forced the investigation in the first place. he said we have seen no additional corroborating