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tv   Morning Joe  MSNBC  September 17, 2018 3:00am-6:00am PDT

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that does it for us on this monday morning, i'm ayman mohyeldin alongside lou. "morning joe" starts right now. good morning and welcome to "morning joe." it is monday, september 17th, and another very busy news day. the woman who accused supreme court nominee brett kavanaugh of sexual assaulting her during their teenage years has identified herself in a "washington post" report, now democrats are demanding an investigation. plus former trump campaign chairman paul manafort agrees to cooperate with federal prosecutors. at least one of the president's defenders is calling it a bad day for the trump administration. and florence isn't a hurricane anymore but the storm continues to assault the carolinas, in some areas rising floodwaters are expected to get worse in the coming days. with us this morning we have national affairs analyst for nbc news and m-s nbc john heilemann,
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he is co-host and executive producer of "the circus." co-founder and ceo of axios jim vandehei, editor and chief of law fair benjamin wittis and nbc news capitol hill correspondent and host of kc d.c. kasie hunt is with us. thank you for coming in. we will start with this complicated story this morning, the author of a confidential letter accusing supreme court nominee brett kavanaugh of sexual assault more than three decades ago identified herself on sunday. christine blasey ford a 51-year-old research psychologist in northern california spoke publicly for the first time about the allegations in a report by the "washington post." ford alleges one summer during high school in the early 1980s kavanaugh and a friend drunkenly corralled her into a bedroom
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during a gathering of teenagers at a home in montgomery county, maryland. she alleges kavanaugh pinned her to a bed and groped her over her clothes grinding his body against her and attempting to pull off her bathing suit while his friend watched and while she tried to yell he put her hand over her mouth. she told the post i thought he might inadvertently kill me. she was trying to attack me and remove my clothing. she said she was able to ses cape after kavanaugh's friend jumped on them. ford said she told no one about the incident in any detail until 2012 during a therapy session with her husband. in an interview her husband russell ford said that in the session he recalled his wife using kavanaugh's last name and voicing concern that he might one day be nominated to the
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supreme court. portions of the therapist's notes were provided by ford to the "washington post," but they did not mention kavanaugh's name. the notes do mention that she was attacked by students from an elitist boys school who went on to become highly respected and high ranking members of society in washington. now, nbc news does not possess nor has it reviewed the notes. ford took a polygraph test administered by a former fbi agent in early august which concluded that ford was being truthful when she said her statement summarizing her allegations were accurate. nbc news has reached out but has not independently confirmed ford's identification. the author of the "washington post" report emma brown will join us shortly on "morning joe." brett kavanaugh has denied the sexual assault allegation. when asked for comment on the "washington post" piece, the white house issued kavanaugh's
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statement friday where he said, quote, i categorically and unequivocally deny this allegation. i did not do this. back in high school or at any time. kavanaugh's friend and classmate who ford alleges was in the room, mark judge, strongly denied the incident occurred. on friday before ford's name was known judge told the weekly standard in an interview, quote, it is just absolutely nuts. i never saw brett act that way. judge did not respond to the "washington post" for comment on sunday. let's stop right there. let's put the brakes on. joe, just give us a sense of what exactly we're looking at here from 20,000 feet. >> there are just so many questions that both sides are going to be asking. politically you look at this and you ask, first of all, is ford going to want a hearing and if she does want a hearing is the committee vote going to allow them to have a hearing? some republicans have already come out and said there should
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be a hearing. if that's the case, then obviously the vote will be delayed. what is the impact of that? where does mitch mcconnell stand on this? where does the chairman of the committee stand on it? you know, jim vandehei, most importantly for kavanaugh's fate, where do the women who identified themselves as pro choice women who were already having a hard time with this vote, where do they stand on providing a woman a hearing who -- i guess a better way to say it is how do they politically not stand in the way of a vote? how do they not demand a hearing for a woman who claims that she was afraid she was going to be killed by a judge who if he's put on the supreme court will be, of course, the deciding vote
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in roe v. wade? it seems like for these two republican women, lisa murkowski and susan collins, they're really in no position regardless of the facts, regardless of what the truth ends up being, of demanding that hearing. >> yeah, and i think we already heard a little bit from susan collins basically saying she's disturbed both by how it came about but also by the allegation itself. we've heard from jeff flake, from lindsey graham. it seems clear that the committee will want to hear from her. what we're hearing from republican leadership sources this morning and overnight that they kind of want to force this early this week, force a public hearing, get her in there, get her testimony before the committee, get it done and still get a vote done this week. you asked about mitch mcconnell, obviously pivotal, he's going to decide ultimately whether this gets to the flar and gets done. he is a cold blooded vote counter. if he think they have the votes
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he will bring it to the floor and get it through. he has been working on this for 20 years to get the court as conservative as possible and kavanaugh is obviously one piece of that puzzle. while there is queasiness no doubt among republicans and i would say as the night grew on yesterday it got more and more queasy, but they still feel at the end of the day that kavanaugh has denied it, the other man who was apparently in the room, allegedly in the room, has also denied it and they think that's probably going to be enough to put at ease republican senators. there is a political concern and it goats to your question, joe, about murkowski or about collins. republicans behind the scenes are very worried that they are increasingly looking like the party of just white men and if once again you have a bunch of white male senators go through this process, especially if they didn't hear from her, especially if they just shut down the process, they worry, gosh, we are going to lose even more of these suburban women who are already turning on us because they don't like the behavior of donald trump. all of this stuff is interrelated and i think we will
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know a lot more in the next 48 hours. >> 50 days away -- around 50 days away from this election. this is -- could be if not handled correctly by the republicans a political nightmare for a republican party who is already losing suburban female voters. kasie, let me go to you. jim is right, mitch mcconnell is cold, calculating vote counter. if he think he has the votes he's going to march forward, but jeff flake has already told him he doesn't have the votes. he said he wants to have a hearing. i find it hard to believe that we're going to have a hearing this week and a vote on thursday. this seems -- it seems like things have gotten far more complicated and with jeff flake and others -- lindsey graham even talking about the need for a hearing. suddenly it's not going to be smooth sailing for mitch mcconnell and republicans who
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understand if kavanaugh doesn't get through, there's not going to be another nominee for the supreme court until after the 2018 election. >> yeah, that's right, joe. there is no way to move somebody through this process quickly enough for that. you know, jeff flake is taking a real stand here. let's be very clear. the first of the votes that has to happen is in the committee it's 10-11 democrats to republicans, so jeff flake by himself has stood in the way of kavanaugh moving forward. so they have to do something to make sure that his concerns have been addressed and to echo what jim vandehei was saying, this conversation about, okay, she's got to come and publicly testify, that means that dr. ford has a very real decision to make here. there has not been an assurance that just because she came forward and spoke to a reporter and was willing to put her name out there that she's willing to go through what it takes to come
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in publicly. i mean, the cameras, the mobs of people, the shear spectacle that that would be. you know, we don't talk enough about how hard it is -- i mean, the men here have issued categorical denials, but if you are a woman in this case why -- why would you come forward? i mean, her entire life is going to be completely changed going forward because she did this and i think, you know, for a lot of women behind the scenes and there has been a lot of conversations among aides i talked to on the hill, reporters, members of congress, you know, it's very important, i think, in this cultural moment as well that they consider what the perception is if they're seen as not listening to and treating this woman's allegations very seriously. for senators collins and murkowski, joe, i think the point you made at the top is absolutely the right one. from a political but also a personal and human perspective, they have already been under such pressure on this nomination already, are they really going to be willing to take the arrows for the republican party over this? i'm not convinced yet.
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>> well, and they do have to understand that, again, we don't know what happened. kavanaugh knows what happened, the other person in the room knows what happened and ford knows what happened. but regardless of what happened in that room over 30 years ago, lisa murkowski and susan collins' legacy if they are steam rolled by men in the republican party and they just move forward with the vote, and i pass no judgment, but they know their legacy will be that they voted to put the person who overturned roe v. wade on to the court despite some serious allegations. so john heilemann, it seems to me that murkowski, that collins, that flake, that other
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republicans are probably going to end up at a point where they say, we have some questions about the timing, why did the democrats wait two months? why did they wait until we had all of our hearings? why did they wait with material that they had two months ago that they could have turned over to the fbi two months ago before any of this even began, why did they wait until the end when they figured out they didn't have the votes to stop kavanaugh before dropping this bombshell? they can say that all they want, but at the end of the day i think they're in a position where they just have to say, this is a lifetime appointment, these are extraordinarily serious charges. if ford wants to testify, we have no choice, we have to wait. does that sound about right or do you have another take? >> no, i think it sounds about right to me on a number of levels, joe. i think those discussions are truly inside baseball discussions they are not insignificant, they are not meaningless, but they are process discussions and people
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on the committee and on capitol hill will throw accusations at each other, but in the long arc of history who cares? >> right. >> for all these people, all of them are looking back at a very relevant precedent which is the anita hill precedent, the decisions made in those hearings, some people probably don't have as clear a memory of them as old people like you and me, but the decisions that democrats made have haunted them ever since. you've got a person like joe biden who has taken accusations of not taking anita hill seriously enough that have dogged him now for nearly 30 years. i think if you are in the majority party and someone who is sympathetic to women's reproductive rights, sympathetic to women in general, murkowski and collins in particular, you can't help but look at the precedent in the anita hill says and say i don't want history to judge me in this case.
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i also think that you think about this, again, from the 30,000 foot level politically, this nomination was supposed to be the one unambiguous bright spot for donald trump and republicans, every republican in the country was going to campaign this fall in a full throated way, say, yeah, you have a lot of problems with donald trump on a million levels, but, look, he gave us gorsuch and particularly now he gave us brett kavanaugh. that is no longer -- no matter what happens over the course of the next few days or the next few weeks, that is no longer the unequivocal kind of victory, clear victory that every republican was looking forward to so much and i do think, again, no matter what happens in the short term, and i think you are 100% right, i think there's almost no -- almost no possibility we're going to have the committee vote this week. the news environment now, reporters are going to be looking -- covering this story from every angle possible. it's not going to happen on this timetable. no matter what happens this is
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going to make things -- it makes life easier for all of those democrats for whom this was going to be a tough vote. they now have good reasons, too, to withhold their vote they otherwise would have voted against kavanaugh, they were in a political bind, this makes it easier for them for those purple and red state democrats for whom this was going to be such a tough thing. >> benjamin, what are the legal questions and challenges being raised here with these accusations and is the timing of the a.m. sfwlags of when this alleged attempted rape, assault, took place, is that part of the questions and challenges in play? >> so i don't think the challenges are fundamentally legal because there's no real legal proceeding here and no one that is, i think, likely. so the questions are fundamentally political. i think the question is for those senators who are undecided
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or formally undecided, how do you evaluate an allegation of conduct that is disqualifying if true, wholly -- very serious and also a long time ago when the person was a teenager and almost impossible factually to evaluate in retrospect because of the very limited number of people who know the truth and the categorical denial on the one hand and allegation on the other. so i think the fundamental problem here is not legal, it's what do you do as an undecided senator in the face of unresolveable uncertainty. >> let me did you, benjamin, what concerns does this raise for you? does it raise any concerns about
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future nominations to the supreme court? this has already gotten about as dirty as possible. you have this drop at the last second after -- after the republicans were headed for a vote. what does the future hold for republican and democratic nominations to the supreme court? >> oh, gosh, i mean, so it raises a lot of concerns, but they don't all cut in the same direction. so one is, as your question suggests, you know, just how ugly and brawl-like the confirmation process has become. it was already terrible in this context and it's, you know, poised to get a lot worse. the other, which, you know, i suppose cuts in exactly the opposite direction is the danger that this woman is going to get
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as kasie described before, her life is going to be, you know, terribly changed, she's going to -- i'm sure she's going to be subject to vile attacks and, you know, the white house was -- a white house person was quoted in "politico" last night or yesterday saying that, you know, if this can happen to kavanaugh, you know, no man is safe. so, you know, there is a real danger in the other direction, too, of a completely inappropriate and disgusting, frankly, white house response of an attack the accuser variety. so i think it's -- you know, there's actually real danger of sort of unfairness and sort of brutality to everybody involved, all in the service of answering
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or purporting to answer what is actually unanswerable. >> we will get to more on that. i want to draw out that last line from benjamin. but the president's attorney rudy giuliani is trying his best to spin the cooperation agreement between paul manafort and special counsel bob mueller. the deal calls forman fort to, quote, cooperate fully, truthfully, completely and forthrightly in any and all matters which the government deems the cooperation is relevant, but giuliani citing sources close to manafort's defense insists, quote, the cooperation agreement does not involve the trump campaign. even one of the president's most ardent defenders, allen dershowitz, is having a hard time understanding that one. >> what i don't understand is how you can say that the deal is limited. the deal as i understand it says that manafort will cooperate about anything that the special
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counsel asks him about. there are no limits. so, look, i understand why rudy giuliani who was a good lawyer wants to put this in the most positive light, but this was a very bad day for the trump administration. it's bad because he doesn't know what manafort is saying and he can't count on plant fort saying only things that the special counsel already knows. when you don't know what a cooperator is saying, then it's a bad day for you because you're vulnerable and exposed. >> well, a couple things. first of all, manafort could have a lot to offer the special counsel. he attended the june 2016 meeting at trump tower with the russians where don jr. was excited to get dirt on hillary clinton. there's also his connection to the russian oligarch who is very close to vladimir putin, e-mails show manafort promised to give that oligarch private briefings on the campaign. there was a mysterious change in the republican party's platform that weakened republican's position on defending ukraine.
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that happened all under paul manafort's leadership. >> there is a lot. >> now there is manafort's business relationship with an alleged russian intelligence agent and manafort's relationship with roger stone who of course appeared to have communicated with wikileaks around the time that the democratic e-mails were hacked and leaked and benjamin, of course, on top of that there's -- you've got on the other side rudy giuliani saying nothing to worry about, nothing to see here. this is the same rudy giuliani who promised us that everything was going to be over by labor day. donald trump wishes everything would have been over by labor day because paul manafort wouldn't have just pled with mueller if that were the case. how significant is mueller flipping? >> well, so one thing a good rule of thumb is if you have to send rudy giuliani out to say there's nothing to worry about, nothing to see here, it's because there's something to
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worry about and there's something to see here. you know, how much there is we don't know and, by the way, neither does rudy giuliani. what manafort is going to be in a position to tell the special counsel is something that they know because they've had proffers from him, but, you know, we are not in the position to know that and, you know, i do think -- i do think a bunch of people are kind of getting ahead of their skis and assuming that manafort holds the keys to all the kingdoms. i don't know that and i am not going to sit here and sort of pretend that. on the other hand if you are bob mueller and, you know, you have prosecuted paul manafort very aggressively for, you know, across two jurisdictions, two cases for more than a year now or almost a year now and you are presumably doing it because in
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addition to the egregious criminal conduct you actually want to talk to him and want him in a cooperative posture. now he has him in a cooperative posture and that's presumably because the special counsel has questions that he thinks paul manafort is in a position to shed light on so that the fact that we have reached that point has to be significant. >> john, we don't know how significant that is, but obviously the white house is concerned that it's significant. the president of course, not seen in public for several days through the end of the week. they've all got to be very concerned that the guy who seemed to be in the middle of one foot in ukrainian and russian politics and one foot in american politics is now talking to robert mueller. >> yeah, i mean, our friend joyce vance put a clearer framing on this which is it's not just that he's cooperating
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or talking to robert mueller, at this point paul manafort, a guy that donald trump had a relationship with that goes back decades, no the just to this campaign, but decades, a guy who lived in trump tower, a guy who has decades of connections to ukrainians and to dirty russian money, a guy who has known trump for that period of time, that guy is now working for bob mueller. that guy is not not just a cooperating witness but someone who's future depends on full throated cooperation, on telling investigators that work for mueller anything they need to know, anything they want to know, anything that's pertinent on any thread of the investigation. i think, you know, that can't help but -- whatever rudy giuliani says, which is usually kind of almost incomprehensible and i find it incomprehensible in this instance, there is no rational person who in this circumstance would not look at this as a chilling development. jim vandehei, i want to ask you this one question. the most narrow sense the reality was that because of the kind of constraints that mueller
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is working under as we move closer to election day or at least the presumed constraints, the one bad thing that trump was going to be dealing with on the legal front was the prosecution of the manafort trial as an ongoing news story in the course -- over the course of the midterms. that now goes away and so at least just in that one small way is that not a positive thing, a sliver -- a slender read on which the president can cling if he wants to look for the bright side here. >> if that's your bright side you've got a hell of a lot of problems in front of you. >> yeah, well -- >> the reason they're worried, listen, whatever rudy wants to say rudy will say, but everyone else around trump, they are not worried about manafort, this he don't know what he knows, they're worried we have flynn over here, cohen over here, we think we will have roger stone over here, we have manafort over here, everyone cooperating with him, roger stone not yet, but they worry that that one day
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could happen, that's what worries them because nobody knows what any of them know but they all know they know things that they probably don't want a prosecutor to know. politically in terms of how people see this investigation i can't imagine an issue being more cemented in the minds on both sides. theres a reason this whole election about trump. democrats are motivating, they're turning out. republicans are motivated but they're somewhat in some areas you're looking at some of these polls they're delusional. they think things are going great, the economy is going great and therefore we might win this and it's fake news we might lose this. inside the white house they're like how do we get people to realize, yes, we are in trouble and we need you to vote. >> jim vandehei, thank you very much. still ahead on "morning joe" we are going to talk to the reporter who spoke with brett kavanaugh's accuser, the "washington post's" emma brown joins the conversation. you're watching "morning joe." we will be right back.
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all right. joining us now a reporter for the "washington post" emma brown. emma wrote the "washington post" report revealing christine blasey ford as the author of a confidential letter that access supreme court no, ma'am me brett kavanaugh of sexual assault more than three decades ago when they were both high school students in maryland. welcome to the show. emma, i guess, first of all, just give us the background. how did the interview come about? why did she decide to come forward? i understand she called the "washington post" tip line a few months ago? >> yes, she sent a text to our tip line in early july and she and i talked then and she -- she even then really didn't want to come forward, she just really wanted somebody to know what had happened to her, she said. around that same time she contacted a congress person,
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too, and told that person and wasn't ready to come forward. so over the summer she struggled and ride to figure out basically what she was going to do with this information. she said she had a civic duty to tell it, but she also understood that it was going to mean, you know, if she came forward it was going to change her life. >> and so why did she come forward now? >> she said, you know, as things started to leak last week people -- the intercept reported that there was a secret document and then there were further reports about what was in the letter that she had written to feinstein. reporters were starting to show up at her door, at her workplace, she felt her privacy was already being chipped away at. she said, you know, she said to me these are the ills i was trying to avoid anyway so now her calculation shifted she said and she was ready to come forward. >> kasie hunt has a question for you. kasie? >> emma, i'm not sure if you
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would have spoken to her yet about this, but it seems pretty clear that at least on the republican side the pressure is going to increase for dr. ford to testify on capitol hill, to appear in public to tell the committee her story. is she willing to do that? >> i don't know the answer to that question. i didn't ask it to her when we were going through her story and i still don't know the answer to that question. i mean, i think she's already made a very difficult choice to come forward with her name, but i think it's another sort of hurdle to come forward and be questioned publicly, so i don't know. i don't know what her intention is at this point. >> sure. was there a conversation with her about the fact that this would be likely? i know she clearly did a lot of work with her attorney, taking the polygraph test, is this something she has grappled with at all, this possibility of the public testimony, really the likelihood? >> i'm sure her legal team has
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talked to her about the implications of coming forward. that is not a discussion that i had with her. i was there to talk with her about her story and try to understand it so that we could publish the story. >> and a lot of what is about to happen is going to be veiled in the sort of, you know, attempt to go try and find out what happened and how it applies to today. benjamin wittes, i'd like to go back to you on this point because you said earlier that this is factually impossible to resolve. why do you say that? >> well, it's obviously impossible is probably a little bit of an overstatement, but it's very difficult to resolve. so the allegations are quite old, there are -- there is no contemporaneous witness that the -- that dr. ford is
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supposedly told at the time, which is one of the things that you use in order to, you know, assess credibility. the earliest she appears to have told anybody was in 2012. none of which means that what she's saying isn't true, of course. >> right. >> it just means that it's hard to validate. and so i think what you're left with is -- oh, and then there are -- and this is to her credit, she acknowledges that there's kind of a lot she doesn't remember 35 years later. so, you know, even within the four corners of her story somebody who is disinclined to believe it has, you know, a lot of questions to ask. so, i mean, i guess i think that there's -- at the end of the day it's going to be very hard to put together a kind of authoritative story of this either one that says a person came forward, made an allegation
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and we studied it and it lacks merit, or one that says, you know, hey, this person was -- brett kavanaugh was, you know, credibly and authoritatively accused of gross misconduct. that means, i think, at the end of the day that most senators or senators who aren't already decided are going to have a kind of gut instinct call to make about where they want to -- you know, what side they want to err on. that's a very uncomfortable situation for those senators. >> and ultimately and this will bring us back to emma, but, benjamin, people obviously at times look to the law for parameters as to how to put something into context and there are reasons, correct me if i'm wrong, for statutes of limitations. it's why i asked you earlier if there are legal implications
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here and you said, no, there are none. could she -- could he be charged? i don't think so. could he? >> certainly not. >> right. >> the one -- and one thing that, you know, statutes of limitations, however, don't apply to is the question of should you be elevated from one, you know, lifetime appointment on the d.c. circuit of appeals to a lifetime appointment on the supreme court. the fact that there are no possible legal consequences here doesn't -- you know, doesn't answer the question of whether you should -- a senator should support his elevation, which is really a question that doesn't have a legal answer. it just has, you know, a kind of oath of office and accountability to voters kind of answer. >> so, john, emma talked about the concerns obviously that dr. ford had about coming forward.
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my gosh, what are the consequences for the trump white house, what are the consequences for republicans for being seen going after her, attacking this woman who claims that she was attacked and feared for her life 30 something years ago? it seems -- it does not seem like a possibility even in the anyone of trump, does it? >> well, there has been reporting that suggests in the last 24 hours some white house sources in various publications that have suggested that that's exactly what they're going to do. >> right. >> i will wait and see whether that happens or not. it would obviously be in the current political climate not just -- i don't mean just in the context of the me too movement and everything that's happened over the course of the last year, i mean in a moment where the biggest political problem that this white house and this republican party have is with female voters broadly speaking and with the suburban female women of both -- of both white suburban college educated females and also the vast array
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of nonwhite women who make up such a big part of the democratic base, further alienating them would be a huge political problem. i want to ask emma brown this question. talk a little bit about mark judge, someone who is the other -- according to the alleged victim here -- the other person who was in the room who has given a statement or an interview the end of last week, i don't believe talked to you, but you make some -- what may turn out to be relevant points about mark judge's contemporaneous experiences in the time frame that we are talking about. >> yeah, he -- did he not speak to me or comment for my story, but -- and has strongly denied that this occurred. he is an author and a filmmaker and one of the books he wrote is called "wasted: tales of a gen x
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drunk." he writes about partying at georgetown prep and about his own drinking to the point of blacking out not knowing how he got to where he woke up. so, you know, i think that is perhaps relevant if you, you know -- this story that christine ford has told is that both brett kavanaugh and mark judge were stumbling drunk when this episode occurred. so i guess there is a question about would either of them remember this incident if they were that drunk. >> emma brown of the "washington post," thank you very much for your reporting this morning. >> thanks. >> joe? >> let's bring in donny deutsch. we have talked about it before, let's talk about it some more because it seems to me that this is the decision, these are the factors that mitch mcconnell and the republican party and lisa murkowski and susan collins are going to have to grapple with.
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even if benjamin wittes is correct and i think most would say he is correct that finding the truth in this instance is factually impossible to resolve or close to it, even if this were a he said/she said happening that occurred over 30 years ago, that kavanaugh has denied, that ford has talked about emphatically, even if everything factually the way the democrats waited, the way they held on to -- all of the procedural issues, all of the factual issues, it seems to me if you were advising a political party with the republican party's problems right now, i mean, obviously there are no really good options for them
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right now. what would you tell them? >> well, there is one option they can't walk away from. this is where kind of culturally and politically the worlds are colliding. in the me too movement the subhead of the me too movement is it's time to men to listen. if the republicans are saying we're not even going to listen, you know, we don't even want to hear it out, that is a suicidal mission. to your joint, joe, nobody can know the facts although to me when somebody brings up 25 years later in a couples therapy session something you kind of have to believe it and then takes a polygraph test, but that aside i would hate to be any republican going forward in their creation, not just in this election that will stand up and say, no, we weren't even willing to listen. that would be going against an entire societal wave that is happening in our culture, that is going against an entire gender reboot of who we are and once again, and to john's earlier point, boy, if you look at the midterms women in every poll are saying that women will
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be coming out in droves and i think this is the kind of thing that also starts to not only the house is gone, will put the senate in rile, real, real, real play. if the republicans are tone deaf here it will be a death spiral for them. >> and, donny, i said this goes even beyond the me too movement. if the me too movement had never happened republicans would still be able to read their poll numbers and see how poorly they were doing with women because of donald trump. so, again, how does lisa murkowski, how does susan collins, how does any republican senator that hopes to get educated, not just -- not just college educated, but any women who care about the issue of choice, how do you cast that vote? i hate to keep going back to it,
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but this is where we are right now. they will forever be branded as casting their vote for a man who has a cloud over his head, no matter how fair or unfair that is, and that supreme court nominee will be the deciding vote on roe v. wade. the consequences for republicans long-term with women especially could be devastating. >> this is a moment in time, joe, you used the word branding. the republicans, the cowardice of them if they are smart they're going to have to kind of pull up their big boy or girl pants at this point, understand they will be branded forever. all of the chickens are going to come to roost and all of these people who have been quiet, who have stood by they are going to pay for it. this is a moment in time and if they hide at this moment in time the rest of their political careers will pay.
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i hope there is republicans listening, this is not a grayish u, this is a black and white. at the very least you need to say, no, we're not going to not here. we need to listen. i believe kavanaugh is dead at this point. i would be shocked if he was ever a supreme court justice. >> mika, you know, you look at what some republicans said about al franken, for instance. >> yeah. >> what they said about allegations that al franken denied. >> yeah. >> and you start adding that up and you compare that to what's going on right now, again, it seems to me they are in a very difficult position. mitch mcconnell at some point he may have the votes, but at some point mitch mcconnell may have to look at the numbers. brett kavanaugh was already historically unpopular pick. >> yeah. >> you would have to go back quite some time to find another one that was as unpopular as he was. mitch mcconnell has to start asking himself do we want to
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stand by brett kavanaugh, possibly lose the senate, or do we just go to the federalist society, have them pick another conservative jurist and put him or her -- >> right. >> -- or her -- wouldn't be a bad idea -- a her up for nomination to the supreme court. >> there are a lot of reasons perhaps not to confirm brett kavanaugh, but if the dems play really dirty on this i don't think that's good for politics and for both sides. it's what we're dealing with in the white house. still ahead, there are 50 days until the midterms and new polling shows tight senate races in two states donald trump won by double digits in 2016. we're digging into those numbers as well as new concerns for the republican party next on "morning joe."
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that president trump won by 20 points show tight senate races.
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the cbs you gov paul has montana's democratic senator jon tester barely ahead of republican malt rosendale 47 to 45%. in missouri the democratic senator mccaskill and republican state attorney general general josh holly are tied. >> let's stop right there. so many of these races are neck-and-neck. you can go across the country. there are seven to ten that are within the margin of error, it seems. >> yeah. and look, i mean you would think under the circumstance this is supposed to be the most -- on the senate side at least this is supposed to be the most favorable map that republicans could have possibly had and one of the most favorable maps i believe charlie cook said any party has ever had in a midterm election. when you look at the states that were supposed to offer wide opportunities for republicans not just to hold the senate but to pick up seats. all those races are much tighter than they should be. in many cases the democratic
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incumbents in supposedly vulnerable red and purple states are holding not just leads but leads that are getting wider. narrow but getting wider. in the context of the economy and everything that's going on these should have been slam-dunk races for the republican party and quite the contrary. >> a group backing president trump is reportedly warning that his cries of fake news is hurting republicans. oemp the weekend, trump tweeted, while our poll numbers are good with the economy being the best ever, if it weren't for the rigged russian witch-hunt, they would be 25 points higher. highly conflicted bob mueller and the 17 angry democrats are using this phony issue to hurt us in the mid terms. this as the "new york times" reports that america first action, a political committee aligned with president trump, conducted a series of focus groups over the summer and kk concluded the party had a severe
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voter turnout problem brought on in part by contentment in the party and confusion by the republicans that democrats would actually win the midterm elections. conservative leaning voters in the study routinely dismissed the possibility of a democratic wave election with some describing the prospect as fake news. >> oh, the irony. >> said an official with the research firm who spoke anonymously because the data was not intended to be disclosed. breaking that attitude of complacency is now the republicans' top priority. far more than wooing moderates. >> you remember back during the 2016 campaign, any time you or i even suggested that donald trump had a chance of winning, the howls from people in the press. >> oh, gosh. >> the media writers, others would mock us. >> yeah. >> ridicule us. everybody in the media said that there was no way donald trump could win the election. and if you suggested he could,
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oh, my god. i could pull up the tweets. i could pull up the articles. it was like -- there were vicious. >> towards our show. >> against people who said that not that donald trump was going to win. >> right. >> but that donald trump could win, that there was a -- probably wouldn't but there was a possibility. kasie hunt. there is no doubt that the media telling democrats day in and day out and day in and day out that there was no way donald trump would win allowed a lot of democrats to stay home on election day. and here we are two years later, and it is donald trump's howls now of fake news, fake news, fake news, fake polls, fake polls that actually may be his ultimate undoing. >> i mean that critique of the media goes even deeper than that, there were people who supported hillary clinton who will say that the media covered her as if she were already president of the united states which means they didn't cover her fairly in comparison to the
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way that we covered now president donald trump. i mean i talked to all kinds of senators. i talk to senators every day in the hallway, democrats, republican. on the democratic side they are seeing this, too. this know their voters are incredibly excited. they have been the entire time they hardly have to do any work in that regard beyond attempting to make sure they are organizing correctly, actually registering those people to voetd. for republicans, you know, every midterm is a fundamentally a base election. and getting their voters -- this is why they have been so many of the people in swing districts and elections in states where it should be close in relation to the senate you can't win with the president because he is the president the mind of independent voters but you can't win without him because if your base doesn't turn out you are absolutely toast. there is as you opponent out a certain irony to this. and it is a real problem. >> the real problem, mika is
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again we always look at the generic ballot tests for congress. >> uh-huh. >> that tells one part of the story. the bigger part of the story, because voting is down during these mid terms is intensity. democrats are winning on the voter intensity side. that may be -- just like there was a hidden vote for donald trump in 2016 in some areas, i suspect at the end of the day a lot of these close races if they stay close to the very end you are going the see voter intensity make a big difference on election day for a lot of democrats. >> somebody i will be saying a lot. we shall see. coming up, hurricane florence drenches the carolinas with record breaking rain. and for some areas the worst of the flooding is yet to come. plus we will talk to a senior member of the judiciary committee, senator dick durbin after calling for a delay in the confirmation vote for brett kavanaugh on the heels of that sexual misconduct claim. and former president jimmy carter joins us this morning for a live interview.
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"morning joe" is coming right back. ♪
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donnie deutsche is here. nbc news capitol hill correspondent and host of casey dc on msnbc, casey hunt. we have law professor at george washington university jonathan turly. former u.s. attorney for the northern district of alabama and an msnbc contributor joyce vance is with us. it was great to have you with us in oxford, joyce. and the political reporter for the "washington post" and msnbc political analyst robert costa is with us. he is moderator of course of washington week on pbs. >> mika, there is this amazing picture from ol' miss. we had such a wonderful time at ol' miss. we want to thank everybody from the chancellor to -- my gosh, everybody that was there. we had an extraordinary time. there is this great picked that we are going to be putting up later of joyce pinning a university of alabama pin on eddie gloud's lapel. is wincing.
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>> it was a highly emotional moment. >> it was highly emotional moment for him. that's all coming up. >> coming up. >> first, mika, obviously washington is waking up this monday morning in the middle of a political earthquake. >> it absolutely is. the author of a confidential letter accusing supreme court nominee brett kavanaugh of sexual assault more than three decades ago identified herself on sunday. craze teen blasey ford a 51-year-old research psychologist in northern california spoke publicly pour the first time about the allegations in a report by the "washington post." ford alleges that one summer during high school in the early 1980s, kavanaugh and a friend drunkenly corralled her into a bedroom during a gathering of teenagers at a home in montgomery county, maryland. ford says kavanaugh pinned her to a bed on her back and groped her over her clothes grinding
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his body against hers and attempted to pull off her bathing suit while his friend watched. and when she tried to yell he put his hand over her mouth. ford told the post, quote, i thought he might inadvertently kill me. he was trying to attack me and remove my clothing. she said she was able to escape after kavanaugh's friend mark judge jumped on top of them. she said she ran from the room, locked herself in a bathroom for several minutes before fleeing the house. now she took a polygraph test administered by a former fbi agent in early august which concluded that ford was being truthful when she said a statement summarizing her allegations were accurate. now nbc has reached out but has not independently confirmed ford's identification. now, brett kavanaugh has denied the sexual assault allegation. when asked for comment on the "washington post" piece, the white house issued kavanaugh's statement from friday, where he said, quote, i categorically and
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unequivocally deny this allegation. i did not do this back in high school or at any time. and joe, here we go. >> here we go. bob costa, washington waking up on monday. i talked about an earthquake, feeling the tremors of this news report. it could change so much from whether conservatives get the deciding vote before a contested 2018 election. it could also determine how -- how women voters look at this party. where are we right now? break it down for us monday morning. >> joe, it depends on where in washington you are actually weighing up. if you are inside of the west wing you are defiant, defensive today. people close to don mcgahn the white house counsel and president trump tell moo they want to keep kavanaugh in there and he want to stand by his denial of his serious allegations. if you are in capitol hill, what
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senator majority mitch mcconnell wants to do. remember, he was urging the white house to go in a different direction during the selection process, calked about the judge from kentucky. other federal judges who were in the mix then. if the votes aren't there at the capitol this morning -- mcconnell is a better counter than anybody, this nomination could be pulled regardless of what the white house wants to do. >> obviously he has got to be hearing from lisa murkowski, he has to be hearing -- well, obviously hearing from jeff flake that the vote needs to be denied. he has to be hearing from susan collins. mitch mcconnell, even if he wanted it to move forward, along with donald trump on other side of pennsylvania avenue, they don't really have a large margin of error, do they? just one republican could make the difference. >> that's right. you can't just pay attention to those two senators. you have to also think about the retiring republicans who don't have any stake with the trump
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administration. senator jeff flake of arizona, senator bob corker of tennessee. they are already part of this chorus of republicans not only democrats who are saying it is time to take a pause in this nomination. it is going to be interesting the see if the accuser steps forward and decides to testify or give a revelation about her experience in an interview. maw mcconnell handles that will say a lot about how this nomination moves. >> kissy hunt, if you have flake and corker and lindsey graham already saying if ford wants to testify, we should let her testify, that's game over right there as far as rushing this through for a vote. again, though, you had collins, you had murkowski, you had a number of other people who are already seeming to express concerns. it sure doesn't look like there is any chance that we are going to get a vote on this nomination this week. >> i'm not ready to write-off
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the possibility, actually, that the committee might still vote on this this week. i mean there is enough defiance from chuck grassley's office. he's the committee chairman. at the end of the day it is really up to him whether he pushes forward with this. however, jeff flake -- this is again the first ste step in a lengthier process but this judiciary committee, committee confirmation vote where just one republican, in this case jeff flake already said it. he said i am not ready to vote yes on this until we hear from this woman. that actually really kicks it over to her. it is going to be up to dr. ford to decide is she ready to testify? and on what kind of a tame table? if these emerging conversations about trying to get her to do it on tuesday, tomorrow, are for real i mean that's not a lot of time to prepare for something that's big like this. but it could be the strategy. then republicans will be able to say well she decided she didn't
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want to come and tell us her side of the story? what are we going do? move forward on this. i am not ready to shut down any avenue of possibly here. i do think -- donny touched on this earlier, the dynamics of something like this -- i mean this is -- this very well could be enough to prevent him from getting confirmed. as we were discussing earlier, if they do move it past the committee then you are looking at the full senate. frankly if lisa murkowski or lisa collins or corker signal to the of the majority leadser their not ready to get on board they could also shut it down in the committee process that is still unfolding. i do think, again if you are susan collins, lisa murkowski. susan collins was getting phone calls, one of her staffer was called and somebody on the other line was saying he hopes she gets raped if she votes no.
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it's very, very difficult position to be in. susan collins sees herself as somebody who really -- she thought about running for governor of maine. this is a toxic environment in washington. she is here because she thinks she can make a difference. she thought her vote on health care was very important. for her, this is an absolutely critical decision. do you really want to step out and be the person who says yes i wouldn't to vote for this guy who has had allegation in the middle of the me too era? i think it is an open question. >> again, not to keep adding this on into the equation, but it is a reality that this vote will always be seen as the vote that overturns roe v. wade. i think most people believe, regardless of what he said in the committee that when kavanaugh gets on the bench he will be the fifth vote to overturn roe v. wade upping the stakes even more. jonathan turly, let's talk about
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what this means, just for the process of how we as a country select supreme court justices, how ugly it's gotten. of course nixon had trouble getting some judges through. but it's gotten so personal. of course ted kennedy's speech on bork was seen as a dividing line on supreme court fights. you could talk about ginsburg having trouble because he had smoked pot in the past. of course clarence thomas. merrick garland. now judge kavanaugh. washington -- yes, washington is a toxic place. capitol hill is even more toxic. but it seems the worst toxicity is reserved, the harshest is reserved for these sort of nomination fights. and you just wonder, how much worse can it get? >> well, i suppose it's worth noting that this is not necessarily that new.
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if you go back to george washington you had controversies with john rutledge and others. washington had a tough time getting people on the supreme court. the problem is that when people go to the court. each back then when they weren't any confirmation hearings, they are put under a bright light. back then it was done informally, the senators would talk among themselves. but people often do not look as good under that light as they do from afar. so we have had that problem throughout history. this issue is going to obviously get much uglier very quickly. you have the white house digging in. you have the democrats i think rightfully believing that they might be able to delay or defeat this nominee. there will be a question of fairness. you know, how do we thread this procedural needle? you know, the democrats supposedly had this since july. there is going to be a lot of question of why they held it.
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by holding it, they made it more difficult for president trump, if kavanaugh should fail, to appoint another conservative before the mid terms. then we are looking at a potentially new game after the mid terms. so there is going to be a lot of accusations going back and forth today about the timing and the basis of the allegations. if insithere's a hearing held - think there is a good likelihood of that if dr. ford is willing to do it, there is going to be a number of questions asked, whether she spoke to any friends at that time, whether there is any contemporary witnesses that might be able to corroborate it to counter the statements of mark judge and obviously judge kavanaugh. >> so joyce vance, one of the questions that come to mind about these allegations, the timing of them -- you know, benjamin i had withis said there is actually no legal questions
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here because these facts are impossible to prove. which leaves this solely in the political realm. do you agree with that? >> i think benjamin makes a really interesting statement there that this is not a legal issue, judge kavanaugh won't be on trial for sexual assault. instead this is happening at a time where it is up to the senate really to say yes or no to the president's nominee. all of the political rhetoric aside this process has become highly politicized over the last series of nominations. but this is about something more foundational. this is about whether or not judge kavanaugh possesses the character and the qualifications to sit on the supreme court. and so in many awways congress will be in the position of making a gut call about who they believe here. on the timing issue i think much of the conferring misses the point. no one should be surprised that it took a long time for these allegations to surface.
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it just flies in the face of reality to expect a 17-year-old girl to come forward publicly back in the era when this happened. i think we can all easily understand that. and moving fast forward into the july time frame where senator feinstein became aware of the letter detailing this issue, again, everyone i think would agree that we have to respect a victim who doesn't want to come forward. and dr. ford made what looks like a very smart calculation that she would be subjected to an enormous amount of personal attacks if she moved forward. she wasn't willing to be identified. senator feinstein did the right thing, sitting on that victim's wishes not putting her name forward referring it to the fbi for inclusion in the vetting file that they maintain for the candidate. this leaked out in the press. and dr. ford found that events had gottan ahead offer had. but she has given every guarantee i think as a prosecutor i would expect to
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see, circumstantial guarantees of her trutdfulness including statements back as far as 2002 to her husband a therapist who includes these comments in her notes. and we have a witness to this event judge kavanaugh's friend mr. judge who by his own admission was blackout drunk during this period of time and his memory can't really be trusted. she put forth a number of guarantees including a polygraph that she can be trusted. >> mr. deutsche, you have been employed by fortune 500 companies for a very long time, helping them with branding issues, helping them with pr problems. break this down for us. the stakes could not be higher for the supreme court, a fifth vote on a lot of decisions. and of course an election 50 days off. how do republicans handle this so they don't blow themselves up
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politically and how do democrats handled it so they are not seen as overreaching. >> the republicans are in a lose/lose. there has to be at least a hearing. how would you like to be a republican male grilling, investigating, putting on the pressure a victim who something in your gut tells you this is not being made up. how do you go at her? picture women watching at home. and all women in some form or another have felt victimized in their life. this is an extreme case, attempted rape. watching women at home watching every one of those male republicans grill and attack this victim. boy, i would not like to be one of those questioners and have to answer to women in my district or anywhere. we are living through a moment in time, we are living through a backdrop where right now there are more women graduating college every year than men. women are taking over this country. it is a process that's happening. i don't care at this point, uneducated, educated, women have a certain gut -- i want to say
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something sexist, i think women's guts are even better than men's guts and they are going to speak out in waves. my answer if i was advising any republican is duck, do the right thing and say look at the very least you have to hear this thing through but i would not want to be one of those men attacking this woman in front of the nation. >> they don't have any women on the jash year committee on the republican side. to be clear. they don't have anybody. there is not a possible perceived sympathetic questioner, in the form of a woman on the republican side. that's reality. >> and bob costa you have people on the committee that are not entirely sympathetic to people who would be watching. ted cruz is on the committee. what would a cross-examination from ted cruz to dr. ford look like not in only in the state of texas for college educated women
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but across the country. you have chuck grassley who from time to time seems to be a little less than adept at politics when the tv cameras are rolling. following up on what kasie hunt said, what a bad, almost worst case scenario for a bunch of white men on the senate judiciary committee cross-examining dr. ford. >> joe, just -- the lawyer just told the "today" show that she is willing to testify publicly. >> now she's willing to testify -- >> publicly. >> now she is willing to testify publicly bob. so does mitch mcconnell want ted cruz, chuck grassley and the men, the white then on the senate judiciary committee cross-examining dr. ford? >> mitch mcconnell wants one thing, the senator majority leader wants a conservative judge on the supreme court.
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he wants to do it in the easiest way possible. but he is also in a corner. if this white house says fight, fight, fight, this is president trump's demand, we are not pulling kavanaugh, we are not going to cave, let her testify, then you are going to have that row of male republican senators asking the questions. but having been at the capitol al last week, knowing these senators and their age, joe, they are not thinking about the optics, they really see this as political war, that this is a court seat for a generation or more to come, and they will battle for it. they are not so worried about the public opinion. some of them are more than others about the midterm elections but this is about power more than politics, about how the law is going to move in the next ten to 20 to 30, 40 years. >> boy i tell you what, john hilemon, maybe it is political war but this is not a political war that they can win in the long run if they have all the men, all the white men on the
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senate judiciary committee making fools of themselves. my god, what a nightmare for every republican running in florida. well, heck, even the gubernatorial races in georgia. >> right. >> how about west virginia, in indiana, in missouri. there are seven, eight, nine, ten seats that are still up for grabs. ted cruz tries to make a name for himself by beating up, retorically dr. ford, that just does not end well for republicans across the country. >> no. it is a bigger problem some places. and it is a smaller problem other places, but it is a problem for republicans everywhere. you know, again, i go to the anita hill precedent. a guy like joe biden and other democrats on that committee have lived now for nearly 30 years with people in the democratic
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base saying that they, democrats, had been -- mishandled that hearing, not given enough credence to aneeda hill. they were in the majority. they allowed clarence thomas to get on the court. joe biden has been making apologies to people in the democrats base ever since. you imagine -- and his problem is -- his broad political life is not a problem with women voters or his own base in the party. republicans have a huge problem with women voters in general in this midterm election and more bradley in presidential election years. this has the potential, if they handle it in the wrong way to not just affect this election, but to worsen the perception among female voters in the republican party for a long time to come. i want to say one more thing, to go back to the question whether there is going to be a debate about why it took so long for
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this woman's allegations to come out. there will be a process debate, for sure. if republicans want to make an issue of how senator feinstein handles this, how democrats handled this, democrats are going to answer with two words, merrick garland. and the answer, when they said well, you are playing games with this nomination, you are playing politics here, you are messing with the sacred process -- i think democrats who are already upset with the way in which mitch mcconnell played the same kind of political games to keep merrick garland off the supreme court i think democrats will come back with that pretty quickly. it is ugly this is what has become of the supreme court nominations and the politics around it. but it is what it has become and the most recent transgressors in this area were republicans in the caves garland. i think democrats will say hey man at this point all is fair, they will say all is fair when it comes to love, war, and judicial politics when it comes to the future of the court. >> this has been ugly.
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and it keeps getting uglier. and you are right, on the merrick garland situation, republicans who waited for months and refused to even talk to merrick garland for months in their office cannot now say, we need a vot e in three or four days. we -- they have undercut all arguments because of the way, the shabby, shabby way they treated merrick garland. jonathan turly, let's switch topics to another obviously fascinating and important topic. and that is paul manafort. paul manafort now doing a deal with robert mueller iii. who are the winners and the losers in that deal? >> well, i think that the clear losers are going to be obviously manafort himself. you know, this is not going to be awalkaway deal by any imagination. he has given up a great deal of
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wealth. he is probably looking at about a ten-year stint. at his age that is nothing to be dismissive about. so this is not going to turn out well. but i think turned that corner a long time ago. i think there is going to be a lot of folks in dc, where this is going to be a clear loser. you have the former counsel for president clinton. you have the podesta firm, which is a lobbying firm. you have another republican firm that are all referenced here. their conduct is hard to discern a difference from manafort. and so there is a real possibility they can face criminal prosecution. >> you are talking about greg craig there. >> yeah. >> explain how he's involved in this? >> well, this goes back to registering as a lobbyist for a foreign government. that's not something that was prosecuted aggressively before this special counsel investigation. but now that manafort has done it, there is going to be a demand that he do this evenly.
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now the ones that i think are most at risk is not -- would not be president trump. he hasn't made any statement under oath or to investigators. it's really to kushner and trump jr. jared kushner and trump jr. have made statements on the record about the trump tower meeting. if manafort contradicts those statements i don't think that mueller would be hesitant to bring a charge. so you have sort of a venn diagram prosecution. there are so many cooperating witnesses now. mueller can now look for those overlapping circles. and if manafort overlaps on someone like kushner or trump jr., you might be able to see an actual charge. >> joyce vance, what do you think are the key issues that come out of this agreement? and i always look at the president's tweets as a reaction. and he seems especially spun out by this one calling bob mueller
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conflicted. there's clearly an anger there that shows that he's in a bad place about these developments. >> he should be in a bad place about these developments. the manafort plea agreement is very interesting. it does a couple of things that suggest that the government really expects to get their money's worth out of manafort who of course now works for them. manafort is now part of team mueller. and this plea agreement is unusual because it reduces manafort's liability, the exposure that he has to spending time in prison an awful lot. he was looking at close to 20 years just on these charges in the district of columbia. he of course has a separate jail sentence that will be imposed in alexandria. and this grooemd agreement limits him to pleading guilty to two conspiracy counts. each of those charges bears a five year statutory maximum. but the reality is that those sentences are usually run concurrently, which means you
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serve them at the same time. so it looks to me like manafort is looking at about five years as a starting point. and in this plea agreement he reserves the ability to argue to the court that it should depart down wards, that it should go below that five-year starting point based on the tenor of his cooperation with the government. >> all right. >> prosecutors don't lie about -- sorry. i was going to say prosecutors don't buy a pig in a poke. they were expecting to get a lot of value out of manafort in exchange for that kind of sentence. >> got it. >> i'm not too sure i would agree with that first of all they pout papadopoulos. and that didn't appear to turn out as well as they thought. there is a caveat emture aspect to this. you have him convicted in virginia. that throws off a bit the sentencing aspects of this of whether it could be above five years or not. >> interesting. jonathan turly, robert costa, thank you both. joyce vance thank you for
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abouting with us today and in mississippi on friday and for getting that alabama pin on edsy. he didn't like it. >> no. >> but you got it done. >> not at all. >> nice work. still ahead on "morning joe," a member of the judiciary committee senator kick durbin joins us on set and weighs in on the did you nechlts that brett kavanaugh's accuser is willing to testify publicly. you are watching "morning joe." we'll be right back. - [announcer] the typical vacuum head can struggle with large debris and stuck-on dust, so shark invented duoclean, replacing the front wall with a rotating soft brush. while deep cleaning carpets, two brush rolls pick up large particles with ease, make quick work of stuck-on dust, giving hard floors a polished look, and fearlessly devour piles. shark duoclean technology, designed to do more on carpets and floors, available in corded and cord-free vacuums, and only available from shark. let's do an ad of a man eating free waffles at comfort inn.
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is your client willing to testify before the judiciary committee publicly and tell this story? >> she is. she is willing to do whatever it takes to get her story forth, yes. >> wow. that's the attorney for christine ford moments ago telling the "today" show that judge brett kavanaugh's accuser is willing to go to capitol hill and tell her story publicly. joining us now, senior member of
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the judiciary committee, senate democratic whip kick durbin of illinois. joe, this is pretty important breaking news, given the position that democrats and republicans are in now. >> right. she's ready to testify. senator, where should this nomination go next? >> well the first things we have got to consider is there is a scheduled vote on thursday on this nomination. that needs to be stopped and postponed until we get to the bottom of this. it was agreed to by the republicans only on a partisan vote last thursday in the committee. i will tell you, joe, what they did is for the first time they basically backed away from the requirement that the minority had to agree to limit debate. we did not agree. so that's the first thing. the second thing to really discuss how we approach this now. we cannot ignore it. it is an important issue. we need to have a fair hearing for both judge kavanaugh and certainly for dr. ford.
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>> jonathan turly was on earlier this morning. he as well as the "wall street journal" editorial page have questioned the timing of this information coming out. democrats had the information for two months and held on to it until after the hearings were all but over. what would you say to jonathan turly? what would you say to conservative critics who suggest that democrats hold this information for as long as they could and then released it at the end of last week to delay the vote? >> i know a little bit more about that than mr. turly. let me tell you, what happened was senator feinstein received this letter. she received it from congress woman issue who passed it along who is a friend and certainly credible person. but the congresswoman did not attest to its correlate -- its credibility or accuracy. the next day after senator
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feinstein received the information she called dr. public. and at that point she did want want to go public with my own name on this. she branded it as a confidential communication. senator feinstein was in a dilemma. she had important allegations but she had a person who did not want to become public with them. she with her. continued to talk to her, at one point to her attorney trying to find out the right thing to do, the fair thing to do of this woman who alleges she was a victim of this episode. i think senator feinstein did what she could. as a result dr. ford decided to step up and said i want to public and explain what happened and defend myself in front of my critics. i don't think senator feinstein is culpable. she did the right thing. >> when did senator feinstein first get ahold this letter and learn of the allegations? >> when did you first hear about
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them. >> i first heard about them about nine days ago when i got a call from another member of the committee who said word was out that there was a story involving these allegations. in terms of senator feinstein, i don't want to say exactly which date she received them because i am not 100% certain but i do know that the day after she made -- called dr. ford directly. took them seriously but also wanted to honor her request that it be confidential. of course i understand senator feinste feinstein's position. you don't want to victimize dr. ford in this process. you want to be fair with her. it took time for her where she would want to become public. this modern's statement that she is willing to testify puts the burden on us and we need to show our respect for due process on the senate judiciary committee. >> senator, what are your concerns about the political ramifications of a situation like this. it's come up so late in the
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game. her story. apparently, you all were aware of it for several months. and you know, there is a lot of reasons brett kavanaugh perhaps, fur a democrat, should not be confirmed. but this could become a brutal situation with this woman, her life is torn apart, and democrats will be blamed for playing political games. can you see the concern, the risk there? >> let me say, the bottom line is this, we waited on dr. ford to reach this point where she was willing to come forward. >> yeah. >> i mean, respectful as senator feinstein was, and i'm glad she was, of her request it be confidential. but now she's decided to you know come forward to the american people and explain her side of the story. in terms of the timing and why we are slowing this down, you know, you mentioned earlier in the show, we do remember merit garland. we remember a supreme court vacancy that sat for 00 days
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because the republicans refused even meet with merrick garland let alone give him a hearing. this is a fast track effort on brett kavanaugh. remember they held back hundreds of thousands of documents related to his service in the white house. 35 months when he was staff secretary to president george w. bush we didn't receive a document in that regard. they are trying to fast track this to get it done before the election and it is obvious. if we take another week or two, whatever, to get this whole episode to the point where we understand what happened that is not going to be an unusual or unacceptable delay as far as i am concerned. >> kasie hunt? >> senator durbin, good to see you this morning. there has been some early preliminary discussion. and senator graham alluded to this in his statement that they could potentially have dr. ford testify as soon as tomorrow to try to keep their planned thursday vote on track. what is your take on that potential time line?
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do you think it is possible that the committee could hear testimony from here on a time line that was that fast. >> there is nothing sacred about this next thursday vote. this was manufacturesed by the republicans to move it quickly. i don't know if it takes a matter of days or weeks to get this done, certainly there are a number of people who could be called in on this matter. let's do it the right way. let's not rush to either bury it or to reach judgment on it without taking some time to do it in a fair way. this is the senate judiciary committee. we are talking about a lifetime appointment to the highest court in the land of a supreme court justice who could be the deciding vote for a generation or more. is it worth an extraweek or two? for goodness sakes of course it is. >> yep, yep. >> you don't think there is any serious significant chance that this is not just going to play out over the course of weeks, right? there is no choice that this woman can be rushed to washington on short notice over the course of the next couple of days. on the minority or even on the
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majority you are going the want time to prepare. >> become. >> this pks a ten waited process, even in the most concise version this process is a weeks long process. >> the republicans are in control of the committee. mccome and grassley on the committee. if they will be like they are being unfair to dr. ford at this point it is going to backlash. we were talking earlier about the clarence thomas and anita hill matter. i was in the house, not senate, at the time. it became an amazing emotional national story in a hurry. the question is the bomb ott line, will the republicans treat this matter fairly. >> you know senator mcconnell pretty well. he has done some ruthless things procedurally in the past including as you pointed out on judge garland. just knowing his psyche, knowing the things that man mate him, is there a chance that he just says, i don't care, i'm going the try to ram this thing through? >> i think it is a serious mistake if he does. not only in terms of fairness and justice, but the political consequences would be grave.
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>> senator, let's fast forward that there is going to be this hearing. how do you or any of these men probe her, poke her, investigate her without looking dastardly, without looking like you are piling on a victim? i don't know how they even go about it. if i am any of you guys at this point, i just almost want it to go away because i wouldn't know how to do it. >> i think you are right. you made that point earlier. how would you cross-examine dr. ford under these circumstances? >> however the hearing takes place there has to be a feeling afterwards that we were fair to her and fair to judge kavanaugh at the same time. i mean, that is what we are striving for. and certainly rushing it through or ignoring it, those are unacceptable. >> all right. senator kick durbin, thank you very much. thanks for being on this morning. still ahead, michael cohen,
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michael flynn and paul manafort are all flipping on the president. turns out billionaire donors are starting to flip on trump, too, by donating to democrats over republicans. they say money talks. are republicans listening? we'll be right back.
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the process is still virtually frozen. u.s. peace envoy dennis rosz is trying to get both sides to agree that israel will hand over another 13% of the west bank to the palestinians. arafat says if there is no progress next may he will declare a president clinton stan state. netanyahu says then he will take his own acts in retaliation. doesn't look good. it is reported that president clinton has called air fat and netanyahu to washington for a three-way summit. nbc news, tel aviv. >> that was a look back 20 years ago today of some of nbc's coverage of the still ongoing peace talk in the middle east. yet today mark as rare historic milestone for peace in that region as 40 years ago israeli prime minister began and anwar
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sadat signed the camp david accords. the agreements brokered by president jimmy carter after 13 days of bitter and difficult negotiations paved the way for peace between the two adversaries that holds to this day. joining us now, former nbc news correspondent and tel aviv bureau chief martin fletcher whose reporting you heard coming into this block. he is out with a new block that takes us much further back telling the story of israel's first two decades, and it's entitled "promised land, a novel of israel". with us from washington president and ceo of the atlantic council, fred kemp. good to have you both on board. fred i will start with you. as we look back 40 years ago the significance of camp david, the accords, as it stands today, especially in light of our ability to broker anything out of this white house and this
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presidency, donald trump's presidency today. >> i will get to the lessons of camp david. i think they are crucial for today but first of all it was almost upset by a little girl at camp david named mika brzezinski. i was reading the memoirs of her father over the weekend. apparently you were in a golf cart with amy carder and you almost ran down the israeli prime minister and it was only the security guard of amy carter that avoided international crisis at that point. >> i really wanted to drive. it happens. >> so in any case, lay that aside i think three things set that apart and they don't exist right now. the first is you had began on the israeli side, sadat on the egyptian side. they were both strong leaders who wanted to get things done. in netanyahu and abbas you don't have that. they could make difficult decisions even against political opposition. you had president carter who was
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willing to get deeply involved in the details and come up with creative solutions during those 13 days in camp david and elsewhere when things got blocked. and began was willing to give up territory, the sinai, he didn't see any biblical or historical connection. he wanted to hold on west bank. the way to do that was giving up sinai. this has been a win for the u.s. >> yeah. >> we shifted egypt from soviet union to ourselves. and it's been really a local conflict ever since. as bad as the palestinian and israeli situation has been the big powers have not been intervening in it and israeli borders, though not entirely peaceful have been certainly more peaceful than they were then. >> john heilemann. >> i'm curious, i read couple of books, my first thought goes to a basic question, this is the planned trilogy, you are going to be writing out in the novelistic way about the
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history. this goes back to '67. why a novel rather than non-fiction. >> first i do enough research to do a non-fiction book but i didn't want to tell the it's a love story. it's a thriller, especially the first 20 years of israel's existence. it was such a struggling nation. i wanted to tell the story of a struggling family set to the struggling nation, tell the story of the people and in that way tell the story of the nation. >> as you look today and you contrast jared kushner and ivanka or jared as the bellweather guy to make peace in the middle east, just draw that contrast which is stunning in its absolutelinesy ne absoluten
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>> it is stunning. camp david was the deal of the century, the last century. it really was. it changed face of the middle east. it took war off the table as an option, a full scale war. they always said that the world can't make war against israel without egypt and they can't make peace without syria. the individuals involved today, i don't think they have the staying power, i don't think the players in the region look at the american leadership today and the people leading the plans to put a peace plan on the table. they don't have the staying pow power. they don't have the background to encourage local people this is really going to happen. >> to that point, i want to ask fred kemp what your take is on this. martin was mentioning staying
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power of leaders or lack thereof. i think in the case of the trump administration you've seen situations where people really feel like america is perhaps missing in action in some of these negotiations, to the point that people like john kerry are getting involved in conversations with iran. i mean, what's your take on the damage being done in the region now? and has america really stepped back from being a main player in all of this? >> let me look squarely at iran and syria. america has stepped back, but the big step back was in syria during the obama administration, which opened the door for russia to step back in, which 40 years earlier with anwegypt -- you'vet to give trump some praise, some
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criticism with iran. iran is in much more trouble. the currency is down 50%. iranians are getting more and more upset with their leadership. the question is will we get a better negotiation? dennis ross, a former negotiator, thinks this could bring them back to the table. a better way to go, at least in my view, would have been to work with the europeans to put more pressure on iran. they were willing to do that with the trump administration. but the trump administration's first instinct is not to work with allies in a situation like this. because of that, we've lost an international consensus around iran and it's going to be hard to rebuild it. >> in our near memory we've got the disaster in helsinki, the strange meeting in singapore that we're witnessing as a nation, our government on the front lines of talks with other key nations that impact our
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future. when you look at the camp david peace accords and you look at the process and what was involved in getting this over the finish line, something that has lasted to this day involved a knowledge of history, of each leader, of each country, a sense of what each would need out of it, what they might want out of it. also, what i learned from my father, the psychology of each player involved, every single one and also the privacy. not doing it for the picture, for the flash, for the bravado of it, but the privacy to really negotiate. what am i missing? >> i think you got all of that quite right. you also had a situation -- let's not forget anwar sedat and
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carter were willing to put aside the palestinian issue because it could not be done. i'm still one of those who thinks its early days in the situation of north korea, the situation of iran, other situations with the trump administration, who knows where all this is going to land. but we are in the middle of a new great power competition napna. you have a very focused vladimir putin in russia, you have a very focused xi jinping and a very distracted view of the united states with a lot of things going on domestically, challenges to president trump and inconsistency in some of the policies. >> martin fletcher, thank you. >> our team uncovered video of me taking over the wheel of the
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golf cart with amy. i'd never seen it until last friday. maybe we'll show that. here we go. thanks. es a litt i was a little out of hand. in our next hour, former president jimmy carter joins us live to look back at the peace accord that he brokered, still holding after 40 years. also still ahead the lawyer for brett kavanaugh's accuser said this morning that her client is handgwilling to testi publicly. and what could paul manafort offer bob mueller when it comes to possible collusion between the trump campaign and russia? we'll connect the dots. plus, more flooding expected for parts of the carolinas, even wilmington, which has already been cut off. bill karins joins us with the latest. - [narrator] the typical vacuum head has its limitations,
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so shark invented duo clean. while deep cleaning carpets, the added soft brush roll picks up large particles, gives floors a polished look, and fearlessly devours piles. duo clean technology, only from shark. good morning and welcome to "morning joe." it is monday, september 17th. and another very busy news day. the woman who accused supreme court nominee brett kavanaugh of sexual assaulting her during their teenage years has identified herself in a "washington post" report. now democrats are demanding an
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investigation. plus, former trump campaign manager paul manafort agrees to cooperate with federal prosecutors. and florence isn't a hurricane anymore, but the storm continues to assault the carolinas. in some areas, rising flood waters are expected to get worse in the coming days. john heilemann is cohost and executive producer of showtime's "the circus." and kasie hunt is with us. we'll start with this very complicated story this morning, the author of a confidential letter accusing supreme court nominee brett kavanaugh of
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sexual assault more than three decades ago identified herself on sunday. christine blasey ford, a 51-year-old research psychologist in northern california spoke publicly for the first time about the allegations in a report by the "washington post." ford alleges that one summer during high school in the early '80s, kavanaugh and a friend drunkenly corralled her into a bedroom during a gathering of teenagers at a home in montgomery county, maryland. ford alleges kavanaugh pinned her to a bed on her back and groped her over her clothes, grinding his body against hers and attempting to pull off her one-piece bathing suit while his friend watched. when she tried to yell, he put his hand over her mouth. ford told the post, quote, i thought he might inadvertently kill me. he was trying to attack me and remove my clothing. she said she was able to escape after kavanaugh's friend mark
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judge jumped on top of them. she said she ran from the room, locked herself in a bathroom for several minutes before fleeing the house. she told no one about the incident in any detail until 2012 in a therapy session with her husband. her husband says he recalled her using kavanaugh's last name and voicing concern he might one day be nominated to the supreme court. portions of the therapist's notes were provided by ford to the "washington post" but they did not mention ka nauvanaugh's name. the notes do mention she was attacked by students at an elite boys' school who went onto become high ranking people in washington. ford took a polygraph test administered by an fbi agent in august which concluded she was
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being truthful when she said a statement summarizing her allegations were accurate. nbc news had reached out but has not independently confirmed ford's identification. the author of the "washington post" report, emma brown, will join us shortly on "morning joe." brett kavanaugh has denied the sexual assault allegation. when asked for comment on the "washington post" piece, the white house issued kavanaugh's statement friday where he said, quote, i categorically and unequivocally deny this allegation. i did not do this back in high school or at any time. kavanaugh's friend and classmate, who ford alleges was in the room, mark judge, strongly denied the incident occurred. on friday before ford's name was known, judge told "the weekly standard," quote, it is absolutely nuts, i never saw brett act that way. judge did not respond to the "washington post" for comment on sunday. let's stop right there and put
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the brakes on. joe, give us a sense of what exactly we're looking at here from 20,000 feet. >> there are so many questions that both sides are going to be asking. politically you look at this and ask,first of all, is ford going to want a hearing? if she does want a hearing, is the committee vote going to allow them to have a hearing? some republicans have already come out and said there should be a hearing. fa f th if that's the case, obviously the vote will be delayed. what is the impact of that? where does mitch mcconnell stand on this? where does the chairman of the committee stand on it? most importantly for kavanaugh's fate, where do the women who identified themselves as pro choice women who were already having a hard time with this vote -- where do they stand on providing a woman a hearing
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who -- i guess a better way to say it is, how do they politically not stand in the way of a vote? how do they not demand a hearing for a woman who claims that she was afraid she was going to be killed by a judge who, if he's put on the supreme court, will be of course the deciding vote in roe v wade? it seems like for these two republican women, lisa murkowski and susan collins, they're really in no position regardless of the facts, regardless of what the truth ends up being, of demanding that hearing? >> we heard a little bit from susan collins saying she's disturbed by how it came about and also by the allegation itself. what we're hearing from republican leadership sources
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this morning and overnight was that they kind of want to try to force this early this week, force a public hearing, get her in there, get her testimony before the committee, get it done and still get a vote done this week. you asked about mitch mcconnell. obviously pivotal. he's going to decide ultimately whether or not this gets to the floor. he's a cold-blooded sort of vote counter. if he thinks they have the votes, he's going to bring it to the floor. he's been working for 20 years to get the supreme court as conservative as possible. yesterd they still feel at the end of the day that kavanaugh's denied it, that the other man who was allegedly in the room has also denied it and they think that's probably going to be enough to put at ease republican senators. there is a political concern. it goes to your question, joe, about murkowski or about
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collins. republicans behind the scenes are very worried that they're increasingly looking like the party of just white men. and once again, if you have a bunch of white male senators go through this process, especially if they didn't hear from her, they worry, gosh, we're going to lose even more of these suburban women who are already turning on us because they don't like the behavior of donald trump. i think we're going to know a lot more in the next 48 hours. >> 50 days away from this election, this could be if not handled correctly by the republicans, a political nightmare for a republican party who is already losing suburban female voters. mitch mcconnell is cold, calculating vote counter. if he thinks he has the votes, he's going to march forward. but jeff flake has already told him he doesn't have the votes.
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he said he wants to have a hearing. i find it hard to believe that we're going to have a hearing this week and a vote on thursday. it seems like things have gotten far more complicated. with jeff flake and lindsey graham even talking about the need for a hearing, suddenly it's not going to be smooth sailing for mitch mcconnell and republicans who understand if kavanaugh doesn't get through, there's not going to be another nominee for the supreme court until after the 2018 election. >> yeah, that's right, joe. there is no way to move somebody through this process quickly enough for that. jeff flake is taking a real stand here. let's just be very clear. the first of these votes that has to happen is in the committee. it's 10-11 democrats to republicans. jeff flake himself has stood in the way of ka nvanaugh moving
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forward. they have to make sure his concerns have been addressed. this conversation about, okay, she's got to publicly come and testify, that means that dr. ford has a very real decision to make here. there has not been an assurance that just because she came forward and spoke to a reporter and was willing to put her name out there, that she's willing to go through what it takes to throu -- the men here have issued categorical denials. if you're a woman in this case, why would you come forward? her entire life is going to be completely changed going forward because she did this. i think for a lot of women behind the scenes -- and there's been a lot of conversations among aides i talked to on the hill, reporters, members of congress. it's very important in this cultural moment as well that
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they consider what the perception is. if they're seen as not listening to and treating this woman's allegations very seriously -- from a political but also a personal and human perspective, they've already been under such pressure on this nomination already, are they really going to be willing to take the arrows for the republican party for this? i'm not convinced yesterday. donald trump likes to say that paul manafort didn't have much to do with his winning campaign, but me mhe may have a to do with what comes next. what his cooperation means for the mueller probe. first, bill karins. >> it just an incredible hurricane. we knew the flooding would be horrendous with this storm and it is. water rescues taking place all weekend long. there are hundreds of homes and
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washed out roads all over eastern north carolina. all the major highways are closed. almost every single river is at major flood stage. a lot of people that evacuated over a week ago don't have any chance of returning to their beach houses or to the shore or the coastal community because they can't get there right now. numerous pets left behind have been rescued in many cases. unfortunately, the number of fatalities continues to rise. we are now at 16 and we have half a million people without power. the power crews want to get the lines back up but they can't drive through that water either. we did get to 34 inches of rain. this huge footprint and a good section of about a quarter of the state did pick up two feet of rain. all of that water is too much for any river system. now we're watching the last bit
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of rain exiting raleigh. we have flash flood warnings that go from myrtle beach to wilmington, all the way now to roanoke, virginia. now the flash flood watches extend northwards. today the best chance of flash flooding, the mountainous areas of west virginia, virginia, right through state college in central pennsylvania and then into the southern tier of new york. tuesday we'll take that through the catskills and the berkshires. heavy rain event on tuesday from boston to albany. florence has left its mark. some of those rivers won't crest until the end of this week. people may not be back in their homes for another couple days, even another week or two. we leave you with a shot of new york city, who's going to get a little bit of rain tomorrow from
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the president's attorney rudy giuliani is trying his best to spin the cooperation agreement between paul manafort and special counsel bob mueller. the deal calls for manafort to, quote, cooperate fully, truthfully, completely and fo h forthrightly in this and all matters. giuliani insists, quote, the cooperation agreement does not involve the trump campaign. even one of the president's most ardent defenders alan dershowitz is having a hard time understanding that one. >> what i don't understand is how you can say that the deal is limited. the deal, as i understand it, says that manafort will
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cooperate about anything that the special counsel asks him about. there are no limits. so, i understand why rudy giuliani, who's a good lawyer wants to put this in the most positive light, but this was a very bad day for the trump administration. it's bad because he doesn't know what manafort is saying and he can't count on manafort saying only things that the special counsel already knows. when you don't know what a cooperator is saying, then it's a bad day for you, because you're vulnerable and exposed. >> a couple things. first of all, manafort could have a lot to offer the special counsel. he attended the june 2016 meeting at trump tower with the russians where don junior was excited to get dirt on hillary clinton. there's also his connection to the russian oligarch who's very close to vladimir putin. e-mails show manafort promised
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to give him inside information on the campaign. now there's manafort's business relationship with an alleged russian intelligence agency and manafort's relationship with roger stone, who of course appeared to have communicated with wikileaks around the time that the democratic e-mails were hacked and leaked. and on top of that, you've got on the other side rudy giuliani saying nothing to worry about, nothing to see here. this is the same rudy giuliani who promised us that everything was going to over by labor day. donald trump wishes everything would have been over by labor day. how significant is mueller flipping? >> well, so one thing, a good rule of thumb is if you have to send rudy giuliani to say there's nothing to worry about,
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nothing to see here, it's because there's something to worry about and something to see here. how much there is, we don't know. by the way, neither husband rdo giuliani. what manafort is going to be in a position to tell the special counsel is something that they know because they've had proffers from him. but we're not in a position to know that. you know, i do think a bunch of people are kind of getting ahead of their skis and assuming that manafort holds the keys to all the kingdoms. i don't know that and i'm not going to sit here and sort of pretend that. on the other hand, if you are bob mueller and you have prosecuted paul manafort very aggressively across two jurisdictions, two cases for more than a year now or almost a year now and you presumably are
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doing it because in addition to the egregious criminal conduct in question, you actually want to talk to him and you want him in a cooperative posture. and now he has him in a cooperative posture and that's presumably because the special counsel has questions that he thinks paul manafort is in a position to shed light on. so the fact that we have reached that point has to be significant. >> john, we don't know how significant that is, but obviously the white house is concerned that it's significant. the president, of course, not seen in public for several days through the end of the week. they've all got to be very concerned that the guy who seemed to be in the middle of one foot in ukrainian and russian politics and one foot in american politics is now talking to robert mueller. >> yeah. our friend joyce vance put the great clear framing on this,
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which is it's not just that he's cooperating or talking to robert mueller. at this point paul manafort, a guy that donald trump had a relationship that goes back decades, not just to this campaign, a guy who lived in trump tower, a guy who has decades of connections to ukrainian and dirty russian money, that guy is now working for bob mueller. that guy is not just a cooperating witness, but someone whose future depends on full-throated cooperation, on telling investigators that work for mueller anything they need to know, anything they want to know, anything that's pertinent on any thread of the investigation. i think that can't help but -- whatever rudy giuliani says, which is usually almost incomprehensible, there's no rational person who in this circumstance would not look at this as a chilling development. coming up on "morning joe," we'll speak live with the 39 th president of the united states.
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jimmy carter is standing by. he joins the discussion next on "morning joe." - [narrator] the typical vacuum head has its limitations, so shark invented duo clean. while deep cleaning carpets, the added soft brush roll picks up large particles, gives floors a polished look, and fearlessly devours piles. duo clean technology, only from shark. antake us downtown, waze.les. waze integration- seamlessly connecting the world inside... with the world outside... making life a little... easier. introducing the well-connected lincoln mkc.
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this is moving day with the best andin-home wifi experiencees. and millions of wifi hotspots to help you stay connected. and this is moving day with reliable service appointments in a two-hour window so you're up and running in no time. show me decorating shows. this is staying connected with xfinity to make moving... simple. easy. awesome. stay connected while you move with the best wifi experience and two-hour appointment windows. click, call or visit a store today. 40 years ago this month, an
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american president took a risk, bringing together the leaders of two historic bitter enemies for a high stakes mission. failure could have meant war. yet, jimmy carter and his team orchestrated an enduring agreement, the camp david accords, a successful first step for a region that is still in need of brave diplomats like the ones back in 1978. war after war after war, in the middle of the last century egypt and israel spent decades fighting over territory and security. in 1978, jimmy carter, an evangelical christian put his prestige on the line. >> a framework for peace in the middle east. >> carter wrote long and personal letters to the israeli and egyptian head of state, begging the enemies to come to america and talk. >> the challenge is tremendous. >> they agreed, setting the stage for a negotiation at the
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president's wilderness resident, camp david. >> at camp david on a maryland mountain top -- >> almost never in our history has a president devoted so much time on a single problem. >> carter studied psychological profiles of the men prepared by the cia and state department. >> a conservative who led a militant group at the outset had a loose grip on power. sadat known for his realism, political acumen and capacity for surprising courageous and dramatic decisions. with two fierce adversaries, my father advised the president you will have to control the proceedings from the outset. carter did just that. >> at the request of president quarter begin is making no political statements. >> negotiating with each other and not through the press.
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carter's clampdown made what was happening inside a mystery to most reporters. >> next to nothing of what they have said has done outside camp david's fences. >> the israeli delegation is totally zipped up. even less is coming out of it than than the egyptian delegation. >> even carter had no idea how long the talks would last. nor did begin or sadat agree what was to come of them. sadat wanted israeli troops out of the sinai peninsula and rights for palestinians. begin wanted to simply agree on principles for future negotiations. >> begin and sadat where so incompatible, they couldn't even be in the same room without exploding out of anger. so i kept them apart. they never saw each other for ten days. >> they played, talked, ate
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together and prayed. >> president sadat of egypt attended friday service at camp david. the jewish sabbath began at sundown. >> dozens of american, israeli and egyptian staffers and family members roam eed camp david's grounds. i was there with the president's daughter amy. >> now as the summit begins its second week -- >> the advances made thus far might simply evaporate. >> the talks stalled over the dismantling of israeli settlements. they needed a break. carter brought them to gettysburg. >> the three leaders were relaxed and jovial, seeming to confirm reports that the informal atmosphere had brought them all closer together. >> on the brink of failure, carter approached begin with a
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photograph which he inscribed with love to each of the prime minister's grandchildren. begin was so moved but the gesture that he said they would try one more time. >> the scene in the white house last night was almost unbelievable. >> the resulting deal removed israeli troops from sinai, ended hostilities and opened the suez canal to israelis. >> the risks were high, but so was your determination. >> let us promise each other that we shall do it earlier. >> the peace treaty between the countries would not be signed for another six months. >> documents ending a 30-year state of war. >> the photo op was the finale not the beginning. >> without any exaggeration,
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what he did constitutes one of the greatest achievements of our time. >> in the face of adversity and hostili hostility, you have demonstrated the human value that can change history. >> what a remarkable, remarkable piece of history and what a lesson to all of us still today. let's bring in right now the 39th president of the united states, president jimmy carter. mr. president, 40 years later, still in ground war in the middle east. that's extraordinary in itself. but what do you believe are the greatest achievements of that time and the legacy of the camp david accords? >> this morning it's good to
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remember this 40 years ago what happened. as a matter of fact, not a single word of the treaty between israel and egypt has been violated during that 40 years. they still have peace, although before camp david agreement between israel and egypt, they had been at war three times against each other and despised each other still because they could remember things that happened in the war and the people being killed on both sides. it's very gratifying to me to remember back in those days, and i hope they'll continue to be at peace. there were two basic elements of the camp david accords. one was the peace treaty between israel and egypt. it took about six months more of negotiations between the two in which i was deeply involved, of course. the other part was to give the palestinians full autonomy to manage their own affairs and to
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have a nation of their own. that hasn't been realized, but i think the overall results of the camp david accords have been very beneficial to both sides. >> mr. president, we could talk about the problems that the united states is struggling through right now, especially on the world stage. but it seems to me focusing on what you did not only with the camp david accords but also we're going to be celebrating the 40th anniversary of your opening with china. talk about how you did what you did at camp david, something that was seen as remarkable even then, but even more so 40 years later, the patience, the preparation, your own unique personal skills that kept these
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two bettitter enemies together talking even through the toughest of times. what do you say to young men and women that are listening this morning about what was required by you to make this happen? >> well, in my inaugural address and throughout my term of president i tried to do two things. one is to promote peace, and the other is to be a champion of human rights on behalf of our country. living in peace is one of the basic rights of all human beings. in addition to the treaty between israel and egypt, i tried to promote peace with all other nations and the world. and we were pretty well successful in dealing with china as well. i negotiated during the same year 1978 with china and toward the end of that year we announced the agreement that would establish peace between our two countries for the first time in more than 35 years.
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i think of all the things i did as president, the normalization of the relations with china was perhaps -- had perhaps the most long term effect on world affairs, because china did two things then. one was reform internally and also reach out to other nations around the world. china's now become a very major factor in international affairs. and you know what's happened since they had free enterprise in china beginning a year after we had the agreement. so since 1979, china has not been at war with any other country. so peace has prevailed in the far east or around the pacific
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ocean since that time, although we had earlier the vietnam war, the korean war and constant war. so i think that was a success as well in bringing peace to the world. i hope that we can maintain that peace and get along with our enemies, that is between israel and egypt and also between the united states and china. >> mr. president, looking at the challenges that you faced in camp david, you had to deal with begin, anwar sadat. what was that like? >> it was a very wonderful experience for me. he was completely loyal. he was very knowledgeable. he was a driving force. he was one of the main ones who worked ones who worked directly with me to let me know what both sides wanted.
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after the third day at camp david, i never let the two get together, begin and sadat. so i would go forth. while begin was asleep, i would talk to sadat. and while sadat was asleep, i would talk to begin. i didn't get much sleep. i think i lost about 15 pounds at camp david in 13 days. it was through people like brzezinski who let me know what both sides wanted so i could try to accommodate them. >> what do you want for the middle east over the next 40 years, mr. president? >> well, i want israel and egypt to stay at peace with each other. that's the key to the region. but i also want the palestinians to have a chance to live a full and fruitful and enjoyable life. that was one of the agreements that begin finally accepted. and of course we can see
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indications even after we got back to washington before the two leaders went home that the israelis weren't going to back down on the palestinian issue. i hope we can see my dream for that region come through arue a is for israel to live at peace with all its neighbors so the israelis and palestinians and egyptians and hopefully the syrians can have a peaceful existence. >> president jimmy carter, to great to hear from you. thank you very much for being on. >> thank you, mika. i've always been thankful for your father. >> me too. thank you so much. thank you to the carter museum for sharing some of that rare footage. definitely brings back memories.
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>> john heilemann, you sit -- or mika even, you sit there and you look at the patience that president carter showed. you look at the persistence that he showed and also even before going there, the preparation that he showed in getting to know the men that he was going to be dealing with. that is something that this white house, that is something that every white house should take to heart when trying to strike a deal or trying to understand either the chinese or the north koreans or the israelis, the palestinians. these diplomatic breakthroughs don't just happen because you call a meeting. there was extraordinarily difficult. it's the only way things happen.
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>> it was incredible. >> i think what we just saw, what we just talked about, cavern dav camp david, that is a blueprint for future leaders. >> my daughter did a paper on the camp david accords and interviewed my father right before he passed away. to hear about the preparation, the psychological preparation alone, it was incredible. then to be a kid of someone who was a part of that process, i'm just sorry i was sumpch a jerk. i was 11 and you don't know what your parents are doing. that was an incredible effort on the part of president carter and his team. >> talking about your behavior there, the one thing that president carter has spoken about in the past but did not speak about today was the fact that you almost sidetracked the entire process by almost running over begin with the golf cart. >> what were we doing there?
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what were we doing there? >> and what exactly were you doing almost running over begin in a golf cart? >> from that important moment in history, next we turn back to what's happening today in washington and the world. we'll be right back with much more "morning joe." - [narrator] the typical vacuum head has its limitations, so shark invented duo clean. while deep cleaning carpets, the added soft brush roll picks up large particles, gives floors a polished look, and fearlessly devours piles. duo clean technology, only from shark.
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. one of the republican party's largest financial supporters over the years is taking a different tack ahead of this year's midterm elections, proposing to give some 20 million dollar million dollars to democrats. tell us exactly who's giving what to whom and why it should matter. >> seth clarman has been ref referred to as the oracle of boston. he's compared often to warren buffett in terms of how down to earth he is, how he doesn't sow controversy in the press. for the past several decades, he
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was known as the biggest donor to the gop in new england. he was a reliably center right figure. now he tells me he's donating 20 million to democratic and hib r -- liberal causes. that's an amazing number considering he's worth $1.5 billion according to portion. it's just an incredible percentage of his sort of net worth. the reason he's doing it, he says, is that he can't count on the republicans. anyone who thinks that the republicans are going to sort of -- with rare exceptions like jeff flake or mccain or corker are going to wake up and be a check on this run away presidency is deluding themselves. the only way we can create a check is by having the democrats take back the house and senate. >> he's spending $20 million for there to be a constitutional check on the president of the
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united states? >> correct. he told me -- he said he would give as much as it would take to do that. i think there's sort of a deeper point here, which is that, you know, the rich are often de demonized. the fact is that capitalists don't just rely on corporate tax cuts and personal tax cuts or, you know, low employment. they depend on the rule of law. seth clarman sees this president i think rightly taking a sledge hammer to democratic norms and the rule of law. donald trump is not a capitalist. he doesn't believe in free markets. machismo. but real capitalists know better. >> the rule of law, free
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markets, open markets and a country that is not $21 trillion in debt, these are things that used to matter to conservatives before donald trump. they don't seem to matter now. they obviously do to some donors. >> you would have thought an increase of debt would get their attention. what i was struck with in the article, and we talk a lot about bravery or the lack of it with republicans, is that there's so many businessmen that are cowards. and barry points out in the article -- basically comes out and says, look, i'm going to lose some clients over this. i think he's got, what is it, $10 billion fund -- >> 30, yes. >> 30. a lot of those are going to be not happy people coming out and speaking. it would be nice if some of the financial communities who came forward.
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and to do what seth has basically said in the article, i'm doing the right thing. >> he says there are things more important than making money. there's a lot of people in seth's cohorts. people we all know. socially liberal, hawkish, who all found trump to be extremely distas distasteful. but because of the policies he's put forward, which seth thinks are just random and lucky. gorsuch, the tax cuts. they've decided to hold their tongue. he's saying that's a cowardly strategy. the other thing -- >> i'm association mika, go ahead, sorry. >> go ahead, sorry. >> the other thing of note, lex wesner, you know, another major gop millionaire, announced that he is no longer a member of the republican party. he's going to be an independent
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now. >> yes, there's some real shifts taking place here. i wonder, kacie hunt, if you're hearing this on capitol hill. >> absolutely, i'd be interested, you mentioned somebody else, but really the test is, okay, are you going to take all of this and give it to democrats. because at the end of the day, you know, leaving the republican party only gets you so far. i think this -- it's noteworthy, this particular -- a piece of this. republicans that i talked to frankly are a little worried about the elitism factor here as well and questions about whether the base is simply going to view this as more of the same. >> one thing that's notable is seth carmen. he believes in taking money out of politics completely. he doesn't believe in unilateral disarmament. for now he's willing to sort of give. i think that's a totally fair
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question. i think what's notable is someone who almost never talks to the press, who is, you know, very much as he describes it a loner, is willing to sort of stick his neck out in the hopes he can influence other people in his cohort. >> bari weis, thank you very much. and we're back in just a moment for the last-minute political developments of yet another very busy news morning. so shark invented duo clean. while deep cleaning carpets, the added soft brush roll picks up large particles, gives floors a polished look, and fearlessly devours piles. duo clean technology, only from shark.
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hey, welcome back to "morning joe." so kacie, we now have information that dr. ford is willing to testify on capitol hill. how does that change things throughout this week? >> yes, joe, i was going to say the show is so different sitting here at almost 9:00 than it was at 6:00 this morning. now the ball is back in republican's courts. her lawyer, deborah katz, said they haven't heard from anyone in the senate when they might ask her to testify or if they'll ask her to testify at all. you have a woman who has come forward with extraordinarily serious allegations against this nominee, saying i want to testify. that is a huge risk for republicans. a completely unpredictable scenario. quite frankly, i think this confirmation that was all but assured just, you know, maybe 72 hours ago is in very -- is in very real question right now.
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>> it really is. donny deutsch, you already have jeff flake, lindsey graham, bob corker, lisa murkowski, i suspect susan collins has probably said it already to somebody, that if she's willing to testify, republicans need to listen. that changes the dynamics of this nomination radically. >> yes, it's interesting, obviously with corker and flake, they've been the brave ones. they're retiring. collins obviously with an extra sensitivity to women. it might be a matter of time, particularly if you connect the dots to manafort turning and you're really feel the noose tightening around trump. that some other republicans may start to act brave. just simple selfish interests. it might be -- i was asking senator durbin this, are you getting the feeling some senators feel it's okay to come out from under the rock right now? kind of going against the president? when you kind of bring these two
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things together, might be a moment in time. politically, things certainly do seem to be a bit tougher for the president this week. what a great time we had at ole miss on thursday and friday, saturday. the people there couldn't have been any nicer. mississippi today helped us put on this event. andy of course. jim barksdale. it was so great seeing him. chancellor vitter. we even got eddie glaude wearing a university of alabama pin. it was great. look at him flinching. ended up he was on the winning side there. so great. what a great community in ole miss and what a wonderful time we had with jon meacham and also with isaac. >> our thanks to mississippi today for having us. that does it for us this morning. stephanie ruhle picks up the
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coverage right now. hi there, i'm stephanie ruhle with a lot to cover. starting with the growing list of senators including one influential republican calling for a delay on a vote after a woman goes public on accusing supreme court nominee brett kavanaugh of sexual assault, detailing an attack while the two of them were back in high school. >> she clearly considers this an attempted rape. this is not a politically motivated action. in fact, she was quite reluctant to come forward and she was, in fact, outed after she had made the decision not to come forward.

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