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tv   MTP Daily  MSNBC  September 21, 2018 2:00pm-3:00pm PDT

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thanks to steve schmidt, joyce vance, phil rucker and the rev al sharpton. i'm nicolle wallace. "mtp daily" starts right now. hi, chuck. >> hi, nicolle. just another friday, huh? >> nothing much going on. >> actually in trump era, it is just another friday. >> it is. >> happy friday. thank you. well, if it is friday, is the man in charge of the russia investigation about to be fired for cause? good evening. i'm chuck todd in washington. welcome to "mtp daily." we begin tonight with some pretty big breaking news that involves some explosive allegations involving deputy attorney general rod rosenstein,
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who of course is the man who oversees the russia investigation. this afternoon "the new york times" dropped an extraordinary story that says rosenstein suggested last year that he secretly record president trump by wearing a wire. and according to the "times," rosenstein also discussed lobbying the cabinet to potentially remove the president from office via the 25th amendment, specifically singling out two cabinet secretaries, jeff sessions and then dhs secretary john kelly as people who might be receptive to it. rosenstein put out a statement calling "the new york times" story inaccurate and factually incorrect. he added he currently sees no basis to invoke the 25th amendment. so no pushback about the idea that he discussed it. as you might expect, that report has set off quite the firestorm. democrats are urging the president not to use the story as a reason to fire rosenstein and interfere with the russia probe. some of the president's allies aren't just calling for rosenstein's ouster. they want mueller gone too. the white house has been uncharacteristically silent on this story. the president is in the air right now, so that may explain
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that. he'll be landing shortly. and when we get reaction, we will bring it to you asap. he's hunkering down in new jersey this weekend by the way. but, folks, it's possible there's more to this story, a lot more. a senior justice department official is tebling our pete williams that rosenstein made those comments on may 16th of last year, which was a week after president trump fired james comey and a day before rosenstein would appoint bob mueller as the special counsel. this official also says rosenstein was being sarcastic about wearing a wire, and he made those comments while arguing with then acting fbi director andrew mccabe. but "the new york times" says that other officials familiar with his comments believed him to be very serious because rosenstein reportedly followed up by suggesting that other fbi officials could secretly record the president too. both "the washington post" and abc have reported that mccabe memorialized rosenstein's comments in a memo, and there is
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apparently no note in mccabe's memo about sarcasm. mccabe's lawyer put out a statement that didn't push back on anyone one's reporting saying, in part, he has no knowledge of how any number -- any member of the media obtained those memos. so where does all this leave us? well, first off, sources cited by multiple news organizations all seem to confirm that rosenstein made a comment about wearing a wire, sarcasm or not. that's a big deal. there are also multiple accounts about the issue of the 25th amendment being raised. it's just a question of how seriously it was raised. still a big deal. joining me now is "the new york times" matt apuzzo. he contributed to the reporting of their bombshell story, and pete williams, our justice correspondent. tonight's panel is also here, leanne caldwell, george will, and maria theresa kumar. matt and pete, i'm going to start with you.
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matt, this is your guys' bombshell here. as you might expect, we got a lot of questions also about your sourcing on this because there's a lot of angles to this. but let me start with the pushback that you've heard from justice both via our reporting here at nbc news and frankly the way rosenstein wanted to push back against your story. how confident are you of the wire part of this story? how confident are you of the 25th amendment part of the story? >> we wouldn't put it in "the new york times" if we weren't confident about it, chuck. but, you know, look, i think it makes sense that the justice department is going to say, well, he wasn't being serious because the alternative is to say, yeah, yeah, i absolutely thought that i should wear a wire. that presumably would be the end of rod rosenstein as the deputy attorney general. so, you know, we understand that there's going to be pushback to stories. what we know is that the acting fbi director at the time, andy
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mccabe, who was in the running to be the permanent fbi director, memorialized this and told people in realtime about this. and like you said, the pushback is, oh, he didn't mean it. and that's the perspective they want to have, that's fine. this is just a really remarkable moment, and it really speaks to this crazy period of time. >> yeah. >> when james comey had been fired, and it just shows the tension that was going on in the justice department and in the white house. and one other remarkable thing is rod rosenstein muses aloud and says, you know who i'd love to talk to about this? i'd love to talk to jim about who i should appoint as special counsel. it just shows what a crazy period this all was. >> is it likely to you, matt, that somebody wants to surface this story at this time and wants rod rosenstein in the firing line on this? >> well, so i will say, you know, i'm now a reporter for the "times" based in brussels.
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this has been something we've been working on since before i left. so this isn't something that somebody just picked up the phone and said, let's put this story in today. so, you know, these things take time. this is a process. and rather than focus on sort of the motives of people who were talking to reporters, i think we should talk about just what a totally remarkable and historic thing that we're witnessing here in the government. >> pete williams, how rattled is justice on all of this? >> well, very. they're pushing back strongly on all of it, chuck. but i think there's no disputing what matt just said, that whatever happened here, it encapsulates a moment of chaos, confusion, and a great uncertainty at the justice department in the firing of comey and all this pressure that rod rosenstein was getting from the hill to appoint a special counsel. now, what justice says, a couple of officials we talked to, they say that they -- they repeat this thing that rosenstein
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mentioned the thing about wearing the wire sarcastically. there was an argument between him and mccabe, and at one point they say rosenstein said, what do you want me to do, andy? wear a wire? that's the way they characterize it. on the 25th amendment thing, they note that both -- and by the way, i should say the people in this room according to justice, a secure facility at the justice department, may 16th, seven people, four career peop people, the deputy attorney general, andy mccabe, and lisa page, the fbi lawyer whose text messages would later become notorious. they say that both page and mccabe wrote memos about this, that page's memo was much longer about this conversation and that she never mentioned anything about the 25th amendment, they say. but they say that mccabe's mention of the 25th amendment was very short, just, d.a.g. raises 25th amendment. and the other thing they say is, they say it's not credible, they
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claim, that rosenstein would have wanted to talk to john kelly about this since he barely knew him and was pretty new on the job. and the second thing they say is, remember, in order to invoke the 25th amendment, it takes not only a majority of cabinet members, but also the vice president, and they say is it credible to think that rod rosenstein would have thought that mike pence would go along with anything like this. so that's their version of what happened. so what you have here really, chuck, i think is a meeting at which people have different recollections about what happened. >> right. >> at a tumultuous time. >> the president just a week ago, matt apuzzo, was talking about not only green-lighting the release of those fisa memos but also any texts involving comey, mccabe, strzok, page, basically all the president's favorite targets over at the fbi. and now he gets handed this gift basket. he's been looking for an excuse here, and he may have it. >> he may have it, but i'm not actually sure if this solves any problems for him.
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you know, like pete, i've spent most of my time covering law enforcement, so i'm not a political prognosticator. but i don't know, chuck. i don't know if that would help him. you know, he's already gone out and said, i don't have an attorney general. doesn't want to have another senate confirmation fight? you know, does it risk galvanizing support for the investigation? i mean the politics of it, you can make yourself crazy thinking about the chess moves here. >> absolutely. pete williams, let's say rod rosenstein goes away tomorrow. who is in charge of the mueller probe? >> noel francisco, the solicitor general, would be next on the list. there is a doj succession list. he would be next up. >> george will, just digest this for a minute. it's been hard frankly for all of us to digest this. what do you make of it in. >> first, rather than it being in in the president's interest to fire rosenstein because of this, it may be in his interest to keep it because it further taints the whole process.
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we have been in washington enough to know about leaks. i don't know who benefits from this -- >> we know who doesn't. >> we know who doesn't. >> yeah. >> second, and this is really answered. this conversation didn't take place in yankee stadium in front of 70,000 people. >> right. >> we know the room. we know the date. we know who was there. so we know, a, either one of them leaked it or someone with access to the memos leaked it. and, again, it comes back to the question who benefits. >> leanne, that's the amazing thing here is andrew mccabe's essential almost confirmation that almost all of these memos exist. i don't know who leaked them. it wouldn't be in andy mccabe's interest, i don't think. >> well, and coming from a capitol hill perspective, you already have members of congress on the freedom caucus who have drafted resolutions of impeachment against rosenstein. and so they held that off before the august recess. they say, we'll put this on the back burner. we'll see where this goes. we haven't heard back yet on if
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they want to relive or bring those up again. but they're out there, and this could be ammunition for them to at least be the attack dog for the president. and so maybe he doesn't have to directly fire directly. >> what do you make of this? >> first of all, i think they will now definitely become much more the attack dog. i think these conversations are not happening in a vacuum. the fact that everything that these memos are confirming, that there is chaos in the white house, that people do not know who the leadership is, that has been very well documented by an insider with an op-ed piece in "the new york times" and with the bob woodward book that basically is frankly saying, yes, all of this. all of our alarm bills should be ringing. so, yes, the idea that someone leaked these memos are very personal. but even that the fbi is jokingly talking about invoking the 25th amendment, that should be alarm bells all around. >> i'm going to put out the anonymous new york "times" op-ed because of the things it did
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mention. and now suddenly i'm guessing rod rosenstein or andy mccabe are the chief suspects here. i'm half kidding. given the instability many witnessed, there were early whispers within the cabinet of invoking the 25th amendment, which would start a complex process for removing the president, but no one wanted to precipitate a constitutional crisis so we will do what we can to steer the administration in the right direction until one way or another, it's over. there is a consistent story that comes out of this administration, george. >> there is, but people -- even experienced people in the deep or perhaps it's the shallow state shoot off their mouths at the end of the day or under pressure. and the 25th amendment can come up. no one took that seriously in that meeting. these are not children, and they know that this was written for something like woodrow wilson strokes. we don't remove a president because he's a dope. >> it's not the american way and it certainly would come across as an odd thing to many voters.
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>> yeah. but with the president, the w , president, if he does fire rosenstein, where does this go? we know he has a short temper, has a short fuse, thin skin. are his people that are closest to him around him going to be able to contain him? and i think that how this plays out in the next couple days, especially by himself in bedminster right now, what are we going to see? >> hey, pete williams, do you think rod rosenstein will do one of these offer his resignation and make the president either accept or reject? >> no, i don't think so. i mean, you know, i think the conventional wisdom is that jeff sessions, the attorney general, will not be around after the midterm elections. my guess would be that he chooses to step down himself rather than waiting for the inevitable to happen. and then there's going to be a question by the way about who succeeds him. the law says the deputy attorney general becomes the acting attorney general. but there's another law that says the president can put any
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presidentially appointed senate-confirmed person in that j job. does this story make it allot less likely for rod rosenstein to succeed as attorney general? perhaps so. >> matt apuzzo, one point you also make in this story is in that weird week where comey was fired, we also had that bizarre incident when the russian delegation was in the oval office and the president sort of spilled his guts about what he did with comey. that seemed to add to the concern of that period. is that -- is that sort of the picture you guys were attempting to paint as to why rosenstein was so chaotic in that week or ten-day period? >> well, so i don't know -- i don't know if rosenstein even knew what the president told the russians in the oval office. that's something that came out, you know, a week or so later when we learned that what he said was, i faced great pressure because of russia.
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that's been taken off now because he fired this nutjob comey. but this was one of the most pressure-filled, insane, you know, periods in modern government history. so it is certainly something that we're still trying to piece together, you know, what happened in private and in public during those crazy days and weeks. >> i want to lift up a little bit here. it feels like everybody got the same disease, george, that james comey had when he tried to handle -- everybody thinks they know better. and you feel as if a lot of people that may have -- may be well intentioned in their motivation have actually made our -- mucked it up even more by trying to act alone. >> act alone and outside the guardrails of procedure. >> mm-hmm. >> the same procedure they're trying to get him to do. >> i understand. >> yeah. >> and we heard this from the podium at cleveland. i alone can fix it. and the i alone can fix it
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mentality can be, on the part of mr. trump or those who are bitterly opposed to him. and they're both equally wrong. >> leanne, i look add this supreme court essentially impasse that we're at and look at it as it was harry reid and mitch mcconnell going, a lone can fix the judicial nomination process and they mucked it up even more. i feel like this is a disease that so many people have in washington, and it is why this place is beyond repair on days like this. >> i mean it's instant gratification, instant results without thinking of the long term. as far as the president's concerned, he's wanted to destroy many institutions and that's happening whether he's doing that intentionally or the people around him are really tearing them down. >> his greatest gift is making his enemies make mistakes. >> absolutely. >> this feels like one of those moments. >> i think the biggest concern for what we should be concerned with is the fact that he's already said that there is a deep state right now in the federal government, specifically in the fbi investigation, and
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that they are basically trying to make him seem not -- basically not a viable president. and so this really feeds into that yault right narrative that basically our institutions are corrupted and rigged and that is something that's going to take us a long time to recuperate from. >> pete williams, tell me this. there's nothing in this reporting that undermines anything that robert mueller has accomplished in his investigation, whether it's indictments, guilty pleas, et cetera, right? >> no. and, remember, it's before robert mueller existed as the special counsel. so this is all a discussion before he became special counsel. but, you know, mueller has these notes from this meeting. so he has them. the justice department kept copies obviously. how they got out there, i mean, is a good question. but we've talked to people who have seen the notes, and that's what they tell us. >> matt apuzzo, congrats on the big scoop. quite the bombshell you dropped on all of us today. as always, thanks for that.
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pete williams, i'm sure you want to thank matt apuzzo for that as well. i tease. thank you both. much appreciated. a lot more ahead. there was another big story we were all in the middle of, but what could this mean for the mueller investigation? and we could get a reaction from the president any minute now when he lands. hey allergy muddlers. are you one sneeze away from being voted out of the carpool? try zyrtec®. it's starts working hard at hour one.
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i'm joined now by ben wittis, editor in chief of la fair. also a friend of former fbi director james comey and has had his share of memorialized memos to deal with back in the day. let's go back to this period. how aware were you at the time of this, i guess the picture painted by "the new york times" is of a chaotic, unclear picture, rosenstein, mcgabe, going what the heck just happened to comey? how chaotic was it? >> well, so, obviously comey wasn't there anymore. >> right. >> but, look, there was clearly a period of significant chaos, and the "times" has reported on that before. and it culminated in the appointment of mueller, but it didn't go away because there was no fbi director. there was an fbi acting director whom the president clearly hated, right? >> oh, had character assassinated via twitter for
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months. >> exactly. and who, you know, we now know he was on the phone with asking how it felt to have a wife who was a loser. remember? >> yes. >> so there was a lot of signs that this was a very chaotic period at justice and at fbi. you know, i think that this is a sort of extreme example of it, but it's not the first story to come out about this period. >> timing is everything, okay? the timing of this, this is literally in this week, the president has wanted to declassify these fisa applications, which clearly has gotten the united states cross-wise right now with some of our key -- the five allies. >> that would have been a big story by the way. >> in any other era. >> if this hadn't happened today. but he also wanted to release all these text messages of comey, strzok, page, mccabe, all of his favorite -- sort of the greatest hits of his twitter
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feed. and then lo and behold, here's this. as george will put it, you look at a story like this, and you're like, all right. who benefits? and it gets to motive. >> right. >> where are you on this? >> so short answer, i don't know. but i do think -- >> who stands to benefit? >> well, i do think that -- you know, i noticed that andy mccabe's lawyers have been assiduous in saying that he had nothing to do with this and that they had nothing to do with this. >> but they're essentially confirming the content. >> i do think that, you know, if you are andy mccabe -- and i'm not making any accusations. >> i understand. >> but i do think if you're andy mccabe and you are under investigation for false statements -- >> has he been brought before the grand jury yet? >> i do not know the answer. >> we know that one got impaneled. >> we know there is an investigation of the matter, and i think, you know, having there
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be a record out there of the activity that was going on in that period does stand to make any possible prosecution look like political retaliation. now, that is not saying that andy mccabe or his lawyers -- >> what you're saying is that he would benefit perhaps on that front. >> sure. i also think that anybody -- so among the list of people who would benefit, anybody who really dislikes rod rosenstein. >> right. >> and rod is not the most popular guy in the building right now. >> left or right, right? career or political. >> so anybody who really wants to make rod rosenstein look bad at a perilous moment where the president really wants to get rid of him, really wants to get rid of the attorney general, this is a great way to do it. >> doesn't the president have cause? >> of course. >> i mean he's been looking for
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cause that doesn't look like he's trying to cover up. has he not been handed cause? >> no, no. cause is the wrong concept here. >> uh-huh. >> the deputy attorney general serves at the pleasure of the president. he doesn't need cause as rod rosenstein himself had made clear about james comey. he can be dismissed anytime for any reason or for no reason. the amazing thing given how much the president hates him is -- and, you know, says it. >> right. >> is that he's still there at all. so i mean does this provide a basis if the president wants to get rid of rod rosenstein for doing so? sure. on the other hand, the president had an adequate basis in his own mind yesterday. so i'm not really sure other than perhaps providing a public text for it whar, what it chang >> let me flip the question this way. what if he doesn't? what message does that send? it almost allows for
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insubordination like this. it's okay if people are plotting behind his message. it does send a different message. >> it sends exactly the same message as it sends when bob woodward publishes an account of jim mattis getting off the phone with the president, getting a direct order about how to -- what to do in syria, and saying to his staff, we're not going to do any of that. it sends the message that the president can be not listened to. and this president has said that message. he talks tough, but in fact he tolerates a kind of insubordination that none of his predecessors tolerated. >> one thing that gets lost here is the investigation itself. i've always said, why is everybody acting in a way that you say, shouldn't you stay in your lane? shouldn't you follow the process? that ultimately it's because they're alarmed at what the substance of the investigation is finding. is that the issue here? >> i'm sure it is. i mean if you were unafraid of
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the substance of the mueller investigation, why on earth would you be spending time on this? >> right. >> why wouldn't you say what in fact they said at the beginning of the mueller investigation, which is, you know, happy to have this investigated. we're going to cooperate in every way we can and, you know, whatever they need, we're going to give them. >> if you're bob mueller today, how are you feeling about the future of your probe? >> i think if you're bob mueller, you've been taking it one day at a time for a long time, and there are ups and downs, and today is a weird one. and you're going to keep doing your job until somebody makes you stop. >> ben wittes, like i said, you have your own familiarity with memorialized memos that get leaked and things like this. >> actually, no, i had -- >> i know you didn't but you end up having to be the explainer. >> i suppose i did some explaining but i was not the channel. >> that i'm aware of. but you have been our narrator, our explainer, which is nothing wrong with that.
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that's a compliment, ben. >> i'm proud of it. >> as always, thank you. up ahead, the other big breaking news story of the day, the supreme court showdown. negotiations are ongoing right now. we could learn any minute if there be a hearing next week and what day it will be. and then the president went after judge kavanaugh's accuser. mistake, or did it help judge kavanaugh? we'll be right back.
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tonight i'm obsessed with the number 635. that is how many days the cleveland browns fans had to wait to see their time win. a wait that finally came to an end last night. >> mayfield and the browns get the win over the jets. >> oh, baker mayfield. yep, 635 days cleveland waited for that win. that is nearly 21 months. so consider this. the last browns win came on christmas eve 2016. a thrilling 20-17 win over the san diego chargers. their only win of that season. so how much has changed since then? well, for one, the chargers don't even play in san diego anymore. they're now the los angeles chargers. two, barack obama was still president although donald trump had been elected. robert mueller, he was just known to a handful of us as a former fbi director. most of you probably couldn't have picked him out of a lineup. since the last time the cleveland browns won a football game, we've had three no iphone releases, six white house
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and roots near pipes and underground infrastructure. at pg&e wherever we work, we work hard to protect the environment. getting the job done safely, so we can keep the lights on for everybody. because i live here i have a deeper connection to the community. and i want to see the community grow and thrive. every year we work with cities and schools to plant trees in our communities. so the environment is there for my kids and future generations. together, we're building a better california. welcome back. turning now to the other major story of the day consuming washington right now. judge brett kavanaugh's accuser, professor christine blasey ford, and her lawyer, are locked in an intense negotiation with republicans on the senate judiciary committee over when, how, and with whom she might testify. this as the president is now directly questioning ford, something the white house was hoping to avoid. in fact, the white house today was insistent that the president would continue to restrain
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himself and not go after professor ford. >> we hopefully will hear from them last week. the president doesn't need anybody to tell him. he does the right thing. she should not be attacked. we're not attacking her. a lot of people are attacking him and his family, and it's awful. >> and i'm not joking here. at nearly the exact same moment that kellyanne conway said, quote, we're not attacking her, the president woke up on the west coast in nevada and tweeted the following. quote, i have no doubt that if the attack on dr. ford was as bad as she says, charges would have been immediately filed with local law enforcement authorities by either her or her loving parents. i ask that she bring those filings forward so that we can learn date, time, and place. exclamation point. let's bring back tonight's panel, leanne, george, maria teresa. leigh ann, first, you're on capitol hill off and on literally all the time. what's the latest here of where we are about a hearing? what day?
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where are we? >> yeah. so things have been moving very quickly over the past week. counteroffers, offers. so where we stand now is an offer was sent to ford, to her attorneys by the republicans. republicans want a hearing wednesday instead of what ford wanted on thursday. >> but they've moved from monday? >> they have moved from monday, yes. they say they will not issue a subpoena for any other witnesses. that is something that ford wanted. >> right. >> was other witnesses at the table. they also said that ford will testify first. ford wanted to testify second after kavanaugh. so that's the counteroffer they sent back. one thing that is still unclear about what republicans wanted is an outside counsel questioning ford. so there's some disagreement among republicans on the judiciary committee on if they should make that firm that, yes, we are going to have an outside counsel. and then there's others who say, well, maybe let's soften it and
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maybe outside counsel and some senators. we have to wait until we see the offer to firm that up. >> all right. where do we stand, maria? where are you on this? >> i think first of all, the fact that the outside counsel, that is highly unusual for these type of judiciary committee meetings. and it is the gender of the outside counsel that they're insisting on. they want a female basically to give them basically a break of an all male republican party questioning this woman. we don't have to go too far back on how unseemly it was when they questioned justice sotomayor and they got pushback, let alone someone that has survived sexual assault coming forward. i think that they are very c cognizant and they are cognizant the stakes are high of not just putting someone on the supreme court, but the most immediate thing in the rearview mirror and that is the midterm elections. >> george, it seems it's the calendar. you've been in this town a long time. you look at where judge kavanaugh's poll ratings are right now. he's in worse shape than harriet
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meyers was. in a normal political environment with the midterm elections not looming, this nomination's out, right, and they probably find a replacement. it seems as if mitch mcconnell is worried enough about the majority that they're basically all in with brett kavanaugh whether they like it or not. >> it's a really dismal prospect that we're now taking -- we're polling on public opinions about nominees. >> right. >> we've been doing it for 20 years, 25 years, since anita hill and clarence thomas. >> i know. >> i hear you. >> he was nominated 73 days ago. it took sandra day o'connor was confirmed in 33 days. hugo black, five days. frankfurter 12 days. william douglas, 15 days. robert jackson, 25 days. byron white under kennedy, eight days. >> merrick garland, never. >> basically since ginsburg, though, nobody has been less
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than 60-plus days. it does seem to be this is the new standard. >> yeah. the "times" said vigorously, to the annoyance of my friend mitch mcconnell, that merrick garland was treated shabbily and that we're going to pay a price for this. i think that was part of the kerosene that's now in this conflagration. >> who is going to be -- it's funny. everybody is so concerned about making sure who gets blamed for ruining this process that no one seems to be like, all right. i'm going to be the one to try to fix this process. it's broken beyond repair. i know harry reid wants to blame mitch mcconnell. mitch mcconnell wants to blame harry reid. this is broken. >> yeah, and senators actually admit that it's broken too. they're concerned about the polarization of the court, and some do say that they regret getting rid of the 60-vote threshold. >> does anybody here believe we'd be in this kind of situation with a 60-vote threshold? george? >> no. >> no. >> so it would be probably fifth
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on the story list of the day. >> i think the challenge right now is that the parties are so much more polarized. when i first came to this town, i can remember people still working together, and they actually wanted to. it was actually seen as a sign. we only need to look at the funeral of john mccain where folks from both sides of the parties, they really loved him. they really cared for him. and we have lost that sort of connective tissue. the most important thing should be institutions and representing the people of this country. >> george, you had a 26-year veteran senator in dianne feinstein, a 38-year veteran senator in chuck grassrley and they're not communicating. forget the politics of this. like how did they not communicate on this? this tells me if they're not communicating and they seem to be pretty reasonable senators compared to the rest of the bunch sometimes, how bad is it? >> communicating about what? about the letter? >> yes. >> does grassley even yet have -- do the republicans even yet have the non-redacted letter? >> i don't know. >> i doubt it. >> they say they don't. >> they don't. >> but it's not just about the
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letter. i think it's the whole process. >> there's no doubt, but this letter is just another -- >> i think kavanaugh -- the challenge of kavanaugh is that the republicans requested every single piece of documentation and memos that basically most recently sotomayor and kagan had. but they basically have not released all the memos unredacted of the historical knowledge that we know of the archive of when he was in the white house with kavanaugh. so it's this idea that we keep -- the republicans keep switching the rules to suit them, and that is the perception of the democrats. and basically we have to figure out what are those rules and stop moving that goal post. >> final question here. why isn't judge kavanaugh demanding an fbi investigation here? i say that, george, because he doesn't want to have a cloud over him, an asterisk if he gets confirmed, does he? >> no, certainly no. i don't know whether it's -- i can't read his mind. i don't know whether he's just saying there's no federal crime involved, and this is a misuse of the fbi. they could, of course, justify
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it saying this is extra innings and the character, the background check. i don't know why. >> i haven't gotten a good answer. i've asked republican after republican, why don't you just take away that argument from democrats? it could take two or three days. give them the investigation. the anita hill investigation, the white house said it didn't corroborate what she had said. this could maybe -- >> you never know. it might help you. >> i have not gotten a good answer. the closest i got was, well, then the democrats are going to find something else to take issue with. >> all right. i got to pause here real quick. stay with us because i actually want to continue this conversation a little bit. up ahead, you may have heard election day is 6 1/2 weeks away. that's only sort of true. we'll be back with that in a moment. can be relentless.
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>> i was appalled by the president's tweet. first of all, we know that allegations of sexual assault, i'm not saying that's what happened in this case, but we know that allegations of sexual assault are one of the most unreported crimes that exists. so i thought that the president's tweet was completely inappropriate and wrong. >> that was quite the rebuke from senator susan collins. the panel is back. i began by asking if rod rose b stien was going to get fired. the president would be smart er
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by keeping him there. the president would have been smarter about not taking others advice. this felt like the unforced error. he reacquire d a political problem in sue sob collins. >> this is a metabolic urge of the man. he has to do that stuff. it's lecturing a volcano. >> this is the great fear. so he's causing this dlilemma ad put him in this awkward spot. i think this issue of trying to find outside counsel, adopt they realize that will reenforce the notion they don't have women on the judiciary committee. wouldn't it be better to ask susan collins to be a guest. >> but they are willing to risk that, the reminder that there are no women on the committee, rather than have 11 men question her. actually i asked susan collins
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that after this announcement if the republicans would allow her to testify. are thaw going to let you ask can questions, that's a good question. i never thought about that. but they are trying to avoid the optics. the optics of -- >> can i just say, when we showed the video of it, and the three in the center there, you have joe biden and to his left is ted kennedy and to right husband right is strom therman. i us don't know what else to say. >> we haven't moved that much. >> but think about it. who the reputations of those two men questioning anita. >> but that's the same kind of rb why senator collins feels that the president tweeting this particularly him with his own history so unseemly and saying we're trying to move away. if we're honest, he was the one that started the me too movement. he's the one that had women coming out during his election having frank conversations with
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their husbands and loved ones of what was happening to them. and women coming forward because of him. it's not just the fact he tweeted. it's his history of why we are at this moment today. >> i get the sense there's a lot of people who aren't fully gra p grassigras grasping this me too movement. i have seen some get lecture d y us their own staffers going you don't get it on this. it would matter if this happened in high school. this is a serious issue. >> yes, however, one of the things that has given much of the me too testimony respect is that there was a record of the people coming forward now having come forward at the time and second, in many of these cases with these men there was part of a cloor pattern. neither of those happens to obje obtain in this case. >> you also have to recognize that a 15-year-old girl in high school coming forward is somethingen different than that a grown woman in a professional setting coming forward.
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that's a big distinction. my concern is the message that we're sending both young girls and young men saying you can do whatever you want because you just don't know the difference between the lines to cross. >> i us do think accountability -- you're at least seeing public accountability. we don't know if accountability takes place in getting a job or not getting a job, but there's a public opinion accountability. >> that's why this is happening. that's why republicans are willing to entertain having dr. ford come and testify. because there are the susan collins and some of these other senators. you had corker and flake ask they were the ones preventing kavanaugh from being confirmed. they were forced to make a decision and at least give the a appearance of having her try to come in. >> how justified do the democrats seem now on pushing al franken out? what would life be like? >> they would have had a harder time. >> there's still some debate inside the democratic party.
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between your kristin gillibrand. >> there's a whole base of folks that basically say the folks that forced franken out they are never going to support them. so if anything, the democrats are able to ride the high ground saying we're leveling this across the board. >> they still have this, but let's just say the pitchers mound would have been lower. >> thank you much. happy friday. up ahead, lobsters. smoke em if you got em. lobsters smoke em if you got em
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dinner is served. on the menu, baked lobster. literally baked. a restaurant owner has been sedating lobsters with marijuana before boiling them. charlotte says she infuses her tank water with marijuana smoke before serving the lobsters. she says it's the ethical thing to do for the crustaceans on the verge of becoming food. we put the pot in lobster pot. do the lobsters get the munchies? a little paranoid. as you might imagine not everybody is high on this idea. the people at peta says it's unlikely that getting a lobster high would make a lick of difference for the lobster. but after that all that, she may be running afoul of the health department.
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you aren't supposed to give marijuana to marine life. so sorry, no lobsters on pot in your lobster pot. but if you need a hug, i suggest an october octopus on ecstasy. that's all for tonight. we'll be back monday with more and a lot less ocean drug infused things. "the beat" starts right now. good evening, we begin with breaking news. bomb shell reports tonight that robert mueller's boss talked about wiretapping president trump or even ousting the president of the united states through the 25th amendment of the constitution. that's the way that you remove a president who is deemed unable to handle the job. you need the support of the cabinet and the congress. if you're hearing these words, if they are sinking in, this is not some friday night news dump. this is a friday night explosion. thes

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