tv MSNBC Live With David Gura MSNBC September 22, 2018 11:00am-12:00pm PDT
it's the top of the hour i'm out of time. see you tomorrow at 9:00 a.m. david gura, you take it away. >> hi everybody, senator is giving brett kavanaugh's accuser until 2:30 to decide if she's going to testify before the jury. that's 30 minutes from now. and are the deputy attorney's days numbered as he faces the president using the 25th amendment. and ted cruz and o'rourke locked
in a tight debate with one down and two to go. we'll give you the latest polling. let's start with the 2:30 deadline by this christine blasey ford decides whether or not she will testify before congress. kavanaugh's accusers is asking for additional time many and this -- tweet as we come on air press advisor to the chairman doing damage control on that committee has resigned after an nbc news report he was fired from a previous job in part because of sexual levy against him. this coming just after christine blasey ford allegations. joining me now jeff bennett. jeff, the president is in new
jersey over the weekend, we saw him tweeting about it yesterday as well, help us understand the white house position as we look at the new week and perhaps testimony from to christine blasey ford. >> the white house is watching and waiting for this 2:30 deadline. you have tough attorney it's grassy giving ford last night more time to decide if she will accept the panel's terms to testify, after rejecting several of her requests. add to that this advisor who had been helping to coordinate the response to the allegations against kavanaugh who resigned today. our colleague broke that story for us. 29 press aide named garrett bentry faced and previously denied allegations of sexual assault at a job in north carolina. then you have president trump breaking free of what had been a
carefully crafted strategy aimed at appeasing kavanaugh's defenders not ale yanating moderate ten rat republicans or independent women voters who votes they will need in the midterms. the president choosing to cast doubt on ford's credibility. you can see how we have a really tense, stressful back drop to christine's blasey ford's decision making. vice president mike pence today backed brett kavanaugh at a speech at the value's voter summit in washington. take a look. >> honestly the way some democrats have conducted themselves during this process is a disgrace. the president and i are confident that senate republicans will manage this confirmation properly with the utmost respect for all concerned and i believe brett kavanaugh
will soon be justice brett kavanaugh and take his seat on the supreme court of the united states of america. >> pence is sticking to what is or was the white house strategy, attack the process, attack democrats but don't attack the accuser. public polling shows more americans oppose kavanaugh than support him. more to the point this allegation has given red state democrats, three who voted for gorsuch last go around. the republicans need this forward momentum to keep this nomination from failing because two g.o.p.'s can sink it. before that we will see what happens at about 2:30. >> thank you very much as we near that deadline set by judiciary chairman grassly. i want to play another cut from
mitch mcconnell on the nomination. >> you watched the fight, you watched the tactics, here's what i want to tell you, in the very near future, judge kavanaugh will be on the united states supreme court. >> joining me now former under secretary of state who helped to prepare anita hill for her testimony in 1991. also senior lecturer at harvard and coauthor of "strange justice". let start with what you heard from the majority leader, we are looking for neutrality and open mindness that's not what came across in those comments we just heard. >> no, of course not, but dr. blasey has emphasized in the past days she's looking for a fair process and all of these
statements telegraph to her that this is going to be part of some proceeding. the senate leader mitch mcconnell is saying judge kavanaugh will be on the supreme court, like, well, what does she have to say influence anything precisely. it's -- it's -- it's odd. and in my book i was quite critical of joe biden when he was chairing anita hill-clarence thomas hearings. but chuck grassly makes that performance look wonderful by comparison. >> let's go back to 1991. and you helped anita hill back then to prepare for her testimony and you wrote about it for "time" magazine. you said almost immediately -- how much historical reference do you see as it unfolds in
washington today. >> sadly and painfully way too much resonancresonance. the person who told us she was assaulted at 15 years old is the the one accused opposed to judge kavanaugh who alleged this sexual assault on a 15-year-old at a party. this is a very painful time for i think dr. blasey ford's family, for herself. someone tweeted today that the president has been negotiating with robert mueller for a year whether he will sit and testify with him. and now we're talking about dr. blasey ford to only take few days to try to negotiate an appearance in front of the united states senate and all of the remenpublicans are saying ss dragging her heels. hardly.
it's time she has a fair shot. i hope she makes whatever decision is sbebest for her by 0 because she's in the hot seat when in fact judge kavanaugh is the one who should be under question. >> you seen the questions that dr. blasey ford has put forward to lead her to testify before the committee. in 1991 you had thomas testifying first and hill followed. >> no anita hill was first. >> explain the importance of that. that's hotly debated this time around. >> i was actually in the hearing room in 1991 and hill was so credible. i really did not think clarence thomas could recover after her detailed, credible, well-thought out testimony. but he then came back and categorically denied everything
that she had said, went on the attack, called, you know, famously the proceedings a high-tech lynching. and testified well into the night. he was on for many more hours than she was. and yes succeeded, i think, in the instant of turning public opinion back his way because of his forceful denials. and his protests to the committee. they were effective. although not in the long-term because a year after those hearings the majority of americans said they believes anita hill and not clarence thomas. >> as you look at the response from republicans on this committee to those requests given by the doctor and her lawyers, do you detect these are centers who learn something from 1991? how cognizant are there of what
happened in 1991. >> clearly they haven't learned much. in the last two days we heard from senator grassly and almost no one else. earlier in the week we had certainty corker speak up, and collins saying the president's comments were appalling and another saying her mind is still open in spite of senator mcconnell saying this is wrapped up and he has the votes that he needs. so i think it is market, that, yes there's a lot of pressure on senator collins and kous but i want to make sure the male senators who were the only senators on the judiciary committee on the republican side also bear a burden here. think about their daughters, nieces, wives, moms, and make sure that they really consider this. you know, robert byrd as jill well remembers, said he supported clarence thomas and after the anita hill hearing he
changed his mind. because he said if it is he said she said one has to choose country over the court and i hope all of the members of the senate will keep that in mind. senator byrd was certainly not the cutting edge of the feminist movement to say the least and he understood that there were very, very serious issues here and the future and value of the country was at stake and i salute what he did. >> late senator of virginia. i want to read what was wrote -- raises fundamental questions about the political process that placed him on the court. that was several years ago you wrote that. >> i could write that today very easily. you know, what we're waiting for is to learn are there going to
be hearings and if they are are they going to be the same kind of partisan circus as we saw in '91, which was not a fact-finding hearing. and that i think is what dr. blasey ford deserves and wants in this case. >> great to see. >> great to see you, dafvid. >> executive editor of the new york times and author. we're going to stick around and talk more about the book that's not for the faint of heart. and also new reports for future at d.o.j. as we continue to watch the clock nearing the 2:30 dead library. air is so soft! did you use head and shoulders two in one? air is so soft! i did mom. wanna try it? yes. it intensely moisturizes your hair and scalp and keeps you flake free. manolo? look at my soft hair. i should be in the shot now too. . try head and shoulders two in one.
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it is time we hold them accountable. i think rod needs to come to can congress this week and explain under oath what exactly he said and didn't say. >> the chairman of the house freedom caucus speaking there at the value voter summit about the new report about new attorney general who kpasaid wearing a w goes against amendment and he is claims that is false. we are joined now by our guests. i want to get a sense of the state of play at this point -- in the washington post quote --
rod rosenstein still deputy attorney general as of me speaking give me your sense of how the white house responded to the news. >> first, here's the state of play on the facts which are in dispute the new york time story said rod rosenstein considered wearing a wire to a eradict behavior of donald trump. this is a week after the memo that angered rosenstein. and trump disclosed classified information to the russians so a tumultuous time in the white house. there were meetings with rod rosenstein, then department director and other senior justice officials. mccabe said in a memo that
rosenstein broached the subject of wearing a wire but nbc and other media are pushing back and saying absolutely that was not context that rosenstein only suggested that in a sarcastic manner and more offer suggested using the 25th amendment to remove trump from office rosenstein is absolutely denying that happened. the new york times have sources telling them something dramatically different. there's an interest in protecting rosenstein. this week we won a battle, he and jeff sessions and fbi on whether to release classified information, trump back downed after rosenstein and colleagues protested so a lot of people want to protect rosenstein so
it's in their interest. >> want to read this -- by chuck schumer -- frank, let me turn to you, so much of this new york times piece centers on the state of mind of rod rosenstein after he got that appointment. the fact that the president trump brought the russian into the oval office and spilled some secrets as well. how much interest is that to you, frank. >> i think what we're seeing is yet another senior official who realize that he was dealing with a very unstable executive. the president of the united states. so whether or not we get bogged down in the question of what he making a sarcastic joke, was it just dry sense of humor, was he trying to deescalate a tense week or tense day by making
these comments? that's almost beside the point. we have the deputy attorney general of the united states allegedly even joking about recording the president about invoking the 25th amendment and we've now heard this on and on and on. the recording is actually occurred by other officials, omarosa, we keep hearing it is common to raise the 25th amendment. here's what really matters. we've got numerous senior executives who on a almost daily basis are concerned basket stabili basis are concerned about the stability of the president and his decision making and more than whether rod did this what matters how the president chooses to use it, he will pull it out of his pocket and it will be part of the reasoning to try to get rid of the deputy attorney general. >> last question about the
import of this, chuck schumer alluded to the fact this is the gentlemen who oversees the the russian interference into the u.s. presidential election should the president dispatch him what would that mean. >> it would mean the general would take over rosenstein's position because of course we currently have a acting director in the number three position at the d.o.j. so it's not guaranteed by any means that the mueller investigation would be shut down. finding a replacement for him doesn't mean that replacement is going to be friendly or even that someone will eventually be appointed to replace francisco to oversee the mueller probe. what is happening is something interesting we saw sean hannity come out last night and say trump should not fire rosenstein that this is all a set up. i think they are actually scare sthad if he makes a move against
rosenstein it could play poorly for them just before the midterm. i think instead they will use it as a pretext to tighten the noos on the justice department in congress and said they plan to subpoena the andy mccabe memos and want rosenstein to testify before congress. this is another way to exert control over the situation that's why they don't want trump to fire rosenstein at the moment, just want to make it painful and humiliating as possible before he perhaps does get fired or to under mine the investigation even more. >> thanks very much on the update on this. will talk about it more over the course of next two hours. world leaders will be in new york next week for the u.n. general assemble, president trump will chair the meeting and have one-on-one conversations with other president and prime ministers. president professes to be a big believer in personal relationships.
it is written about in a new book, not for the faint of heart, lessons in courage, power and persistence, she's an msnbc contributor as well. i will read from the book -- we read what the president has to say about his counter part in north korea and around the world what would you say about the import of cultivating personal relationships. >> i'm all for it but have to be backed up by hard nosed diplomacy. when it is done properly it is tough, it is smart, it has boundaries and if you can't meet your interest and the person on the other side of the table isn't willing to work with you to find that common ground you got to get up and leave the
table. >> you grew up in maryland and moved to georgia, diplomacy was a late career move for you. you learned a lot about power along the way. the big focus of the book is on learning how to use power without depriving others of theirs. what have you learned. >> the line you bequeathed ma the line you quoted is all about it. in the negotiation with iran we had to leave them with a little bit of power so that they could sustain the deal back home because iran does have politics, they have what i call hard hard-liners. what i consider hard line ires. none are moderates in our terms. nonetheless he had to have enough power to have the deal survive and live in iran which he's still trying to do today because it's in iran's national security interest to not move
forward with nuclear weapons in spite of what president trump is doing by trying to pursue a soft coo. the other thing i would say is particularly for all people but particularly for women, we're a little squirmish about power. power is something we should embrace, it's about how you use it. harken to the hearing perhaps between judge kavanaugh and profess professor blasey we know we need to support her to exert the power she has if republicans use the power they have which is considerable to further humiliate and disdain and discredit christine blasey and the assault she suffered as a teenager will be shameful for america. >> want to ask about north korea foreign minister going to meet with him while in new york. in your book another great quote --
you say smieps you have to meet and not get anywhere in order to one day get somewhere. how much do you see as an extension of the ground work you laid in north korea years ago. >> i think were on the way to permanent moratorium on all missile testing which would mean they wouldn't have the long range ballistic missiles they have today. this was the gore v bush presidency didn't get decided until quite late so we couldn't do some of the normal transfer of information that one tries to do and president bush went in another direction and in fact north korea went on to build those ballistic missiles. it's been tough to get traction with north korea i supported the president meeting with kim jong-un because they both believe they are leaders who matter and can make decisions,
even those in democracy is not true for president of the united states, it has appeared to open the door a little but we haven't got tangible results, yes they stopped testing but have computers to do what they do today. so the president has quite a long ways to go. right now i'm quite skeptical we will make the progress we need to. >> last question, suffice the election didn't turn out the way you wanted it to and the day after the election you wrote a note to your staff reflecting at what just happened. what was your message to them. where does your optimism come from today? >> my optimism comes from the fact i came of political age in the 60s in a violent time. we were all protesting against the vietnam war. people were being murdered. we had coeds on campus were
killed. we had assassination of a president. three civil rights leaders including martin luther king. it was a really, really terrible time and although we had challenges ahead of us, out of that time came the end of the vietnam war, voting rights act, civil rights act, women's movement which we are seeing resonate again today. so i believe we will come out of this, even though we're resilient, we will come out of this, i believe in america, a lot of people will get hurt along the way, including those little kids sitting in detention center because this government doesn't believe because they were sent here to avoid being killed in central america that they don't belong with their parents. it is really telling about where america is headed. but i believe in our values and i think they will be back. >> the book is called "not for the faint of heart" ambassador schumer thank you for your time. >> thank you. >> at this hour we're watching
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the senate committee majority staff. i will read from that note sent from ford's attorney to the senate judiciary committee. -- many aspects of the proposal are fundamentally inconsistent with the promise of a fair investigation into her allegations and we're disappointed with the leaks and bullying that have tainted the process. we hope we can reach agreement on details, including a question to the majority senate staff can we set up time for later in the afternoon to continue negotiations. that will center in part whether or not this will be a public hearing. joining me now msnbc contributor and former prosecutor and had political analyst and press reporter for the white house and
my colleague caldwell, let me start with you, you heard me reading that e-mail, there's still things to work out what's you're read about what they have said. >> sorry, i keep looking at my phone, we got this right at the deadline, 2:30 p.m. so we're trying to figure it all out. seems she will testify but still some things to be worked out. in the offer that the republicans gave to her yesterday included that they would like to have outside council or female staff question blasey ford that they would like ford to testify first, that they would like the hearing on wednesday. these are all things blasey ford didn't want. she wanted a thursday hearing. seems we don't exactly know what that the terms of these things that are still an issue of contention have been complete lid worked out. sounds like they want to have a
phone call to continue to discuss but it is progress and is news that she will testify next week, david? >> john, i want you to react as well, you've been following back and forth between the committee and dr. ford as well. what are the news we are getting that she does intend to testify on capitol hill. >> we will have extraordinary personal and political theater if she does testify in front of congress and we all see it. this is certainly something that has enflamed a lot of passions on both sides of the aisle and along gender lines, seeing women across the country talking about sexual assault in the wake of the allegations that dr. ford has brought against judge kavanaugh. this going to be a closely watched moment, certainly politically one the republicans hoped to avoid. it seemed kavanaugh was on the glide pabadge
glide path to nomination until a week ago when these allegations came out and everything back and forth with the committee. so this news only came out few minutes ago so white house hasn't spoke on it. our reporting in the last 48 hours the president starting to personalize this thinking they were fake attacks, cast doubt on dr. ford's claim on twitter, they remind him of the accusations made on him, his own sexual assault allegations which of course he has denied. on air force one he stewed about the coverage on tv and woke up yesterday in his tower off the vegas strip and started tweeting about it. we will see what sort of response if he can keep himself in check or if he muddies the water further before this hearing, will he tweet about it
again, something most republicans don't want him to do. >> let's talk about some of the conditions dr. blasey ford want to place for her tem on capitol hill. she didn't want it to happen before thursday. wanted to work to ensure dr. blasey ford's safety on capitol hill. she wanted judge kavanaugh to go first and she didn't want to be in the same room as the judge, she wanted questions to come from senators on the judiciary committee. she wanted no time limit on her opening statement and wanted a public hearing with limited camera presence. your reaction to what she wanted in this hear sng. >> i think every one of her requests is perfectly reasonable and valid. the issue whether it's wednesday or thursday i understand is because her lawyer might not be available on wednesday. she certainly is entitled to have her lawyer present. and there's no reason to make a difference from the senate's point of view as to whether it is on wednesday or thursday.
the issue is we need a full and fair hearing. i would have added to that list of demands that witnesses be called and there are many witnesses, mark judge was in the room when the alleged incident happened. he needs to be called. there are also questions about the clerkship that kavanaugh had with ski and the clerk he replaced azar should be called to testify what was going on in the chambers and what kavanaugh knew, because he's denying he knew about sexual misconduct in the chambers. there needs to be a full investigation and full hearing. it cannot be as mitch mcconnell said yesterday that he will be confirmed no matter what. why is she going to testify if they don't listen and give creedence to what she says and investigate the allegations.
that's wrong. he's predetermined the outcome. that's not a full and fair hearing. it's not impartial. that's what is needed here. >> kevin, i want to ask you about one line in this statement, the one that dr. ford accepts to speak next week, the lawyers talk about how disappointed they are with the leaks and bullying that have tainted the process. describe that part of the back and forth, what's leaked out and how it's colored the process over the last few days. >> it's interesting because the senior democrat from california diane feinstein first brought with these allegations she said she didn't make them present and didn't question judge kavanaugh in private and public hearings because dr. ford asked to be remain anonymous and wanted to keep her wishes as she handled
that. it is interesting to watch her stanford by senator feinstein despite the onslaught of criticism from republicans that urnl urged her to redact the name of the letter. so senator feinstein still getting support from democrats despite the criticism coming from republicans. i spoke with sources on capitol hill all week who noted the deadlines, republican from iowa keeps proposing, as arbitrary. dr. ford and her attorney respecting the 2:30 deadline but also not firmly stating what specific time there would be this week for that hearing instead saying hey, get on the phone and let's talk this out. >> lee answer caldwell i want to ask about grassly who has been there some time you can detect the frustration he's had about
the process and the tweets he sent last night. there were three of them with error in punctuation and in spelling, et cetera, give us a sense of where he is last few days. >> i would say those grammatical errors are quite common he's one of the most entertaining senators to follow on twitter. republicans have tried to follow the line and tried to be put out the error that they are very patient, that they are not going to attack blasey ford but then again they are also saying they don't want to give into more of her demands and delays. they're considering this a delay tactic. so this is senator chuck grassly trying to draw a delicate balance between accommodating more hard core republicans toley
trying to draw a delicate balance between accommodating more hard core republicans to he's trying to kind of satisfy both sides of it. while moving this process forward. so that kavanaugh can still get confirmed. >> jill, i want to look back on 1991 with you for a minute, if i could, more as have changes this is a different time than 25 years ago, should this happen, how different will it look, how cognizant is this committee what happened in 1991 with anita hill. >> i would say they aren't very aware of the past or they wouldn't be making the mistakes that they are making now. grasley has done everything wrong from my perspective. he is not showing proper respect to her. his first proposal was that she sit side by side with her attacker. that is just an obscene suggestion that they be in the room at the same time let alone at the same table and the kind of questioning that anita hill
had has been played on msnbc, rachael maddow had the fm testiy going. anyone hearing that would see how disrespected hill was. and the testimony coming in now are quite legitimate and all make a lot of sense to me and the fact that anita hill had an investigation. they had witnesses besides her and now justice thomas. although they failed to call the last three witnesses that she provided who could have corroborated her testimony. and that was a big mistake they made. it would be an even bigger mistake now for them not to call all of the witnesses that have been identified so far and that a legitimate investigation by fbi would come up now. they didn't uncover the spousal abuse and didn't uncover this in judge kavanaugh's background. now that it is out there they
should be investigating it and come forward with it. it's not just the balance between the senators on the republican side who are hesitant, it's all women who are watching this who are respecting the republicans to act in a decent manner. so i would say women vote. we need to take that into account. they need to act in a way that will satisfy all voters. >> jonathan, to what extent is there unified republican strategy. we heard the value voter summer mcconnell talking about how he's sure judge kavanaugh will become justice kavanaugh we heard echoes of that from the vice president as well. kelly anne conoway yesterday talking about what needs to happen what needs to unfold what extent is there disagreement with the republican party at this point?
>> there's certainly some, you're right. the republicans are in a bind, they're very mindful of female voters go into the mid-terms an election most of them dread, in fear of losing the house and a chance perhaps even the senate and are nervous about suburban women voter many who have abandoned president trump and they fear a performance here by the senate grilling dr. ford could enflame those passions even further. you've seen the white house message on this is to give dr. ford a chance to tell her story that's not echoed through the the republican party. the vice president you mentioned. president trump said in the last two nights in rallies in nevada and missouri i was at both and he suggested that this will happen, rest assured that judge kavanaugh will become justice kavanaugh. of course they want to express optimism but are running on
dangerous ground if they give off the impression that dr. ford won't get a fair chance to tell her side of the story, to have her really be heard. and as much as it is a personal story for her it is undeniable a political one for the white house. >> geoff bennett with us, covering msnbc news. there's some questions i have on this process. household names brett kavanaugh we all know. blasey ford is becoming known. garrett bentry we are getting to know how does it change the process. >> he's a 29-year-old outside press aide who was consulting with grasley senate judiciary committee helping to to respond this allegations against brett kavanaugh.
he given the reporting from heidi, resigned today over past allegation of sexual harassment that he denies, nonetheless, created a problem with him to continue working with this committee. just another development adding to what had already been a stressful back drop to this, coloring the decision-making for christine blasey ford determine wlg she will appear next week or how. we have an acceptance from her attorney saying she will appear but we're waiting to see the details on it. >> kevin, you talk to members of the committee all the time, i want a sense of the republican members about the political pressure that they are under, the practifractures emerging as process continues. what do they say how this weighs on them when looking at the politics. >> three things, they try, key word try to put out a narrative
that they have been able to work with dr. ford and accommodate her requests in order to get her to testify publicly at a hearing. now obviously democrats have criticized that. they said that quite frankly they shouldn't be, quote unquote bullying is the term senator feinstein tweeted this morning to tell dr. ford to come forward at the conclusion of fbi investigation. the second point i would make is that for many of the senators there's only really senator ted cruz republican from texas up for reelection that faces a tough reelect battle on the senate judiciary committee and it came up against the o'rourke the democratic challenger to make that more interesting to tighten the polls there. lastly, we mentioned on the panel it is the likes of flake,
mcscow ski and collins who will be driving this it vote and in particular. i spoke with one senior source on the senate judiciary committee who said they are urging the white house not to be in communication with senator flake because he's been someone who has tense relationship to put it mildly and they rely on mitch mcconnell to be the guiding force to get a vote. and we heard him saying this will come to a vote he befored he might be the senate lame duck. >> okay.
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o'rourke. that race is much closer than anyone could have imagined. last night the gloves came off as the candidates had their first three debates trading jabs on immigration and gun rights. kevin, what do you watch here? i mentioned some of those topics. the economy of not something that came up a whole lot in that conversation last night. here's my main question. to what degree is donald trump involved intimately in this race. are they talking about donald trump the president? >> pretty involved. it was quite remarkable earlier this week to see ivanka trump the first daughter and senior adviser to donald trump to head down to the nasa space plant with senator ted cruz and the to campaign with senator ted cruz and, of course, the president also going to be headed to texas as well to campaign for senator ted cruz. we all remember that brutal campaign primary and the republicans back in 2016. it came up in last night's debate senator cruz said he had
a choice to work with president trump or not. he says he does. i was struck by the economic case that o'rourke made particularly on immigration. we haven't heard many democrats make the economic case in recent months and weeks. obviously, there's been a lot of other cases that they made on the issue of immigration. he noted the importance immigrants play to the economy. i thought that was interesting. congressman o'rourke did something else. he tried to make a centrist argument on the issue of the second amendment. >> last question here. you look at the polling and i wonder what it tells you at this point. we have the cook political report moving this. many democrats in texas are optimistic think it can go their way. what your looking for >> turn out, turn out, turn out. and who gets their folks to the polls especially if the progressive left decide to back o'rourke with the fervor we've seen in other primaries.
>> my thanks for your time on this saturday afternoon. in our next hour much more reaction from christine blasey ford's decision to testify on capitol hill in the coming week. need a change of scenery? kayak compares hundreds of travel and airline sites so you can be confident you're getting the right flight at the best price. cheers! kayak. search one and done.
senate judiciary committee next week. the committee chair chuck grassley wanted to hold that hearing this coming wednesday before attorneys have not committed to a specific date nor have they committed to having a public hearing. i want to bring back jeff bennett. also a former assistant attorney and msnbc legal analyst and susan page is with me. she's the washington bureau chief for "usa today". jeff put this in context for us. we've seen the back and forth. how pivotal is this which seems like a tacit agreement. >> it's huge. look senate republicans in coordination with white house officials here had been under intense pressure to handle this allegation in a way that didn't turn off or alienate moderate senate republicans whose votes they need to confirm kavanaugh. while also not alienating women and independent voters whose votes they will need come november in the mid-terms. so president trump actually