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tv   MSNBC Live With David Gura  MSNBC  September 22, 2018 12:00pm-1:00pm PDT

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agreed to testify before the 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
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spoke to this yesterday in an interview he gave to one of his allies. i think we have that video. if we can take a look at it. >> i think they have been very respectful of dr. ford. extremely respectful. it's already been delayed a week. that's a long time. let her speak but brett kavanaugh is one of the finest people you'll ever meet. top of the line in every way. this is a shame. this is actually a shame. >> look, it was just a few days ago, maybe four days ago the president in the oval office where he said a little delay is okay. she deserves to be heard. now he said let's get this thing wrapped up. what accounts for that white house officials know the public polling on kavanaugh is tanking and up until this point the thinking had been if we need to withdraw his nomination we need to leave enough time on the calendar to push through someone new before the november mid-terms if that's even possible because it's not a sure thing that republicans will keep control of congress or the
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senate beyond that date. >> susan page, what has been the sticking points? what are the sticking points yet, do you think? i'll go back to that statement. i'll read a little bit from it. although many aspects of the proposal you provide via e-mail, the proposal that the majority of the senate judiciary committee put forward are fundamentally inconsistent with the committee's promise of a fair, impartial investigation into her allegations ear we're disappointed with the leaks and bullying that tainted the process we're hopeful that we can reach agreement on details. there is hope yet. how convinced are you that this will happen? >> it's more than the details that remain unresolved. the note meets the senator's demand, senator grassley's demand that there be an answer by 2:30 today. she just came under the wire to accept the idea of testifying. no resolution about wednesday or thursday or who does the questioning. there are a lot of issues between now and then to get through. but what this does it prevents
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the senate judiciary committee from going ahead and voting on this nomination on monday as they have been threatening to do. this guarantees this going into next week and increases the probability that we actually hear from christine blasey ford about what happened and, you know, that matters because so many americans are, don't know who to believe. 40% in our poll don't know whether to believe the allegations. a powerful performance by either judge kavanaugh or dr. ford could go a long way to convincing them to believe one side or the other. >> you've seen that list of conditions that christine blasey ford and her attorneys have put forward and i wonder how reasonable do you think they are? where do you think there's wiggle room as these negotiations continue. >> well, david, i think the proposals that she's put forward are very reasonable. really, all of them. but the most important one, and, you know, this is a negotiating tactic that people do where you put forth several terms knowing
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only some will be accepted. my guess the ones most important to her not whether it's wednesday or thursday but whether, first of all, she does not have to testify with kavanaugh, which sounds like that will be accepted. and also, that she -- he has to go first and i know there's been some comments on dershowitz saying that's contrary how our judicial system works. this isn't a real trial where we're following procedural rules of a trial. in this case, where we're dealing with a potential victim of sexual assault, and i do believe her, but even if someone doesn't believe her yet, she deserves to have a process where she's treated fairly and that's what is not being done here. the idea that, you know, she has to go first. the idea that they are not going bring in other known witnesses. we have other evidence out there, other ways of figuring out what the truth is. i was pleased to just hear susan
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say that there's 40% undecided. that's what should be. people don't have to have their mind made up either way. it shouldn't be that you either believe her or don't believe her. it should be a search for the truth. i know that sounds naive but there are really ways to get at it here and they are not letting it happen. >> i want to ask you about the rhetoric surrounding all of this. jeff, you played that clip there, the interview of the president of the united states and terms he used referring to judge kavanaugh. extremely respectful. top of the line. there's a change in the last few days that the president is talking a lot about judge brett kavanaugh. >> he is. if you back up just a few days, i think the white house strategy was telegraphed best by kellyanne conway, the president's senior counselor who said that if the strategy was to praise brett kavanaugh and to say nothing really about the accuser. that was the strategy. urging restraint.
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the president stuck with that for about four or five days until friday where he let loose on twitter casting doubt on dr. ford's credibility. but even as the president is praising brett kavanaugh at that rally yesterday in missouri he said he was born for a seat on the supreme court. and that it will happen. even as he's talking about that, talking that way about him publicly privately he's still not met with him since he was nominated. still no private conversations. why? to keep some distance. if for whatever reason this nomination has to be pulled it makes it easier for the president to wash his hands of him and move on. >> we've seen judge kavanaugh at the white house over these last few days many times. he's been hoeling up in the executive office. >> the president was leaving the door open that if there were some bad developments, very persuasive they would have to go with a different supreme court nominee. it's still possible judge kavanaugh decides to withdraw
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his name for whatever reason. this is a moving story. what has made the republicans including senate republicans most nervous is the idea of attacking the credibility and the character of someone who portrays he had self as the victim of sexual assault. that really risks galvanizing voters, especially women voters to feel women's concerns, women's accusations in these cases are not taken seriously, they are not believed, they are not given a fair hearing. as much as senate republicans want to confirm judge kavanaugh they want to avoid the kind of backlash they had in 1991 with anita hill hearings. >> i want to turn here and ask you about this moment, we're talking about 1991. talking about what happened with anita hill and clarence thomas. how much of a historic log do you see at this point? >> i think this is even bigger in a lot of ways. i became a lawyer in some ways because of what i saw anita hill
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go through and i'm sure that there are young women out there now being galvanized by this and i can't see what they do with it. this is more than about the supreme court, more than about this nominee. this has become a lens and a focus on what, how powerful men in this country, not all, but certainly the ones who are empowered in the republican party right now are treating women and how they view women and i think that the reason it upset so many women so much is that we see a little bit of all of us in christine ford. i think this may end up being a bigger moment than anita hill. not that it wasn't a big moment but now with social media you have a wider net. >> susan, not to put this too bluntly but does chuck grassley get that? when you look at his statements in the last few days, what he said, initially how he was attacking or casting doubt on senator dianne feinstein to where he is now.
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do you see any sort of evolution among the majority members of the senate judiciary committee, a new awareness of the environment they are operating in? >> you know, you see some things that have not changed at all since the 1991 hearings, the fact there's not a single female republican senator on the senate judiciary committee. in 1991 there wasn't a single female senator on either side but now four female democrats. one thing has changed. in a fundamental way. that's the me too movement. we're coming up on the one year anniversary of the me too movement. that has galvanized so many women, energized women. it's propelled what's happened in democratic primaries this year. this is a very different world and i think one reason that senate republicans want to have somebody else do the questioning, that's pretty unusual. senators usually do not want to turn the camera at a big hearing to somebody besides themselves. the fact they propose to do that they are concerned that they
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won't come across of having und understood this. >> mimi said she became a lawyer because of what she noticed in 1991. this motivated dianne feinstein. you've been watching her for many years. as you watched her over this last week what have you seen, the way she's been a proxy here for a lot of republicans, their frustrations with this process. how is she doing under that kind of attack? >> she's gotten attacked by republicans. she's gotten not very much attack by democrats. they've pretty much stood with her. you know, her actions here kind of underscore how difficult it can be to proceed with allegations of sexual assault especially those that have, are from past years. and her desire to honor dr. ford's privacy, i think, has created a lot of problems and in terms of the delay in bringing forward these allegations.
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so i think it's been a difficult time for her. but i would note that democrats mostly have stuck with her and say they understand why she made the decisions that she did. >> mimi, on that note, how difficult is it for you to explain or to understand why dianne feinstein did what she did as she did. when she got the letter. when she made her colleagues aware of it? >> you know, look we can always look back now and say there are things someone should have done differently. i do understand from everything i've read her perimeter motivation was to protect christine blasey ford's identity as she had requested. and, you know, coming out and identifying yourself as a sexual assault survivor is a process. it doesn't happen overnight. certainly. it can take a lot of time as people are seeing. some people are just maybe learning that for the first time. so even when dr. ford decided to come forward and say, you know, i think someone should know
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this. this man is about to be in this position somebody should know what happened. she wasn't ready to put her life on the line essentially which as we can see is exactly what happened. and, you know, it seems like senator dianne feinstein understood that. she tried to protect that. she was walking a line to get the information out there but protect her identity and that's hard to do. david, if i can say one other thing that i failed to mention in the list of demands that now the republicans are making, this idea they are going to have female staffers questioning dr. ford. i mean, look, to me that is just shameful on top of shameful. if they are going to try and question her credibility, attack her, smear her in the way they have been they should have the guts to do it themselves and not put a front up of a woman staffer. it's not her fault that there are no fairway medal republican senators right now so they should have the guts to stand up
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and do this themselves. >> jeff, last question, about timing. something republicans are very conscious about throughout this entire process. give us a sense of how that continues toway on republican members. >> republicans want kavanaugh confirmed and seated in time for the october 1st start of next supreme court term. but look, there is no deadline to confirm a supreme court nominee. democrats know that all too well because it was senate republicans who never even gave merritt garland former president obama's a hearing. they held that seat open the seat left vacant by 444 days. but yet, you know, kavanaugh clock is tick being for republicans and they want this wrapped up as quickly as possible. >> great to speak with all of you on this saturday as this news breaks. that breaking news happening just a short time ago. christine blasey ford says she will testify next week on capitol hill. the conditions of that testimony
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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. welcome back. i'm david gura. again the deadline has been met. we expect to hear testimony from christine blasey ford later this week. brett kavanaugh's accuser accepting an offer to testify before the senate judiciary committee.
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christine blasey ford accepting the terms of that just about a half hour ago. some negotiation remains between her lawyers and senate injurijuy committee. joining me now is congresswoman sheila jackson lee a democrat from texas and a member of the house judiciary committee. let's start with this breaking news. i want to get your reaction to it. i know you've been following the back and forth between forward and the committee. >> i welcome dr. ford's information that she is going to testify. i thank her for her courage in the face of bullying, in the face of tweets, in the face of horrible statements being made by the president of the united states as if he would know who should report and at what age you should report and what feelings one would have, having experienced such a horrific act. so i'm very proud of her and her lawyers for continuing to press
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forward. and i believe that the negotiations should go forward transparentally. and the senate judiciary committee and chairman grassley and others should realize the importance of her testimony as relates to a person who is seeking a lifetime appointment. justice kavanaugh has denied that this ever happened. that's his privilege to do. it's his privilege to acknowledge or suggest that he's completely innocent. but it is the right of the american people to hear both sides before the senate judiciary committee, and as negotiated by dr. ford in what i hope will be public, however is negotiated, may be private but also with the conditions she's indicated. her safety is most important. the fact that she does not want to be in the same room with judge kavanaugh. and the calling of witnesses. what a ridiculous set of
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restraints that the house -- that the senator judiciary committee is offering. during the hearings with anita hill, president bush consented to an fbi investigation as well as witnesses. here we are in a time where there is much more currency and understanding about what women go through that this senate judiciary committee controlled by republicans has the audacity to restrain what her team is asking for simply to get the facts out. >> i want to ask you about the conditions, the ones that this woman wanted to have in place for her to testify. have you seen any kind of negotiation like this before for a hearing on capitol hill and what do you make of the degree of which you've seen the back and forth between her and the committee on a number of these points. >> i've been through many hearings from impeachment hearings to hearings on waco, to hearings dealing with the
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impeachment of federal judges. so i know that there's a back and forth negotiation and in fairness because the constitution is not thrown out because you're in the senate or the house versus a court of law. you have the right to due process. you have the right to be heard. a right to counsel. in this instance dr. ford who has received death threats, whose family had to move from their home has lawyers, well qualified lawyers negotiating for her. this is not unusual. it is not unusual for both sides to come together and agree because what they want most of all is what is best for the american people and they want to get the information. so what is so challenging to have mark judge be a subpoenaed witness? what is so challenging to ensure her safety and security or challenging to move the proposed testimony from wednesday to thursday or allow judge kavanaugh -- remember judge kavanaugh has said, i did not do
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this. so fine. let him go first. and deny everything. he doesn't need to hear her because he said he wasn't there. he denies it. so it wouldn't be any need for him to refute what she says. he's made a blanket statement. it would be important for her to hear judge kavanaugh and to make her statement and, yes, i think she should be unrestrain in time limit and the reason is because they are not willing to call any witnesses or to have an fbi investigation. i hope that changes between now and monday but right now that's where it is. those negotiations always go on and for the good of the common good, for the good of the cause, for the good of the american people, for the good of getting the best supreme court justice that the american people could ever venture to have, i would hope that the simple request that her team is asking for is agreed to or there's a common ground or compromise to make it work. >> i want to ask you, your
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colleague from alabama doug jones said on twitter a moment ago the last time i read a constitution said our role was to advise and consent not to plow right through the confirmation process. if you believe that then any hearing this week is perfunctory. you made up your mind and dr. ford's testimony has no bearing. as you listen to your colleagues on the other side of the aisle what optimism do you have that they have an open mind, that this will be a neutral hearing if and when it happens? >> i wish i code is agree with senator jones, but i very much am inclined to associate myself with his words and his thoughts. let me tell you why. i first of all, will say i want them to have an open mind. we should have an open mind as democrats on the senate side, senate democrats and the republicans on that committee. we should have an open mine on the house judiciary committee if we perceive any proceedings the president causes us to have. here's my concern. i was stunned that majority
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leader mcconnell took to a meeting in the last 24 hours. yes, it was a political meeting, but really inappropriate to throw red meat out at his fan base, his base and to say don't worry about all the chatter, don't get rattled, justice -- judge kavanaugh will be confirmed to the supreme court of the united states. he's a leader. he's a leader of the united states senate. yes, he's a majority leader and there is a minority leader and senator schumer has made his comments about how outraged he's been about this treatment. but for the majority leader to tell the american people who happen to be his base don't worry about anything, disregard her, it's just nothing is really an insult to the advice and consent and the recognition that the supreme court or the judiciary is a third equal branch of government of which our founding fathers gave high respect to and regard and if we
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are to respect that entity as we respect the presidency and the congress as the founding fathers wanted us to do, then we should not dismiss someone who has now put her life in jeopardy or the life of her family members by the threats she's gotten and is willing to come across country to share information of which the deciders of fact must take seriously. so, my colleague has indicated the rush to judgment is a problem and i agree with him. there's really no rush to confirm a supreme court justice. the republicans are well documented to have delayed any consideration of a justice during president obama's tenure for almost a year plus. so there is no hearing. but if there is a hearing, then all of these leaders need to have a mea culpa and say to the american people these are
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serious hearings. i'll take them seriously. i'll respect this witness. if there's anything, i will take my advice and consent on behalf of the american people and not my 2018 election chances as my first priority. this is a dangerous time. these are dangerous times when individuals would overlook someone, a witness, whoever it might be, that has new information and they would disgrard di disregard it in this manner. it's not a good approach for the american people to see her leaders of whom are supposed to be responsible for the safety and security of american people to disregard this p.m. mr. kavanaugh has every right to make his statement at any time but she has a right as well. >> on the breaking news this afternoon congressman from 18th district in texas, sheila jackson. thank you for your time. coming up deputy attorney general rod rosenstein once floated the idea of secretly recording president trump to expose chaos in the white house.
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welcome back. i'm david gura. the justice department is pushing back on a new report that. deputy attorney general rod rosenstein floated the idea of secretly recording president trump to expose chaos in the trump white house.
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"new york times" reports this mapped back in may of 2017 during a meeting with other doj officials shortly after president trump fired james comey. the deputy attorney general calls this absolutely false. we're joined bay former cia operative. a former federal prosecutor and msnbc legal analyst and guy lewis with us a information u.s. attorney. let me start with you and get your reaction to what we read in the "new york times" yesterday. this was floated. jokingly or not. >> it seems incredible. i read it. you know when you read stories like that especially of that significance, you sort of look for them all to come together and make sense in a way. i trust the "new york times" reporting in general. i mean we all make mistakes. they do. everyone does. in general i think they do good work. i don't dispute the facts necessarily as much as i wonder about the seriousness of rod rosenstein when he said these things, if the reporting is to be believed and i do believe it.
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i just have a hard time that rod rosenstein is going, is proposing with purpose and very seriously that he's going to wire people, including himself or fbi director candidates who are going to meet with the president or that he personal l as a deputy ag will orchestrate a 25th amendment amongst cabinet officials. i have a hard time. these things may have been said. it was a difficult moment after the firing of comey, before the appointment of mueller. tension between him and mccabe. you can understand many things have been said. >> guy lewis, we have limited kps sure to ross. we saw a lot of him when he testified before a house committee. there was a heated exchange between him and jim jordan. he didn't look like a jokester to me. you might have run in the same
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circles as him. what do you make of what's being reported in the "new york times" and other outlet's. >> rod and i came up through the department together. i know him. have worked with him. have seen his work. he's a good dedicated hard-working gentleman. however, he does have a somewhat nonserious side. i agree. if this was said and i think on balance it may have been said, i don't think it was in anyway shape or form serious. can you imagine the deputy attorney general kind of letting the fbi tape the recording device to his chest and him going over to the white house, knowing that he's recording the president. i just don't see it. i can't believe it as anything other than a joke made in gist. that being said we do know it wound up in a memo written by
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andrew mccabe, then the act being director of the fbi, and we do know that that memo got into the hand of the "new york times" and has indeed been turned over to mueller and his team. so it's extraordinary all the way around. >> on the subject of beliefability, we're not living in normal times, i think we can all agree on that. what does it say to you that this seems plausible. that this conversation could have happened. rod rosenstein two weeks on the job would acwith aastonishment of what he saw was being played out. >> you have a unanimous panel. i agree with both evan and guy. we litigate issues all the time where we have multiple witnesses hear a statement made. and different witnesses have different perceptions of that statement. one will say well, you know what, it sounded serious to me. somebody else will say you know what, it sounded really like it was a humorous attempt to
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lighten the mood during a difficult time. ill will say that we career feds and prosecutors can be a pretty somber bunch and we deal with weighty and emotional issues day in and day out and frankly a little bit of gallows humor, that is bolstered by the discrepancy in reporting with the "new york times" saying it seemed more serious and i think it was the "potst" and nbc news news saying this was humor to break the weight of the moment. whether it's appropriate or not i think it's understandable, and what i will say is that the president seizes upon the "new york times" reporting when he's the one that rails against fake news and the failing "new york times" and anonymous sources. if he now tries to seize upon this one report and use it as a reason to go after rod
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rosenstein, i think he'll expose it as the pretext that it is. >> kevin, last question to you. another story bubbling having to do with declassification. what led to it. what does it say the way washington the working today? >> it tells me the government is still doing its job and when the president proposes to do something that's inappropriate, that can harm the national security of the country, which that could have very well done, exposing sources and methods, the government is pushing back. other officials in the government are pushing back. now the president can order them to do it anyway, but what you see here is that there are people, senior people in the government, at least in the national security apparatus who are saying to the president, we cannot do this. and, you know, this is a serious of an issue he may lose people
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if he pushes forward on something like this among the senior ranks of his advisors and national security leaders. so it shows that they've got some sway. they can push back. >> thank you very much. coming up what's next for brett kavanaugh now that we have a decision from christine blasey ford. how her decision to testify is going to affect judge kavanaugh's journey to the supreme court. -computer, order pizza.
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welcome back i'm david gura. breaking just a short time ago a decision has been made. christine blasey ford has decided she will come forward and speak to lawmakers about the sexual assault allegations she's alleged against supreme court nominee brett kavanaugh. he strongly denies those allegations. reaction has been pouring in from other lawmakers. orrin hatch just twisting this. worth noting that this is exactly where we were on monday morning without agreeing to a date, time and terms. we are no closer to hearing from dr. ford than we were when her lawyers said dr. ford was willing to testify during their media tour six days ago. let me get your reaction first, if i could, professor to what we heard this afternoon. it sounds like negotiations are yet to happen between accuser and majority members of this committee. what do you make of where things stand at this point? >> seems like there's still ongoing negotiations about terms
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of dr. ford's testimony and, obviously, there are conditions that dr. ford wants met before she will subject herself and ultimately her family to the spectacle of a live senate judiciary committee hearing. >> you testified you were in the hart senate office building testifying during the confirmation hearing for judge brett kavanaugh. i wonder how are you thinking has changed over these last few days. you said the nomination is not about whom i would befriend or with whom i would have lunch. there are serious issues at play here. how has your thinking changed over the last few days. >> i don't think any of my thinking has changed over the last couple of days. i think there are serious issues here. they all go to the heart of a single question. when vested with considerable power what will brett kavanaugh do. will he follow rule of law or will he follow his own outcomes. the allegations of sexual assault or alleged sexual
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assault, they all go to questions of power and so i don't think anything has changed. the real question is how is judge kavanaugh going to respond, if vested with the awesome power to interpret the institution and the supreme court's precedence and whether or not the senate judiciary committee thinks someone like judge kavanaugh is the appropriate person for a life tenure appointment on the supreme court. >> how satisfied are you the accuser can get a fair hearing. >> well i think most american women view what's happened as not surprising. it's often the case that when women come forward with allegations of sexual assault that they aren't believed. the remarks of some of the ranking members of the committee have been incredibly telling, incredibly disappointing. it seems that at least some members of the committee have made up their minds and i think this is likely why dr. ford has been so firm about the conditions under which she will testify. >> what are your impressions of this process, of this committee
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having been through it, having testified before them. so much has been made in the last couple of days of the optics like this. what the witness will be facing. what was your reaction took in that hearing room? >> obviously, the circumstances under which i testified will be very different from the circumstances under which dr. ford will testify. i came as an expert to talk about judge kavanaugh's judicial record which i said was inconsistent with the supreme court's own precedence. she will be coming forward with her own story of what she experienced as a 15-year-old and connecting that to judge kavanaugh and he in turn will be responding with what i presume will be a rebuttal of her claims. obviously the lens will be sharpened in those circumstances. the tension and the anxiety will be higher. this truly will be a media event. >> what have you learned about his jurisprudence opinion that's what you were testifying about when you were at that hearing. lost in this conversation is
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that. i wonder what you can tell us about that, about who he would be as a jurist on the supreme court if he were approved. >> well, we know from i had testimony before the senate judiciary committee that judge kavanaugh pledged that he would follow settled law including roe v. wade. as i testified in an abortion case as he heard as a judge on the d.c. circuit he wasn't faithful to existing supreme court precedent according the court's most resent precedent which requires the judges to weigh burdens on restrictions of abortion and benefits of restrictions. he did nothing of the sort. as i told the senate jisht committee that should give anyone pause that judge kavanaugh thinks this issue is settled and roe v. wade is a precedent to be followed to the letter. >> thank you for your time. i appreciate it. coming up mid-term madness early voting under way in some states. november's election is less than
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50 days away. president obama and president trump are both on the campaign trail. will their messages resonate with voters? [phone ringing] need a change of scenery? the kayak price forecast tool tells you whether to wait or book your flight now. so you can be confident you're getting the best price. giddyup! kayak. search one and done. what's going on? oh hey! ♪ that's it? yeah. that's it?
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there are fewer than 50 days until the november mid-terms and voting for the 2018 general election is already under way. voters in new jersey began casting absentee ballots today. minnesota, south vermont, and wyoming started yesterday, and president trump and former president barack obama are both out on the campaign trail this weekend urging their supporters to get out and vote this november. here's president trump at a rally last night in missouri telling the crowd not to be complacent. >> you got to get out, can't be complacent. it's fragile. you got to get out. get out in 2018 because you're voting for me in 2018. you're voting for me. joining me now is jay newton small and white house correspondent for reuters, jeff mason. let me start with you, i want you to contrast these two me messages, what we've heard from president trump with what we've heard from president obama, the
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message where it's similar, i guess, get out and vote. how is the message different? >> i think the message is different in the sense that donald trump it's always all about him. he's the baby at every kristening and the bride at every wedding and it's all about him. republicans in general feel very uncomfortable with that. they don't want it to be a referendum on donald trump whose polling is not very strong. he doesn't have good coat tails for candidates to ride along with him. the republican strategy has been in direct contest. they've been going hyper local and making it about personal attacks of the democratic opponents rather than focusing on donald trump as a whole. in comparison, you is saw former president barack obama in philadelphia on friday night talking about how it's really important that the democrats as a whole go out and really vote because there needs to be checks and balances in the system. there needs to be somebody to hold donald trump accountable, and so in that sense i guess you could say the message is the same. it's all about donald trump, but in this case it's the democratic
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message is one of opposition, and his is one for him. >> jeff, let me play a little bit of tape of president obama on the campaign trail. here he is talking about the importance of the midterms. let's take a listen. >> on november 6th you have a chance to restore some sanity to our politics. on november 6th, you can tip the balance of power back to the people because there's only one real check on bad policy, and and there's only one real check on the abuse of power, and that is you, the american people standing up and deciding to cast your ballot. >> jeff, there he is in that podium in philadelphia. what impact is he having at this point as you've watched him get on the campaign trail once again? >> the first observation is he's not holding back. after about a year and a half of trying to sort of stay out of the limelight and not really
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weigh in except on a couple important policy issues that he did, he's definitely out there now using words like you can return sanity, that's obviously a direct reference to the man who succeeded him in office and what he views as, you know, not being -- not agreeing with what he has done over the last year and a half for sure. in terms of impact, we'll see. i mean, both sides are trying to get their voters out, and the president, president obama, former president obama said last night as well that he's never seen or can't think of an election that was more consequential, and i think he also admitted that this is something i've said before, but it's really true in 2018. i think he believes that. the question will be do the people who he's speaking to believe that as well, and will they show up at the polls. >> i want to return to the breaking news we're going to hear from christine blasey ford if certain conditions are met this week. she's willing to testify before the senate judiciary committee. i'm going to read from one of my colleagues, a senior white house official telling nbc news that the letter from dr. ford's legal
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team is far from definitive. quote this seems like another delay tactic adding we continue to see more efforts to change or renegotiate fair terms and blowing past deadlines. give us sense here of the white house position if you would, jeff. >> it seems like the white house is growing increasingly frustrated with the fact that this keeps dragging on. that said, there is some risk in that. there is some risk in the president having changed his sort of strategy in the last couple of days from trying to stand back to being more critical of the alleged victim directly. this is also risky in some ways because it suggests that they're going to show impatience and that, you know, could rub people wrong who are watching this closely, women in particular ahead of the midterms, but it's -- that is the message coming not only now from the white house but from republicans who just want to get this -- get this going. >> jay, i don't need to tell you that during the course of this administration there have been
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many points where lawmakers on capitol hill in the republican party would be more content to have the president step back and not get involved. i wonder what your read on this situation is. does senator chuck grassley want to have input from are tthe whi house on this issue? >> i think the white house, certainly chuck grassley, typically republicans overall would not want the president involved in this. it's frankly a little miraculous that he hasn't already weighed in on something that is even more bombastic, which would be typical of him if you look at the the way he treated, for example, roy moore's accusers who was the candidate in alabama for the senate who was accused of molesting young girls. he completely discounted those claims. so he's been relatively restrained in this case, which i think is very much due to people like kellyanne conway around him who know he can do enormous damage with women voters in this election if he comes out harshly against this accuser, dr. ford. that is really what's at stake here. you have 62% of women voters who are not in favor, who disagree
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with the job he's doing, and that's -- this is a group, white women, that he won by 41% at the polls in 2016. so they're swinging away from him, and particularly non-college educated white women, they voted for him by an historic margin of 28 percentage points and they are now moving away from donald trump and moving away from the republican party, and these are all women who totally can -- i mean, every woman really can talk -- has had the experience of being hit on in high school, but a lot of women, particularly, have had similar experiences, i think to dr. ford's and to discount that, to sort of say it's not credible no matter how much -- how many years later i think is going to have real damage to him and to republicans at the polls. >> thank you very much for the time, i appreciate it. joining me from washington, d.c. we're going to be right back after this with much more on that statement from christine blasey ford's attorneys. you're watching msnbc.
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that does it for me. you can join me again tomorrow at 2:00 and 3:00 eastern time. the news continues, and there is plenty of it right now with my friend and colleague louie richard. it is a saturday. hello everyone i'm richard lui at msnbc headquarters in new york city. thanks for being with us. the clock starts 2:30, and brett kavanaugh's accuser agrees to testify. now, they are still going back and forth on some big details potentially. the negotiations over christine blasey ford's testimony. plus, rod rosenstein has

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