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tv   Kasie DC  MSNBC  September 24, 2018 1:00am-2:00am PDT

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not so easy to bring a human heart to heal. [music playing] ♪ ♪ welcome to kasie d.c. we have breaking news tonight surrounding supreme court nominee brett kavanaugh. the "new yorker" has published a piece claiming new sexual misconduct allegations against him during his college days at yale. the woman at the center of the story, deborah ramirez, is 53, and went to school with kavanaugh, her claims date back to the 1983-84 academic year when kavanaugh was a freshman at yale. a at least four senate democrats have received information about the allegations and at least two have started to investigate in a statement kavanaugh wrote to the
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"new yorker," quote, this alleged event from 35 years ago did not happen. the people who knew me then know that this do not happen and have said so, this is a smear, plain and simple. i look forward to testifying thursday about the truth and defending my good name. the white house issued a statement in response to the allegations in the "new yorker." they say quote this 35-year-old uncorroborated claim is the latest in a coordinated smear campaign by the democrats designed to tear down a good man. with me to discuss this, princeton university professor and msnbc contributor, eddie glaude junior and msnbc contributor betsy woodruff and we have politics editor at the "daily beast" and contributor sam stein. the former chief nominations council to the u.s. senate committee on the judiciary, greg nunziata, capitol hill reporter leanne caldwell. national political correspondent steve kornacki is in new york and kristen welker joins me by phone. we have an all-star team here,
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all hands on deck as we cover this unfolding story. i want to start with kristen welker, 0 who is on the phone, our white house correspondent. kristen, i'm told you have new information from the white house about how this is going to be handled. >> we see a white house that is increasingly digging in. kasie, think we got that sense from the statements that you read from brett kavanaugh and from the white house spokesperson. but my colleague, peter alexander, spoke with a source familiar with the confirmation process who says that president trump had two conversations today, about these latest allegations. against judge brett kavanaugh. before the it became public and he expressed no change in his views. and this i think aligns with what we've seen from the president. in recent days, you and i spent a lot of time, kasie, talking about the fact that the president has been very on-message, very disciplined last week in talking about the initial allegations from
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christine blasey ford, saying i want to hear from her. but his tone started to change toward the end of the week. he became increasingly combative and we have the stunning tweet on friday in which he effectively seemed to accuse her of not telling the truth. and so this is the president who is no stranger to digging in. this is how he tends to deal with these types of allegations. he himself has faced allegations of sexual misconduct by more than 20 women. this surfaced during the campaign. he denies all of the allegations. he fought back, the white house would make the argument that those allegations were answered by the american public in the election. but look, he has fought back against others in his orbit who are facing similar allegations. whether it be rob porter, or you know, other candidates who are facing allegations of misconduct. so this is a president who is no stranger to fighting back. and this is the big but, there's
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no indication he's wavering right now. will that change? there was a moment last week, kasie, when he was on the white house south lawn when he seemed to indicate look, if woe hear from judge, if we hear from dr. ford and she has very credible things to say, perhaps it would leave the door open to changing his mind about judge kavanaugh so this continues to be an evolving story. i would say that obviously lawmakers on capitol hill are watching very closely. including swing voters like susan collins. how is she going to respond to this? that is going to be critical moving forward. >> and leanne caldwell, i want to bring you in on that you andry running around chasing lawmakers on capitol hill, day in and day out. and i know you've been doing a lot of reporting on the allegation, for anyone just joining us, let's walk through what this new, what debby
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ramirez has come forward in the "new yorker" and in our reporting, to say about what happened with judge kavanaugh. and then of course your take on how this is going to impact the process. >> what we know is a woman, debby ramirez, now lives in boulder, colorado. she went to yale undergrad with brett kavanaugh during the same years, 1983 to 1987. as far as nbc news' report something concerned, we learned from several sources, that during those college years, kavanaugh had pulled down his pants and exposed himself to ramirez. we reached out to ramirez over the weekend. it was yesterday morning, and she directed me to her lawyer immediately. we haven't heard from her lawyer yet. the new yorker has these details now down, they go further to say that it was at a party, they had been drinking and his pants were down and he thrust himself into her face, forcing her to touch his penis. and she said that when he was pulling up his pants, she remembers his laugh and she felt ashamed and embarrassed and she remembers someone running down the hallway saying -- oh, my
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goodness, brett kavanaugh just did this. so she remembers the name clearly. ramirez says. you know ramirez, she -- as far as the falout is concerned, let's go there right now. reaching out to sources, especially republican sources on capitol hill right now, not hearing a lot yet. as far as susan collins is concerned, we have not heard from her office yet. so we might any moment, she might just be hearing these, this news. but from a couple of the republicans i have talked to so far, these are the republicans who wanted kavanaugh confirmed, who were reluctant to move onto the hearing, the first woman who who they allegations, dr. ford. they were saying look, this isn't going to change our mind. we're still sticking with kavanaugh, the timing is very suspicious. we would like to move forward with his confirmation. kasie? >> sam stein to that point.
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what are the political consequences for, in the face of these additional allegations? settle are definitely going to be republican who is say push forward, regardless. >> it's funny, not funny, nothing is very funny about this. about a week ago when the first allegation surfaced with dr. ford, who you know, the question i want to know is why not just scrap the nomination and start over with someone who didn't have the baggage, try to plow through before the election. if not, just do it in the mid-term, it seemed like such a simpler, easier lift. why go through this whole process and risk the embarrassment? in talking to people in the white house and on the hill, there's two reasons basically. one was that it was incredibly off-brand for donald trump to back down from a political fight, right? >> especially one of this nature. >> he couldn't stomach the possibility that he would back down from something like this. and the second one was the thing that holds the party together from the trump-its to the establishment types is judicial
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nominees. and this is what you needed to do in order to keep the base satisfied prior to the mid-term elections. so for those two very reasons, they were going to have to stick with brett kavanaugh. i don't know if this changes any of that calculus, they're still the same factors. you cannot back down when your enemies are calling you out and you think it's a smear campaign and the judicial network on the conservative side has invested so much into this enterprise that they don't want to be seen as suffering a major defeat. >> can we talk through mitch mcconnell's thinking on that point? he has made it his life's work to shape the judiciary and if you play this process out, if cavanaugh were to withdraw, they couldn't get somebody on the bench before the mid-term elections, if control of the senate shifted, then all of a sudden you're facing potentially very difficult situation and we should not lose sight of the fact that this is an appointment that could change the court for a generation, because it was anthony kennedy's spot if you're the people thinking through what is going on with this process right now and you're mitch mcconnell, what do you do? you have to start with the
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allegations and consider them and see how seriously they are. this rises in the context of the fight over that critical middle seat on the supreme court. so i think republicans and mitch mcconnell know that virtually every democrat who is going to oppose whoever the president nominated and virtually every outside group. >> there were a few that might have voted yes before all of this. >> yeah. that's right. but i think there's again a sense over the several weeks that there's a lot of unfairness over brett kavanaugh. i thought the eagerness with which the democrats on the committee accused him of commit perjury. the process to interrupt and stop and start. i think you have to view it in the context of all of that. if these allegations become seem verifiable if dr. ford seems
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believable, if mrs. ramirez seems believable. it will become a very different question. >> speaking of senate majority leader mitch mcconnell, he was speaking at the values voter summit on friday and had high praise for brett kavanaugh and assured the crowd that he will be on the supreme court. >> you're all following the current supreme court fight. and you will watch it unfold. in the course of the next week. president trump has nominated a stunningly successful individual. you've watched the fight. you've watched the tactics, in the ver knew future, very near future, judge kavanaugh will be on the united states supreme court.
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>> back in july, "the new york times" reported that according to republican officials, senator mcconnell had been pushing for two other nominees. reportedly telling the president, judges rammond kethledge and thomas hardiman presented the fewest obstacles to be confirmed to replace justice kennedy to the supreme court. and judge brett kavanaugh would pose difficulties for his confirmation. and betsy this fight is playing out, we shouldn't forget with a constituency that is perhaps behind the cameras, but should not necessarily be overlooked. the people advocating for these other people, who wanted this seat and who are perhaps not so subtly nudging the white house saying hey, guys, we're still available if you decide you want to bail on that guy. >> that's certainly true. i haven't yet communicated with a republican close to the confirmation process tonight. who has told me that he or she thinks that kavanaugh is done. and i have communicated with a handful who have said they're somewhere in the, somewhere in
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the confident space that he can still get through this. of course, there were plenty of republicans who raised concerns about kavanaugh, from people on sort of the breitbart, far right anti-immigration space, to folks who parsed some of the comments he made about abortion issues and assessed that he wasn't conservative enough on that question. without a doubt, kavanaugh had his detractors, speaking quite broadly, he generally speaking had it overwhelming support from republicans. or at least was endorsed as totally acceptable. >> i just spoke to senator lindsey graham who said the timing of this was very suspicious and you have to prove to me that he's not the guy he says he is. and sam stein, greg go, ahead. that's sort of the thing that sticks with me. that is really going to be, a contest of character. it's a character battle. >> and it's not just the guy he says he is. it's also the guy that many
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people in washington believe him to be. he's a judge currently sitting in d.c. he served in the bush administration. many of these senators know him personally. have known him for years. him and his wife. and believe him to be a good person. and when you see someone who you believe to be a good person incapable of this, accused of these things, i don't think you lightly pull that nomination. you want to defend him. and the "new yorker" story, says that they were unable to confirm with any other attendee at that party that brett kavanaugh was there. so unless there's more meat on this i think a lot of republicans are going to be inclined to continue defending him. >> you have to have the presumption of innocence, obviously, that's critical. it's the foundation of our judicial system. but lindsey graham reflects a different outlook here. which is he was show this morning and he said there was nothing that dr. ford could say that would make me change my vote. that's the commitment that i think senate republicans have to
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this nomination. to me, at least it is a bit befuddling because there are other nominees who are very good conservative jurists who would probably have a lot easier time at this juncture, getting through the senate. i've tried to figure out what it is about brett kavanaugh that people are so committed to? and i'm still trying to figure it out. >> they just want to dig in on this. and steve kornacki, to that point, i'm interested to your take on the politics of this. you're digging in and you looked back at 1991 when not only was clarence thomas accused of these things by anita hill. but then he was confirmed after the fact. what's the political danger for republicans here in proceeding with this, simply we're not talking about a criminal prosecution, that's not the bar. this is a lifetime appointment to the supreme court? >> in terms of the politics, you have to figure out who are the swing votes who are the senators, where the balance of power sort of lies. and what are the politics the
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political considerations, if you go back to 199 1, the swing votes that got clarence thomas confirmed, they were democrats from the south. white democrats from the south who looked at polls after the hill/thomas hearings and they were startled to see something they didn't expect that was the support for clarence thomas among african-american voters surged after the hill/thomas hearings. he had higher support among black voters than he did among white voters. so democrats, particularly those up in 1992, a year later looked at that and said a major part of my constituency, voters i'm going to be relying on to get re-elected are for this nomination. therefore, i can't be against this nomination. those were the key votes, democratic votes that actually got clarence thomas confirmed in 1992. now where are we 27 years late centre where are we? we know where it is, the swing votes, we've known all along. on the democratic side, if anybody is going to be peeled off to vote for this, it's the red state democrats. the trump state democrats like manchin.
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like donnelly in indiana. calculation for them, we show the poll earlier. if it's 34-38 nationally. 34 support, 38 nationally in a place like west virginia, a place like indiana, those support numbers a lot higher. unless those numbers move more significantly in the opposition direction, still that calculation holds. the question the question on the other side is the republicans. it's susan collins, lisa america kousky. maybe you could talk about the calculations of somebody like flake or cork another aren't going to be there. who sort of is that introducer of a wild card possibility. but the politics are it's sort of where we've known them all along. i degree with the consensus emerging on your panel. a lot of republicans, it seems absent something something that rises to the level of i guess smoking gun. i think the vast majority of republicans have an instinct to stick it out. the question is on the edges there, susan collins, lisa murkowsky, one or two others.
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>> for those red state democrats you mentioned, donnelly and manchin and others, they've been running away from me in the holloways over the last week but i've had a chance to have some private conversations with those who are familiar with their thinking and i don't think we're going to hear from any of them until we hear from susan collins and lisa murkowsky. eddie glaude, the clarence thomas hearings and the way the senators thought through thundershower african-american constituencies and how that impacted with what happened with her and obviously the situation in this case is different. >> i mean what's interesting about the 191 hearing is that there was a general, there was a gender split within the african-american community. we often forget that 1600 african-american women took out a full-page ad in the "new york times," is stating their support for anita hill. and what that, the effect it had on the african-american communities, in terms of the breakdown in terms of the sexism of black men, the activism of black women and what we do know,
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at least african-american women across the country and our current political moment are in some ways the most active among the democratic base. and so i think that's a complicated question. i'm also interested in just something that i want to shift to something else, too, kasie. i'm interested in the evangelicals and how they're responding to this i know they're part of the republican base. this faustian barringen in terms of their kind of, their support for kavanaugh. but here we have a second case. it seems to me and this takes me to the third point, that that we have to pump the brakes. we've been on this accelerated kind of calendar. but the question why? >> on that second point. those evangelical voters that you referenced, they seem to have been willing to look past president trump's own alleged indiscretions precisely for this, because they wanted judge kavanaugh.
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>> it shows how morally bankrupt they are think about what franklin graham said. about the situation with dr. ford. think about what they're turning a blind eye to. it seems to me that it suggests at least that they've sold their souls for a mess of pottage. but maybe that's just me. i'm just confused. i think we are trying to wrap our heads around everything that we've learned new tonight. and i actually before we wrap up here, leann, i want to go back to you for final thoughts. i know we're watching the reporting trickle in. there are now democratic groups that are outright calling for cavanaugh to withdraw they've been opposing him all the way along. seems to be digging in. >> this is another, this is another thing that gives them fuel to their fire. they didn't support kavanaugh to
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gip with as you mentioned. they're going to use this as another reason why he should not be confirmed. it's not the democrats that really matter here as we all know. it's the republicans, as kavanaugh can be confirmed with the report of 51 republicans and there's a couple who did express concern after the first allegation came forward. those are the four that we're going to continue to be watching. lisa murkowsky, susan collins, jeff flake and potentially bob corker as well. jeff flake is on the judiciary committee. he's the first obstacle that kavanaugh and republicans who want kavanaugh confirmed need to get past. >> thanks for your reporting and running in to help us out. give us a call back if you get anything, anything more, we'd be happy to get your reporting on the air. we should note there was supposed to be a special airing right now on msnbc. headliners, paul manafort. it is going to air, at 10:00
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p.m. after we wrap up our breaking news coverage. we have more coming on this breaking news, a second woman accusing supreme court nominee brett kavanaugh of sexual misconduct. just days before thursday's judicial hearing. stay with us.
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i ask each nominee two questions. first question for you, since you became a legal adult have you ever made unwanted requests for sexual favors or committed any verbal or physical what racement or assault of a sexual nature >> no. >> have you ever faced discipline or entered into a settlement related to this kind of conduct >> no. >> so eddie glaude jr., i want to take a second to talk about that sort of exchange right there.
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and mazie hirono asks that of all judicial nominees, she said she's done it across the board according to what she said, this morning. obviously it was not necessarily relevant in the case of dr. ford because that allegedly took place when they were both in high school. before judge kavanaugh had turned 18 years old. this allegation of misconduct is different. >> indeed, i think sam made the point earlier in the show. that this would viz to the level of at least a serious consideration that he pejured himself. >> the republicans on the judiciary committee have set so we can assess all of this in a serious and nuanced and careful way. these are serious ail compensations and the process needs to reflect that allegations. the question that the senator asked judge kavanaugh opens the door for a series of questions around a pattern of behavior
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a pattern of behavior that we ought to at least corroborate or at least suggest it didn't happen we need to simply investigate it so we can see whether or not this man has the character and is fit to sit on the highest court in the land. that seems to me just basic, basic. no matter whether you're democratic or republican that's simply basic to me. >> i think it is already, eddie breaking down along party lines. we have this from my ipad, diane feinstein, the ranking member on the judiciary committee has called for the postponement of any further hearings on judge kavanaugh. this presumably covers the thursday hearing, we had just learned today was set for thursday at 10:00 a.m. she writes i'm writing to request a postponement to any further proceedings and the newest allegations of sexual misconduct be referred to the
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fbi for investigation and you join our request for the white house to direct the fbi to investigate the allegations of christine blasey ford as well as these new claims greg i'm going to go to you on this you have a pretty nuanced understanding of how this all unfolds, were you talking about this fbi process before. if you're chuck grassley, how do you respond to this? after all of this back and forth about when the hearing was supposed to be thursday. >> for starters, if you're chuck grassley, you're pretty frustrated for diane feinstein for having set on this letter from dr. ford for a couple of
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months i don't think he has a lot of patience for her right now i think they had previously had a lost collegial relationship. i think a lot of damage has been done everything the supreme court battle fights is damaged these days church grassley takes whistleblowers seriously he's known for hiring good investigators in the senate. he's going to want to get to the bottom of this to the best of his ability. i think he will likely believe that his investigators can do that more quickly and efficiently than the fbi >> sam stein, you have breaking news >> this is an evolving situation. earlier tonight chuck grassley's office released the letter that dr. christine ford sent to diane feinsteiat pmpted al souramiliar now s me th seclettas been coted for the sleyof to releaset i juot -n ma public t. >> we caport exice of theette y this jibes with the reporting you've been doing? >> that's correct. i can say that's true. i don't have any information that i can share at this point about the contents of the letter but the context for this is there could potentially be either new contacts from people in dr. ford's camp or new perspective that will inform the way we're talking about these allegations. >> so the sense from your sources is that this letter would bolster dr. ford's case? >> the letter is from dr. ford's
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camp so presumably we can surmise >> so -- sam stein, how does this -- what can we expect to start hearing from republicans on this? if there is in fact a building case from dr. ford, plus these additional allegations, plus we haven't even dug in to michael avenatti who is tweeting about and we should remember that nbc has not confirmed this we're working on this he claims to have a third person, woman with allegations >> okay. i think put aside the avenatti stuff, because none of that is confirmed. i think what's interesting about this is that literally the conversation we're having now can change diametrically, if jeff flake, a member of the judiciary committee tomorrow comes out and says i can't vote yes until we do x, y, or z he has that power. because they have a very thin majority on the judiciary committee.
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if he does not vote for the nomination to send it through to the senate floor, it's effectively dead >> that happened in the clarence thomas process as well. >> there's they can vote no, they only this for the supreme court, not other judgeships, they can vote negative in the committee and still forward it to the full senate. >> to the degree i'm saying if susan colins were to come out and lisa murkowsky were to come out and say this is too much suddenly every protestation that lindsey graham has that mitch mcconnell has, that anyone on twitter has, doesn't matter any more we are, we're dealing, mine this is a huge vast universe of opinions that are flowing in here it's a very pointed political battle but i'm struck as how narrow the deciding people are here four people can basically say enough's enough. that's it. >> it's a very small audience. eddie glaude jr. you've said for so much longer than you planned to on a sunday night i want to have a chance to say thank you for sticking around. what are your final thoughts
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heading into the week. we're going to get up tomorrow morning and jump back into a whirlwind that's probably going to be more intense even than it was last week. sun ming kim tweeted what a century that week was. what do you think is the onus on senator colins and murkowsky >> this is a wonderful introduction to kasie d.c. >> we've been trying to get you to so many times it's quite a night you chose to join us for the first time >> look, i think we have to learn a lesson have to learn the real lesson of the #metoo movement. and the real lesson of the #metoo movement isn't to take down powerful men. it's to challenge and uproot from the core, from the root, patriarchy and sexism. so senator murkowsky and senator collins, if they want to challenge the way that patriarchal power has produced the outcomes that harm the life
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chances of young girls and women across the country, they need to take seriously, take seriously what this moment represents. because if we dismiss dr. ford and if we dismiss debra ramirez, if we plow through, think about the message we're sending to all of the young girls, all of the boys, all of the people who may suffer sexual assault. that they might have to stay in the shadows for 30 years again and we can't do that again we can't do that >> eddie glaude jr., thank you so much. come back any time possibly we will follow the script more directly next time you come back. but when we come back here inside the preparations, brett kavanaugh has been going through for thursday, our special extended kasie d.c. coverage continues as we sort through the impact of this new sexual allegation against supreme court allegation against supreme court nominee.
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the "washington post" citing three people familiar with judge kavanaugh's preparations for thursday write quote kavanaugh grew frustrated when it came to questions that dug into his private life particularly his drink habits and sexual proclivities, declined to answer some questions altogether saying they were too personal these people said quote i'm not going to answer that kavanaugh said at one point according to a senior white house official
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who said that the questions were designed to go over the line and he, kavanaugh, struck the right tone this morning kavanaugh got a preview of what's to come from mazie hirono >> you're not going to talk to him about policy at this hearing? >> i would want to be hearing what kind of environment it was in high school apparently there was a lot of drinking and partying going on this is why we need an investigation. >> so, greg, what's this like when you're trying to prep a nominee for something like this? i mean clearly, if you're, if you're judge kavanaugh you're trying to answer questions about remembering back to parties in high school and college and like deeply, deeply personal, deeply personal questions i mean at what point -- first of all, what are those sessions like you've participated in them before and at what point does a nominee potentially decide you know what, i don't want to stick around for this. >> it's really hard. i think that as i was saying earlier tonight. these types of problems, with nominations or concerns about nominations usually arise in a much more discreet process much earlier in time.
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so it's not splashed all over the papers but the questions that need to be asked certainly about whether someone is fit to be a judge it's a lifetime appointment if senators want a high level of comfort with the nomination. you're trying to get him to answer questions forthrightly to establish a factual record that is true and hopefully exonerating. but you also want a witness, a nominee to come across as a person not just a court of law. you're talking to the american people and connecting with the american people in a real way. is important we earlier tonight talked about the thomas hearings. of course a lot of people remember how anita hill was handled. how thomas was handled and how he comported himself is a big part of that story and a big part of how he got confirmed he used the phrase, the whole affair was a high-tech lynching, it resonated with people and partially explains the support he had in the african-american community at the time and may have changed the outcome judge thomas has a very interesting background which maybe kavanaugh doesn't have the
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same biography. >> you worked directly with justice alito, justice thomas, through those confirmation processes, what did you learn from each in their different personalities how they come to this >> i think authenticity is important. i think both of those nominees did very well. in very different ways >> they're very different. >> chief justice roberts is a charming urbane washingtonian. i think trying too hard to play a role that doesn't reflect you, doesn't work. >> knowing what you know about judge kavanaugh what would you say to him and having watched his hearing what aspects of his personality are going to be liabilities? >> i think that both in his hearing now sand more especially his hearings to the d.c.
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circuit, he tends to be careful. and perhaps careful to a fault and too lawyerly in how he answers some of his questions. if these allegations are false, he ought not sound like a lawyer he should sound like an outraged person who has been slandered and had his life thrown into a terrible status. has had his daughters here on tv that their father is a rapist. he ought to be angry, if this is false. >> i completely agree, this is what i was saying earlier. that the way in which he forges through politically, it seems to me very narrow it rests upon the idea that he becomes more public outward facing saying open up my files. investigate my past. talk to everyone and anyone who i've known from high school, from college, because these are categorically not true and instead what's happened is they've tucked them away, we
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haven't seen them at all we've seen statements issued in his name from the white house. but you know, it's all been obfuscation. that we're not going to do the investigation. we don't need to call mark judge up to talk i think they're doing him a disservice i would say he's suffering from poll numbers are terrible. not only because he's a little too cautious and lawyerly. but because our supreme court fights have become so polarized for a variety of reasons almost at the start you're going to have half the country saying i don't like this guy. >> greg, do you, what's your response to, why hasn't he done that why hasn't the sunlight -- >> there's been a long tradition which i've actually disagreed with for not allowing supreme court nominees to talk much. they're buttoned up in the white house, whether there's a controversy or not that's standard operating procedure on these things for decades. i think it doesn't help the
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nominee. i think it would be bet fer early on in the process the nominee and his wife were on the "today show" and people got a sense of who they are. because the person is really lost in this massive political fight that we have around the supreme court. almost every political issue that divides us deeply appears to be decided at the supreme court from abortion to guns to gay rights so it's not surprising that people are very invested in tearing down or building up the person they think who can change the direction of the court. >> at the end of the day, they are just a person. don't go anywhere, kasie d.c. will be right back. just a reminder, the msnbc special "headliners: paul manafort" will be airing at and i treat my mbc with new everyday verzenio- the only one of its kind that can be taken every day. in fact, verzenio is a cdk4 & 6 inhibitor
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for those of us just joining us, we're following the new sexual assault -- sexual misconduct allegation against
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supreme court nominee brett kavanaugh, debra ramirez, one of kavanaugh's classmates at yale told the "new yorker" that he exposed himself to her and forced her to touch his privates in college the assault reportedly took place when kavanaugh was a freshman, during the 1983-84 academic year. kavanaugh issued a statement denying the allegations. now two senate democrats have decided to launch investigations into the allegations joining us now is lisa graves, a former chief counsel for nominations on the senate judiciary committee and a former deputy assistant attorney general at the department of justice. lisa, thank you so much for being willing to come in on such short notice as we continue our breaking news coverage here. and my team tells me that you actually were involved in vetting brett kavanaugh for a previous post. if you could walk us through what you do know about him, what you learned about him in that process. and we've been having a little bit of a conversation here about how these things normally come to light that it often happens in the more private version of the process before it becomes public i'm wondering if you could speak to that as well. >> brett kavanaugh was first nominated to the d.c. circuit in 2003 he was only 38 years old and he
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was offered this lifetime position on the highest court in our country. he had come to the senate judiciary committee as a nominee with very little litigation experience he had been a clerk for a number of judges and his most notorious work had been working for ken starr on the council's investigation of president clinton and then he worked for the white house on some of the most divisive judicial nominees in modern american history so he came to us as a very controversial nominee and he came to us in the immediate aftermath of the theft of files from the united states senate by a republican staffer, by a former hatch staffer and brett kavanaugh was questioned closely about those matters. i worked on that nomination on the nomination hearing along with my team for senator leahy and we helped develop questions for him. about that he denied that he had any involvement in those thefts that he had ever seen any document,
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or any document referred to about materials that were stolen from the democratic council, including me from the senate judiciary committee and only in this most recent hearing for his supreme court nomination did we learn that he in fact had received communications from miranda sharing with him the files that had been stolen. documents, letters, memos that had been stolen from the senate. and so his background was already checkered in terms of his credibility. i believe that he was affirmatively untruthful he received three pinocchios just this past week for his statements under oath to the senate judiciary committee so in 2003, after he was nominated, his hearing was in 2004 that's when he initially did not tell the truth in my view about his role in receiving those materials. he didn't go forward that year and then he was renominated and was confirmed in 2006 to the d.c. circuit. >> was there anything in the course of these nomination fights that suggested or previewed or touched on the what we're now discussing, any misconduct suggestions of
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misconduct or allegations of a sexual nature against him? >> well a judicial nominee, the fbi background investigation typically will go over your employment history your college roommate for example. people i've worked for from the time you were 18 it does ask the question whether you had any convictions from the time were you 16 or older. but it predominantly interviews people who have worked with you. it doesn't interview everyone that you went to school with it doesn't reach out to your broader circle of friends. unless an allegation comes forward in that process, the fbi investigation is proceeding along normal lines so i actually didn't read his fbi background investigation at the time if i had, i wouldn't be able to share it with you. but my impression at the time in 2003-2004 were the concerns that we had were about his lack of experience his extraordinary experience as a political operative that made
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him seem like someone who would be untrustworthy to be given a lifetime job as a judge, to be an impartial fair adjudicator of cases that come before him >> i want to think about going forward now. you've been presented let's say you're on the committee. you've been presented with one credible accusation, now comes another. in normal times as a staff member what are the actual practical steps you take going forward working with perhaps the opposition party and their staffers there how do you do this and who do you talk to and what do you do about trying to figure out the truth? >> there's been so much disinformation this past week about it the fact is it's quite common when an fbi file comes over to the united states senate judiciary committee. it's reviewed by majority and minority staff who are cleared to read thoz files if questions arise about a matter, because either a matter has come up to the committee majority/minority about a person's character about their judgment, trustworthiness or if there's a
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matter unclear in the fbi background investigation, the ordinary course every single time other than this past week is that the chairman and the ranking member through their staff refer a question over to the department of justice to have the fbi investigate the matter impartially freak alert. jaylen... jaylen's a freak about hand slicing all natural meats for every jimmy john's sandwich he makes you should see him with capicola freaky fresh. freaky fast. now try your favorite on our new nine-grain wheat sub. wheat yeah. freak yeah.
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counsel. we are also watching carefully to see how paul manafort's agreement plays out. tonight we have a special that goes inside the fall of the convicted campaign chairman. after reports serviced of paul manafort's work for a pro russia party in ukraine, he was forced to resign from president trump's presidential campaign in august 2016. >> instead of becoming the biggest mare in trump's washington, he becomes this big villain. he becomes the epicenter of the growing attention on the relationship between trump and russia >> as questions of russian interference and possible collusion continued to grow, former fbi director robert mueller was named special counsel. >> if your mandate was to look at possible collusion, one of the first places you would look is the campaign chair, the top advisor to a candidate, who is
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himself connected financially and personally to the crime. >> my friend katy tur narrated tonight. when we return, what to watch for in the week ahead.
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so before we go, let's talk about what you're watching in the week ahead gee, i can't think of anything what are you looking for >> i'm keeping an eye on the fallout to the "new york times" reporting that rod rosenstein -- >> that giant story we barely talked about does the kavanaugh news push this story out of the way, or do white house officials dig in on it and use it as grounds to go after rosenstein >> good points sam? >> i was watching kavanaugh and what happens and whether flake, murkowski collins and i guess
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corker to a certain degree blink on this one. >> the question for me is whether any corroborating evidence comes up when either of these allegations and how chairman grassley is going to try to get the information in front of the committee that it needs to move forward. >> i am watching senator feinstein already calling for a delay in that thursday hearing, whether that plays out. also, i want to thank all of you for sticking around. i want to thank in particular grizzly, one of the dogs watching our show. it is only sunday night. the week is just beginning that does it for us. a reminder to subscribe to our podcast. we'll be back with you next week from 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. eastern.
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good night from washington a second woman comes forward to accuse supreme court nominee brett kavanaugh of sexual misconduct the new allegation and the response from kavanaugh, the white house and the senate judiciary committee. plus, kavanaugh's first accuser agrees to testify thursday in open hearings. we're going to tell you what evidence he will reportedly introduce to defend himself. and the deputy attorney general denies that explosive report that he discussed a plan to remove the president from office the big question now is how long will rod rosenstein last ♪


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