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tv   All In With Chris Hayes  MSNBC  September 28, 2018 12:00am-1:00am PDT

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good evening from new york. i'm chris hayes. we are, if the schedule is to be believed, about 13 hours from a vote in the judiciary committee of the senate of the united states about whether to put brett kavanaugh on the nation's highest court for life. a vote on that, i would imagine, seems inconceivable to millions of americans that watched what happened today. a spectacle that was at times enraging, galling, baffling, inspiring and wrenching. something that we have not seen in probably a generation, americans around the country huddled in bars early in the morning and around cell phones as they walked down the streets,
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sneaking into closets in the office or just watching at their desks, rapt and paying attention to two people before this committee at this profound moment of cultural disruption around power, around men, around women. today for the first time men and women got to meet dr. blasey ford. that is the woman who says when she was 15 years old judge brett kavanaugh as a high school student sexually assaulted her in a room with his friend mark judge. she was there before the committee with 11 men from the gop on one side. but she did not face questions from them. they instead had outsourced their questioning to rachel mitchell, a sex crimes prosecutor from arizona, and a woman, a female assistant in the words of mitch mcconnell. this woman who came forward with her story was someone evidently reluctant, both in the reporting and her presentation today, to tell what happened to her, evidently traumatized by what happened.
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and the story she told was remarkable and affecting. and i think traumatizing deeply for the millions of americans wo watched who have also experienced the same. she began by talking about how terrified she was. >> i am here today not because i want to be. i am terrified. i am here because i believe it is my civic duty to tell you what happened to me while brett kavanaugh and i were in high school. >> the allegation that she makes against brett kavanaugh that had circulated first in an anonymous letter that had been sent to her member of congress, then on to senator dianne feinstein a tip that she called into the "washington post" all in her testimony in a frenetic attempt to forestall the white house and donald trump and senate republicans from choosing brett kavanaugh from a short list of judges for the supreme court knowing and having lived, she says, with the secret inside her
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of what he had done to her 36 years ago. a frenetic attempt that did not make its way to the white house. until it was too late. until the threads came loose and she had reporters standing outside her office. and that, she says, convinced her to come forward. and so today, in front of millions of people, indelibly in front of the cameras, recorded for posterity, in an act that will irrevocably that i think -- change her life and she came before the committee under oath and told what happened to her. >> early in the evening i went up a very narrow set of stairs leading from the living room to the second floor to use the restroom. when i got to the top of the stairs i was pushed from behind into a bedroom across from the bathroom. i couldn't see who pushed me. brett and mark came into the bedroom and locked the door behind them. there was music playing in the
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bedroom. it was turned up louder by either brett or mark once we were in the room. i was pushed onto the bed and brett got on top of me. he began running his hands over my body and grinding into me. i yelled hoping that someone down stairs might hear me, and i tried to get away from him but his weight was heavy. brett groped me and tried to take off my clothes. he had a hard time because he was very inebriated. and because i was wearing a one-piece bathing suit underneath my clothing. i believed he was going to rape me. i tried to yell for help. when i did brett put his hand over my mouth to stop me from yelling. this is what terrified me the most, and has had the most
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lasting impact on my life. it was hard for me to breathe. and i thought that brett was accidentally going to kill me. >> dr. ford, who is a scientist, who does research on the brain, and how it reacts to trauma, was very clear and precise about what she did and did not remember. she was accommodating and searching to help the members of the committee. she was reluctant. and she listened to what people had to say. she tried her best in every moment in her body language, her posture and her tone of voice to be accommodating. she also was asked what were the things that she remembered most clearly? this trauma that she says had seared itself into her brain, she was asked what stood out the most. >> what is the strongest memory you have, the strongest memory of the incident, something that you cannot forget, take whatever time you need. >> indelible in the hipaa campus
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is the laughter, the up roarous laughter between the two and their having fun at my expense. >> and then she was asked, was she certain? >> how are you so sure that it was he? >> the same way that i'm sure that i'm talking to you right now. so just basic memory functions. >> dr. ford, with what degree of certainty do you believe brett kavanaugh assaulted you? >> 100%. >> we cannot know for certain, i certainly cannot, what happened this that room, if it happened, if she's telling the truth, if she is recalling properly. it was extremely difficult, extremely difficult for anyone watching that to think it was concocted or a performance. she did everything that was asked of her before that committee and the gop senators all men sat there and they
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watched her as she was essentially cross-examined by a woman who was paid by them or hired by them or brought on by them to poke holes in her story. and then they recessed. and then it was time for judge kavanaugh, a man who is facing a possible lifetime appointment to the supreme court, a man who says he's been eager to testify. and he came with a very different approach. he sat before the committee clearly furious. a fan who feels that he was wronged, who strongly denies what happened. and he sat there before that same committee. and in a contrast as stark as night and day, he let them have it. >> this confirmation process has become a national disgrace. the constitution gives the senate an important role in the confirmation process. but you have replaced advice and consent with search and destroy.
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since my nomination in july there has been a frenzy on the left to come up with something, anything to block my confirmation. this whole two-week effort has been a calculated and orchestrated political hit fueled with apparent pent up anger about president trump and the 2016 election, fear that has been unfairly stoked about my judicial record, revenge on behalf of the clintons, and millions of dollars in money from outside left wing opposition groups. this is a circus. let's turn to specifics. i categorically and unequivocally deny the allegation against me by dr. ford. i never had any sexual or physical encounter of any kind with dr. ford. i never attended a gathering like the one dr. ford describes in her allegation.
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i've never sexually assaulted dr. ford or anyone. >> for more on what happened today, and where kavanaugh's nomination stands i'm joined by democratic senator kirsten gillibrand of new york. reaction to what you saw today? >> i thought dr. blasey ford's testimony was incredible. i thought she was so heartfelt, she spoke her truth so passionately, with such candor, with such emotion, i was really inspired by what she did today. i thought the second half, though, was so discouraging. i thought the way judge kavanaugh started with partisan attacks, it really made me question his fitness for this office for the fact that he does not have the temperament or the character or honesty or integrity to be a supreme court justice. i was really disturbed by the second half of the hearing and disturbed by my republican colleagues and how they acted and what they said. >> that opening by judge
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kavanaugh, have you ever seen a nominee for judicial position, particularly supreme court nominee, speak this that kind of way using language like bourquing, talking about a clinton conspiracy, et cetera? >> i've never heard about it. and i could never have even imagined it. and it really makes me question his absolute unfitness for this nomination. i just cannot understand how he could turn something so important as this hearing into a -- into finding out the facts of a credible accusation of sexual assault into some kind of political hit. and the way he talked, he was so arrogant in how he spoke to senators. and dismissive. i was really offended by how he behaved at the hearing. >> there was a strange format in which a woman had been brought in, a prosecutor was brought in to cross-examine essentially the woman who dr. ford who is making this allegation.
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she started to ask sort of similarly kind of pointed procedural and prosecutorial questions of judge kavanaugh and then was stopped and then the republicans took the gavel back and asked the questions the rest of the way. what do you think about that? >> well, i thought her role in the first place was highly concerning. the fact that they asked a prosecutor to ask questions of dr. blasey ford, as if she's on trial, she's not on trial, she was bringing forth credible allegations at a this committee needed to assess and then look at judge kavanaugh and assess his credibility. and then the fact that she starts to question judge kavanaugh and then is cut off by the republican senators and dismissed. i mean, it really wasn't fair. and it just goes to the heart that this hearing was never set up to be fair. it was never set up to get to the bottom of it. the fact that, again, judge kavanaugh could not answer the question, five democratic senators asked him, will you ask for an fbi investigation and he could not say yes, not once. he continued to obfuscate, to
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pivot to different issues, to filibuster and talk about things that was not being asked about. i just thought his behavior and the content of his testimony was absolutely inappropriate. >> do you think he was lying? >> yes, i think he lied several times. the fact that he kept saying oh, yeah, i love beer, i love beer, honestly, and then couldn't possibly say no, there was no evening where i drank so much i didn't remember. even though he made jokes about it with his buddies when they went to watch the baseball game. it was shocking that he could be so direct in not telling the truth about his drinking and how it affected him. >> do you think he was lying about the core substance of the allegation, dr. blasey ford says he assaults her, he says he's innocent. you think he remembers that night and is lying about it. >> i believe dr. blasey ford, i believed her testimony. i think she spoke from the heart as someone who was reliving the worst moment of her life. you could see it on her face.
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this was something that was traumatic, deeply troubling for her for her whole life. she told the truth and that was very clear. i don't see how possibly what he said could possibly be truthful given what she said. so i think he wasn't telling the truth and i don't believe him. >> you know, we're at a moment obviously in the country, this sort of profound reckoning and awakening around questions of patriarchy, sexism, gender inequities. what was today? what was the spectacle today that all of those men on the republican side of that dais, brett kavanaugh, dr. blasey ford, what message did it send? >> well, in some ways it was a tragic day for america because to have those republican senators disregard dr. blasey ford's testimony, to have them seek as if she didn't just tell them what happened so honestly and so forthrightly. and then to try to turn this hearing into a spectacle and accuse democrats of being partisan and that this is some
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conspiracy. i mean, it was shocking to me. and i think for a lot of women in this country, particularly for survivors, it was a really low moment. i think a lot of women are suffering and feel that this country does not have their back that, in fact, these republican senators are disregarding them, disregarding their truth, disregarding their value and their voices by how they behaved and by how they treated judge kavanaugh and as if he is the victim here. he is not the victim here. he is someone who is hoping to be able to serve on the supreme court in a lifetime appointment. he is being given an extraordinary opportunity, and he showed so little humility and so little gratitude for the opportunity he's been given and he turned this entire hearing into a sad story about himself, that he is somehow the victim here. that is not the case. and i just want to say to dr. blasey ford, her courage, i mean, she's the hero. and she's the one who spoke truth to power in a powerful
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way, and in a truthful way that i think inspired people across this country. it's a tough day. >> yeah, i think that's -- that's inarguable. senator kirsten gillibrand, thank you for joining me. >> thank you. joining me now, one of the democratic senators on the senate judiciary committee, senator chris coons of delaware. what was that hearing? >> that's a great question, chris, that hearing was not what the american people deserved today. i did think dr. ford came forward and gave compelling and powerful testimony. i do think we should have had more than two witnesses in front of us today. it's striking to me, for example, that mark judge was not a sworn witness in front of the testimony today, someone who still has not given a sworn statement to the committee. and so that's why i joined a number of colleagues in saying
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to both judge kavanaugh and to my colleagues we should be pausing for a week and having the non-partisan fbi investigate a number of these troubling allegations. i was encouraged, frankly, that although the republicans hired a prosecutor to do their questioning for them, that dr. ford was able to get out most of her story. and i experienced today something really striking, chris, in that during her testimony several people i know, several women i know from delaware reached out to me to share their stories of surviving sexual assault. so i know, if nothing else was accomplished today, that dr. ford, 27 years after the hearing where professor anita hill was really put on trial, she was able to tell her story and it inspired and encouraged survivors all over this country to know they can come forward and share their stories too. >> brett kavanaugh, judge kavanaugh, did you find him credible? do you think he was truthful and forthright with the committee? >> there's a number of areas where i have concerns about his credibility. from specific issues around his
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stories about his drinking habits and it being just a few beers here and there, and him being someone who does not become aggressive when drunk. and has never forgotten the events of a previous evening. i think there's lots of evidence from his high school and college years that goes against that characterization. to my experience with him in the previous round of the confirmation hearings where i tried to get him to answer directly my questions based on his speeches, his writings, law review articles, descents, and i felt like he was evasive and frankly on some issues gave answers that were just not credible. i have real concerns with his credibility. >> his tone was remarkable in contrast. i want to ask you about an exchange that happened between amy klobuchar, your colleague, and himself, a back and forth precisely on a topic that you asked many questions about, about his drinking, he said under oath that it was never the case that he drank so much he forgot events from the night
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before, never the case. and senator klobuchar had some questions for him on drinking. take a listen to this. >> so you're saying there's never been a case where you drank so much that you didn't remember what happened the night before, or part of what happened? >> you're asking about blackout. i don't know, have you? >> could you answer the question, judge? just so you -- that's not happened? is that your answer? >> yeah, and i'm curious if you have. >> i have no drinking problem, judge. >> nor do i. >> what did you think about that? >> pretty unprecedented. there were quite a few moments in today's hearing that were jaw dropping. frankly, my colleague lindsey graham launched into an angry -- at one point that was unprecedented in my eight years here in the senate. and i thought the opening moments of judge kavanaugh's very lengthy opening statement where he accused the democrats of a left wing conspiracy fueled by the desire for revenge by the
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clintons was very offputing. and not a very judicial temperament. that exchange with senator klobuchar was very striking. >> i should note he did come back after recess and apologize for that exchange. senator chris coons, thank you for your time tonight. >> thank you, chris. i'm joined by people two people who were in the room. the former head of the justice department civil rights division, current president of the -- and senior editor and legal correspondent for slate magazine. dalia, you have covered stuff like this before. what was it like in there? >> it was like nothing i've ever, ever seen, chris. it was -- it was -- i think one thing that you only get if you're in the room is how tiny the room is and that sound is suddenly -- you could barely hear dr. blasey ford. she was fiddling with her mic. she could barely talk. she was being cross-examined. very, very quietly by rachel mitchell and then suddenly the
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second half, the shouting started and then it was first -- first it was judge kavanaugh, then it was lindsey graham, grassley was shouting, you literally had this sense that if you're a woman and you're the one in three or one in four women in america who are assaulted and you marshal all your energy and try to get brave and talk to therapists and create a record and you hesitatingly come forward, at the end of the day when you put it all out there, you're just going to get screamed at. it was breathtaking in terms of the whiplashy emotion going on in that tiny little room. >> what did you think? >> i felt the same way. dr. blasey ford was specific. she was credible. she was humble. and throughout the day, even republicans didn't attack her credibility. but when brett kavanaugh came into that room he was belligerent. he was angry.
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he was accusing the democrats of conspiracy theories. he was overtly -- i mean, the partisan fury in his voice. and then followed by men who had been stone faced silent during dr. blasey ford's most heart wrenching testimony that had all of us, you know, unable to hold back tears. they had been stone faced silent. then going off and sermonizing, apologizing repeatedly to kavanaugh. suddenly finding their voices. and not being afraid of speaking finally to the cameras. i mean, the contrast was just so incredibly stark. >> to venita's point dahlia, the whole shtick when you come for judicial confirmation, you pretend you have no views. i just beamed in from mars and now i'd like to be on the supreme court, never thought about abortion. brett kavanaugh sounds like sean hannity, and you're reminded this is an individual on the star team of the independent
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council, was involved with elliott gonzales, the bush recount in florida, and then on the bush administration. he has been a partisan warrior for most of his adult life. and all the sudden it was just there on the table. >> i mean, it's such a good point, chris, this is somebody who was an operative of a machine and very much enmeshed with what the federalist society was doing, very much enmeshed in trying to confirm bush judges. some of the big hiccups in his testimony, even before this started, were when we got caught out in these moments of being a partisan operative. and so then it's funny because i think he did a pretty creditable job in his hearings of trying to say, but no, i've got the temperament. and, you know, i'm not that guy. and then to just launch into this sort of alex jones style, you know, vast moneyed left wing conspiracy, one wonders how anyone who's a democrat could ever feel that they could get a fair shake in front of him after
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today. i don't know. >> venita, that was my thought too. if you're watching that and you're the natural resources defense counsel or you're planned parenthood, which is going to have cases before the supreme court that he will sit on and you watch that monologue, are you going before an open-minded and impartial jurist? >> look, the reality was that our organizations that have scoured his record on his judicial opinions and statements he had made long before this hearing had expressed concerns in opposition to him as a nominee based on that record, based on his kind of role as a political operative through and through. but i've got to tell you, sitting in that room today, i couldn't imagine. it was so disturbing to think of him being on the highest court of the land for a lifetime appointment with the kind of behavior that he demonstrated today. and just being a woman in that
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room and watching the wrath. i mean, he was pounding his pen, slamming his binder shut, you know, interrupting the female senators. it was just astonishing. and so, you know, does he really have the temperament now to serve on the court? and what's -- you know, look, all eyes are on the republican senators. i mean, we've got -- we've got a 9:30 a.m. vote tomorrow morning that they are refusing to pull down. and the only person that i saw who looked remotely distraught during dr. ford's testimony on the republican side was senator flake. i mean, i saw him listening intently. >> yeah. >> senator graham was like rolling his eyes, swiveling in his chair. those guys could have cared less. they were clear before that they were just going to plow through this hearing. and then he gave that cryptic statement in the latter half where nobody actually knows where this has come out. he is on the committee that is set to vote in less than 13 hours. >> tomorrow morning. >> tomorrow morning. >> venita gupta and dahlia, thank you so much.
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senate republicans are finishing a meeting right now, presumably having talked through what happens next. let's go to msnbc garrett haake on capitol hill. >> republicans spent about 30, 45 minutes down off of mitch mcconnell's suite of offices downstairs hashing out options. from everything we're able to tell from a republican perspective, they got what they wanted out of this hearing today. senators on the judiciary committee have been coming out and saying they do plan to hold this vote tomorrow, although the chairman grassley was careful to say they're having a meeting tomorrow, they're having a meeting tomorrow, would not go so far as to commit to the vote. i'm told by one senator in the room there was a round of applause for chairman grassley and lindsey graham and the performance being discussed by your panel. that's the big republican meeting that happened tonight. there was a second meeting that happened before that that i think is potentially more interesting.
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and if democrats and opponents of judge kavanaugh are going to stop his nomination, it would come out of this meeting. senators joe mansion, lisa murkowski, susan collins and jeff flake met privately in susan collins' hideaway in the capital. all four of them are thought to be on the fence about this nomination. all four of them have been playing their cards very cloes to the vest, particularly collins and murkowski who have gotten enormous pressure from both sides. i talked to joe mansion as they were leaving this meeting. they didn't discuss the weather, he was very, very careful not to characterize that meeting. but again, two different sets of conversations going on about what happened here today but it does appear the republicans are pressing forward with at least this committee vote first thing tomorrow morning, chris. >> garrett haake on capitol hill, thank you. i want to bring in sharon identical, the naacp legal defense fund and mimi rocah, former assistant u.s. attorney for the southern district of new york. i want to start with you, because you're a former
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prosecutor about this strange concoction. it was immediately utterly bizarre this woman was sitting there. it was -- she -- you don't see this in senate hearings. no one has ever met her or knows her. she has a reputable background, not disparaging her at all. but the setup was strange. she asks sort of cross-examiny questions. she's not really going after her, but they're pointed questions of dr. ford. then kavanaugh comes in. and she starts doing the same thing and then lindsey graham blows the whole thing up and he throws the table up metaphorically and then the gop senators just fire her midcommittee. >> yeah. >> what was that? >> that was no accident. here's the thing. look, i was not in favor of ms. mitchell being the one to ask questions, but she was there. as a former prosecutor, i was embarrassed that she as a professional law enforcement sex crimes prosecutor who has worked with victims would partake in this sham. but she was there.
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and you know what, dr. ford got her story out. and even with ms. mitchell trying to cross-examine her, trying to poke holes in her, trying to show inconsistencies, nothing, zero. they poked no holes that mattered. i mean, i think the biggest one, you know, midway through, was something about, you know, whether she had wanted to fly there or not. totally inconsequential. her story came out clear. she remembered the big picture, the important details. didn't know some minor things. but she explained, and we all know it's common sense that's how human memory works. but when it came time for kavanaugh to testify, and mitchell started doing the same thing -- >> she did. >> she actually was asking him fact-based questions. and he was evasive. >> squirming. >> he couldn't answer them. and they did not want that to happen and that is why she got fired on the spot because to the extent this was at all a fact-finding exercise, which i think, you know, we've said many times on this show and others that it was pretty much a joke to call it that.
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but ms. mitchell actually added to that a little bit. they were having none of that because he was not doing well with that. once you got into facts with him, as soon as that started, he couldn't answer the questions. and so it had to get more political. >> i will say this, she touched the stove, which was the calendar july 1st. she said you got this thing on july 1st. go to timmys for skis with judge, the person in the allegation and p.j., also who is in the allegation. that's a thursday in july of the summer, at a house with judge and pj and brett kavanaugh all together drinking. she got there, and that is when the blowup happened and she was fired. have you -- have you ever seen anything like what we saw in this hearing today? >> no, i have not. i have never seen anything like outsourcing the questioning to someone else. i have seen a nominee decide to take the emotional reins of the hearing from a credible woman testifying about sexual misconduct. that was in the clarence thomas hearing.
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the language brett kavanaugh used at the beginning was word for word the same as clarence thomas, he called it a circus, a national disgrace. those are the exact words clarence thomas used. we saw two nights ago john danforth was on television saying he'll have to bring his energy up. president trump wanted him to be more passionate. his theory is deny, deny, deny. he came loaded for bear today. that was not unusual. that was consistent with what happened with clarence thomas. but i will say in some ways he took it to the next level. and i think senator gillibrand talking at the top of your show was correct. the disparkment, the arrogance, the lack of judicial temperament, the fullminating. we understand this is an emotional issue. no one wants to be accused of
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something they did not do. i'm sure he and his family have, in fact, suffered. this is a sitting judge on the d.c. circuit court of appeals. he is a sitting judge on the d.c. circuit court of appeals. for him to go after senators like that, trying to do their job, was shocking. and what was so interesting was the effort to kind of turn this around into being about the democrats in process when, in fact, since the summer this whole process has really been about the republicans and their refusal to let us get the fax. it's the republicans who have obstructed us getting to his record and kept thousands of pages of documents away from us, thest the republicans who refused to have an nib investigation to get to the bottom of this. it's they who created this as a he said/she said pageant today. and yet everything he said -- >> on purpose. >> on purpose. was about how this process isn't fair. when he was pinned down by senator durbin, why don't you
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just tell don mcgahn that you want the fbi to investigate? i have to say to me that was the most shocking part of the testimony. he's had days to think of an answer, and the answer was i'll do whatever the committee wants. but he wouldn't say it. >> it's number ten on this sheet we've got a whole bunch of bites cut. this is them going back and forth. it was a really striking moment. >> it's powerful. >> just tell them to go -- take a listen to this. >> why would you -- that kind of investigation? >> sir, i welcome -- i wanted the hearing last week. >> i'm asking the fbi investigation. >> the committee figures out how to ask the questions. i'll do whatever. i've been on the phone multiple time -- >> judge kavanaugh will you support an fbi investigation right now? >> i will do whatever the committee wants to -- >> personally, do you think that's the best thing for us to do? you won't answer? >> look, senator, i've said i wanted a hearing, and i said i
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was welcome to anything. >> there was no answer there. sherrilyn ifill and mimi rocah, thank you so much. cory booker of new jersey, do you think brett kavanaugh told you the truth today? >> first and foremost, before i even address that, i just want to say there are millions of americans who are survivors of sexual assault who were watching what was happening today above and apart from the supreme court justice. a lot of americans were looking for a process and for people that would validate the mere epidemic of assault we have in our country. to them and others i want to first of all say that what you saw today was not befitting of how we should, as a country, be dealing with people who are coming forward and telling their truth. it was a painful and sad day, i think, for a lot of folk. and i think we should acknowledge that. >> what was it that troubled you
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about the nature of how this came to be and what we saw today, particularly as pertains to dr. blasey ford? >> i think there's been an insult about this process of how you deal with a survivor who has credible levels of testimony, who has talked about it in 2012 to therapists, talked about it to their husband. talked about it to multiple friends. and i think the way we've treated this, by not having a thorough investigation of the facts, by not calling in, in a court of law we would have called it hearsay statements outside of court that are not allowing to cross-examine these witnesses, in other words ask them questions, there were so many things that were just, to me, demeaning about this process to survivors in general. and even the way may colleagues on the other side who i have friendships there and respect, but they bring in a prosecutor to ask questions to her. they never interrupt her. they never talk over her about what her or her family is going through. they say they brought her in because they wanted to seem objective politically.
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that went out the window when they seem to be clamoring with extreme partisanship to express their sympathies and their outrage about how justice kavanaugh is being treated. but very little about a woman who came forward with incredible courage, under incredible pain, in an environment of viciousness and hate and death threats to tell her story. and so to me, again, i will talk about the supreme court justice. i talked about him for months. but to me this is perhaps in a culture in our country that needs to be addressed. today was a severe disservice. >> i agree with you about her testimony today, about how affecting it was. i want to play what she talked about was the impact of what happened, what she says happened when she was 15. take a listen. >> the primary impact was in the
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initial four years after the event. i struggled academically. i struggled very much in chapel hill in college when i was 17 and went off to college i had a very hard time, more so than others, forming new friendships and especially friendships with boys. and i had academic problems. >> and then, senator, she talked about being retraumatized essentially through this process in the hearing. i want to play that for you and get your reaction when she talked about she was there under her own volition, no one's pawn, but this has been a very, very hard period for her. take a listen. >> these past couple of weeks have been the hardest of my life. i've had to relive this trauma in front of the world and i have seen my life picked apart by people on television, on twitter, on other social media,
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other media and in this body who have never met me, or spoken with me. i have been accused of acting out of partisan political motives. those who say that do not know me. i am an independent person and i am no one's pawn. >> what message is sent to survivors of sexual assault and sexual violence if this vote happens at 9:30 tomorrow and they vote to move him to the floor? >> it's a message that has been sent for decades in this country, generations, whether the abuser is wearing a collar, an executive, a judge's robe, that powerful people and others will try to destroy you if you come forward. they'll try to vilify you if you come forward. i mean, this has not been a good day. this has just not been a good day. and now we rush, without giving a full vetting to her -- to what she's talking about.
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and simple things. look, you mentioned it earlier. that day of july 1st on his calendar saying he was going to drink beers at a house. shouldn't we investigate what that house looks like? does the floor plan match her description? there are basic things we could be doing not by having the party's investigators of the committee's republicans, but having an independent investigator to get the facts all out and then let senators address it. this is a disrespect, not just to the courage and heroism that dr. ford showed today, but what does it say that all those people, powerful people, people of privilege, i'm a yale law grad, all those other things he kept flashing before us as if those kind of powerful privileged people have never conducted, engaged in sexual assault, or somehow that's an exculpatory issue in any way. what message did americans -- the most deliberative body in america today as we rush to a vote tomorrow before witnesses are called in, before
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investigations are done, before corroborating evidence is evaluated, this is a very painful day and a very sad day for our country. >> senator cory booker again, after a very long day, i thank you for making time this evening. >> thank you. i want to turn to bob bower. you were in the position to oversee judicial nominations, and that process. what did you think about what happened today? >> i thought, first of all, this hearing today underscored the mistake that the white house made early on by not reopening the investigative background process. i thought that was a big mistake, frankly even from their perspective. now they don't know how to get out of it. >> can i stop you there for one second? full disclosure, my wife worked in white house counsel's office when you were there. since i'm asking a question for that period of time. is it the case you would have nominees, whether judicial appointments or cabinet positions or things in the administration where information would come in that hadn't been
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there and you would go back to the fbi and say, hey, will you run this down? will you take a look at this? >> yes, it's very standard. and it is correct that the fbi creates a factual record. i mean, they don't come in and don't make, for example, a recommendation about the advisability of a particular nomination. but that's very standard. and i think in a case like this, the republicans made a decision early on, i'm not quite sure what the reasons were, i have some theories, but i don't know that they're really relevant here, that they were not going to do that. so today they did two things as far as i can tell, if you look at the strategic exercise, the first is they wanted to provide an answer to the call for additional fact finding by bringing in this investigator who both prevented the white males from questioning on the republican side and who lent the gravitas, if you will, of a legal proceeding. however, two things, one which answer been mentioned so far, they centuried this five-minute sequence which meant she could never get through a round of questions.
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midway, whether they fired her or told her politely her services were no longer necessary they disposed of her and then the proceeding became what seemed to me to be, and this is what ties the second half of the hearing to the nominee's opening statement, a political-based play. he started it by basically framing it as a political conspiracy. and then in the second half, that is to say post rachel mitchell the arguments became steadily more political, more partisan, more aggressive and further distanced from a fact-finding inquiry. >> you think that was done, the constituencies, the base of the republican party, the president in the white house, i imagine, to keep everybody together because if they hang together they could push this through, no matter what dr. blasey ford says he did to her in that room that night? >> yes. i would think that judge kavanaugh was counselled to come in displaying some genuine emotion. no doubt he experienced it. i don't think anybody doubts he's also gone through a very
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difficult period of time here. but i think it was very important for them to have him come out and really unleash. which he did explicitly on the democrats. and then, of course, came, i think, the lindsey graham moment, which i highly, highly doubt was ex -- i think that was understood at the time to happen on the republican side. it was part of the theme of the second half of the day. >> yup, that is absolutely right. that was a set play. that was called from the sidelines. bob bauer, thank you very much. i'm joined by allison leota, a former federal prosecutor in washington, d.c. where she specialized in sex crimes and violence against children. and daniel goldman, a former federal prosecutor as well. allison, in that role, how credible did you find, obviously, if you do intake when you're a prosecutor, you have to figure out whether the story that you're getting from someone who's coming forward is credible, how credible did you find dr. blasey ford today? >> she was incredibly credible. she was the star witness. she was the witness that you always hope for as a sex crimes
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prosecutor. she was -- she told it straight. she told you what she didn't remember, what she didn't remember. she talked about excruciating things like going to therapy, the second door of her house, wanting on fbi investigation, details like sitting in the walgreens parking lot trying to figure out how to find an attorney. these are little details that let you know that this is a real person. and she -- the way you could tell she was powering through her fear, none of us can truly appreciate what it's like to be in that situation. survivors that i worked with were uniformly terrified of doing this, of making this incredibly difficult accusation, just in a local, tiny courthouse with a couple of bored probation officers watching. imagine doing this in this format with the lights, the senators, the world watching. it was incredible. >> it was truly remarkable. i could not believe the poise and -- that she brought to the
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absolute craziest situation, i just can't imagine. to allison's point about the perfect witness, she was not just a witness, she was an expert witness commenting on her own memory and the scientific underpinnings of why she would or would not remember things. >> i was a prosecutor for ten years, i never had a single witness anywhere near as effective and credible as she was. and there are lots of reasons for that that you've pointed out, and allison's pointed out. but the details and the explanation of how the trauma affected her, when it came to light, why it came to light, why she said it in therapy, there's no -- absolutely no motive that you can ascribe to what she is saying. there is no motive to lie. you can make all sorts of claims that the democrats sat on it and they shouldn't have sat on it, which we heard a lot today, but
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that has nothing to do with her. purely as a witness -- >> thank you for saying that, yes. >> purely as a witness she could not have been any better. >> yeah. let me just say, i think the process complaints in the gop, i understand them. i would probably be super frustrated, and i don't even think they're legitimate. i understand they're angry about when it came out and how it came out. it's immaterial to the story dr. blasey told today. i want to play this clip. senator amy klobuchar saying to her, tell me what you remember most clearly about this, and allison, maybe you could talk about how this resonates with other survivors you've interviewed. take a listen. >> can you tell us what you don't forget about that night? >> the stairwell. the living room. the bedroom. the bed on the right side of the room, as you walk into the room
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there was a bed to the right. the bathroom in close proximity. the laughter, the uproarious laughter and the multiple attempts to escape and the final ability to do so. >> how does that strike you? >> that's exactly the sort of thing that a witness who has been through this would say. she lets you know these details. she doesn't know exactly who was down stairs. she doesn't know where the house was. but she'll never forget that room and she'll never forget that laughter. that struck me as incredibly credible. >> brett kavanaugh, obviously, has a very good -- a -- the way he answered questions today, the sort of exchange, have you ever
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drank enough beer that you didn't remember what happened the night before and he says no, did that strike you as credible? >> i think there were several things about his testimony that were troubling to me. as we're trying to weigh them, one versus the other to some extent. first of all, in my experience when you're talking to witnesses, and they are trying to pull one over on you, they are far more emphatic and aggressive than witnesses who are actually telling the truth. they're trying to convince you with their passion and their emotion, not with their substance. and we saw a lot of that today with brett kavanaugh. and i don't just mean his opening statement. i mean a little bit when he was responding to the questions. >> absolutely. >> he was not direct. and in his answers, i mean, we -- you've gone over already a lot of the responses to the fbi investigation, which he continually refused not to, not to request. and try to defer it.
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now, it is true, of course, that he doesn't actually -- he's not the one who can commission a reopening of the background. >> right. >> but certainly if he wanted it to clear his name -- >> he could answer the question. >> that would have a significant impact. and that's the elephant in the room here is mark judge. >> mark judge, mark judge, mark judge, of course the other man that dr. blasey ford says was there, a friend of his who is not there under sworn testimony today. allison leotta and daniel goldman, thank you. there's a moment i would like to play from the hearing today, the comments from patrick leahy of vermont. >> dr. ford, no matter what happens with this hearing today, no matter what happens to this nomination, i know, and i hear from so many of my own state of vermont, there are millions of victims and survivors out there who have been inspired by your courage. i am. bravery is contagious. indeed, that's the driving force behind the me too movement. and you sharing your story is going to have a lasting,
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positive impact on so many survivors in our country. we owe you a debt of gratitude for that, doctor. >> i'm joined by rachel krooks. she said donald trump forcibly kissed her at trump tower in 2006. and msnbc political analyst zerlina maxwell. rachel, you said the president kissed you against your will, without your consent and he was then elected and many people either believed it or didn't believe it. what was it like to watch dr. blasey ford come forward today and the treatment she got? >> hi, chris. thanks for having me. i thought, you know, dr. ford was so brave and so credible and composed while she was up there. and, of course, her treatment was interesting. i mean, i think that the republicans on the committee trying to divert everything and
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make this political, and she was just so composed and held true to her story and did what she should have, which is call for an independent investigation. >> zerlina, there have been so many women and there have been some men too who are survivors of sexual assault. talking about what this has meant for them. there is this just sort of incredible rawness in the air among the millions and millions of people who have experienced this today. it was kind of a watershed moment for that. >> i definitely agree with that, chris. i think it was a watershed moment because there are so many people who have experienced sexual violence in their life, whether they're men or women. and i think that what christine blasey ford did today was brave, and she spoke her truth. and so many of white house have survived -- i'm a survivor, chris. and i saw myself in dr. ford. i am dr. ford. and in some ways when people question her, when people try to interrogatory her and attack her credibility in some ways as a survivor that feels like people are questioning you all over
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again when you came forward with your own story, soy know that i've heard from so many survivors, friends of mine, people that i have met over the years because i'm a part of a survivor community. i was a part of the lady gaga performance in 2016. so we're a large community, and we're leaning on each other a lot in these recent days because this hurts. when lindsey graham questions her credibility and says that this is all some sort of conspiracy, that democrats have just made up these allegations, and then you see dr. ford come out and authentically speak her truth, she is believable. there is no reason she would make all of this up after all these years. and certainly when she talks about the things that she can remember about the trauma, her mouth being covered, chris, i remember my rapist taking his socks off. that's one of the things that i remember about my own attack. those kinds of details ring true for millions of american women
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and men who have survived this. and that's why we're so -- we're feeling so raw in this moment. >> the story the last few years has been the story of women's political anger as the sort of driving force in american political, honestly. it was the core theme. what was that today and for the movement that i think you're a part of? >> you know, in many way, the zenith of what's been building for months since brett kavanaugh was named. we have to remember, even before these incredible stories came out. and let's not forget dr. christine blasey ford is one of three women who have come forward the committee doesn't even seem to want to hear from the other two. >> correct. there. >> had already been unprecedented energy from women who understand what it's like for men to have power over your bodies and over your lives. and i think the convergence of this moment is that.
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i mean, nothing that is going on is normal. we had women calling in to c-span this morning sharing their stories of sexual assault. and they think tomorrow there are noon rallies at every senate office in every state. this is just building so organically. and i think that the gop is so not even just perilously out of touch. what you're seeing from their reaction, what you saw from lindsey graham today, that's not normal. that is actually a response from men who are terrified that they are losing their grip on power as women are actually just telling their truth. nothing about this is normal. but what we are going to continue to see is women and allies and all people who see the travesty and what happened today fight on. the fact that they have scheduled a vote for tomorrow morning has enraged people to set up more protests, more
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rallies tomorrow that will happen all the way through november, all the way through 2020. this is not a fight that's going to end. >> rachel crook, zerlina maxwell, thank you very much. along with attorney lisa green and msnbc contributor and host majority reporter on siriusxm, sam seder. there was a sort of legal proceeding today, a quasi legal proceeding there was a political proceeding. there was an extremely raw airing of the most traumatic moment in a woman's life today, and i just cannot believe they are going to call this vote tomorrow. >> it's a pure power play. >> it's a pure power play. >> they're going for it because they know any delay to imperil it. and brett kavanaugh himself is not in a position to call for an investigation one way or the other. the white house doesn't want it. the senate republicans don't
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want it. and he will most likely be confirmed tomorrow. >> well, he is going to be voted out of committee tomorrow, and then they're going to try to -- but yes, i think power play. honestly, i've never seen anything like what dr. blasey ford did today. i just attend of it thought to myself are we just going pretend this didn't happen? the answer is yes. the answer is the second half of the committee hearing was the first half of the committee hearing didn't happen. >> the second half of the committee hearing was a man who was watching the ground shift from under him. and i got the sense that judge kavanaugh was kind of astonished that his life, a glide path, through hard work but also privilege to the highest reaches telephone court was being undermined by societal change he never expected. remember, he never would have said at what goes at georgetown prep stays at georgetown prep if he ever thought he would be called to account for that. >> there was a cultural one. i think we're watching what we saw today as a microcosm of what's been happening in this country for several years, which
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is the loss of privilege is a form of aggrievement for a large sector of the population. >> rage, rage. >> and it's turning into rage, and it cuts across both gender lines, racial lines and class lines to a large extent too was underlying some of this as well. >> do you think there is any -- it seems to me the political calculation for republicans here, and i understand how desperately they want him on the supreme court and they want a majority and he is kind of one of their own, but they feel the liberals have targeted him. we have to stick up to him. it also seems like they have r strapping bombs to themselves if they ran this through there. >> are peril for purple states who are for reelection in 2020. something a smart republican strategist was talking to me about. you look at candidates like cory gardner you look at joni ernst. >> yeah. >> candidates who are in states
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where it's not a sure thing and this could be used against them, maybe they redeem themselves on another supreme court vote, or maybe not. >> this is also going to be -- anita hill and clarence thomas is a generational moment. and what we saw today is this is going to be -- in 2020 it's going to matter how you voted. this is not washed away by a news cycle. >> again, back to the legal point because there was sort of the outlines of a hearing, and at one point a prosecutor did ask some yes, and where do we find ourselves at the end of today incredibly incredible witness who spoke with specificity and clarity. and a nominee that seemed squirrely on matters. he was objecting to bringing up his year book that is contemporaneous evidence. the type of person he was. his answers about editing, drinking. honesty is one of the things you need to prove to have any law license at all. >> i tell you, from a political standpoint, the difference between this and anita hill is
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we found out years later there were three other women who were going to corroborate anita hill. we're going find out more about brett kavanaugh in weeks, not years. we're going find out in weeks. the next couple of months, i think there is going to be cascading revelations. mark judge cannot hide out in that beach house forever. >> i would argue, though, that he gave a testimony today that was of a man who is innocent. he is convinced of his innocence. he came out guns blazing. he left it all on the field. >> he may believe that he is innocent, but it is impossible to believe things like the renate alumnus. she just guessed laugh of the people there on july 1st, it is impossible to believe. this. >> let me just say this. the hardest thing here, and i've said this before, in most of these circumstances we call it he said/she said for a reason. there are two people in the room. there is an extremely rare case
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in which there are three people in the room, according to her allegation. one of those people is literally hiding thought a beach house. he is one who wrote a book about his addiction in high school, and everyone in that room -- kavanaugh, the democrats, republicans know if he was in that hearing room, kavanaugh would almost certainly be sunk. and that was the thing that sufficient fused the entire thing. why can't there be an investigation? because the third person, there are three people, handy could come before the committee. i have to believe if a friend of mine was wrongly accused of sexual assault, i would show up anywhere to testify. >> a lawyer submitted a lawyer on his behalf, and that's all we've got for now to reach a credibility decision about this key witness. and that seems like it will fall short. >> elise jordan, lisa green and sam seder, thank you all for being with me on this remarkable day. that does it all for us at "all in" this evening.
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well, good evening once again from our nbc news headquarters here in new york. day 616 of the trump administration saw perhaps the most dramatic day in a generation or more on capitol hill in washington. dr. christine blasey ford spoke publicly for the first time


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