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CUOMO PRIME TIME
Judge Kavanaugh's Accuser, Professor Ford, Has Now Indicated She'll Testify Before the Senate Judiciary Committee but with a Major Condition; Interview with Michael Moore; Stormy Daniels' Tell-All Book. Aired 9-10p ET
Aired September 18, 2018 - 21:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
CHRIS CUOMO, CNN HOST: Big news thanks to you, Anderson Cooper.
I am Chris Cuomo. Welcome to PRIME TIME.
The breaking news about Professor Ford has changed everything. There are so many new considerations and potential outcomes. The big question, did Monday just go away?
The big hearing of accuser versus accused, a generation of jurisprudence hanging in the balance, IIt just took a major twist. Here's the headline that Anderson brought you. The Supreme Court nominee's accuser says she'll testify, but, first, there must be an investigation of the facts by the FBI. You can argue that will boost her credibility, perhaps, but it's a blow to her chances of ever addressing the Senate.
This is exactly what Democrats wanted and what Republicans do not. But the one who decides is the president. And today, he gave us a big clue here.
We also got a big clue from one of the friends of Professor Ford, the first one you'll hear from on TV here at night to make her camera case, to make her camera case, about why you should believe the judge (ph).
And big treat for you. Michael Moore is here. His take on the Ford twist and his new film that is creating clarity and controversy as only Michael Moore can.
Major news tonight, my friends, that demands testing. What do you say? Let's get after it.
CUOMO: Big news any way you look at it. CNN has a letter addressed to the Senate Judiciary chairman that Professor Christine Ford wants an FBI investigation into the incident prior to any testimony on Capitol Hill. The right thing to do? Realistic?
Let's get a take from somebody who understands this process, documentary filmmaker Michael Moore, here to talk about this contribution to the chaos, as well as his new film that's billed as a call to arms or to action depending on your perspective. "Fahrenheit 9/11." Yes, it sounds a lot like another film, because it is, "Fahrenheit 11/9," the successor to "Fahrenheit 9/11."
MICHAEL MOORE, FILMMAKER: Yes.
CUOMO: Very different topics. Equal urgency. Thank you, Mr. Moore, for being with us.
So, let's deal with the news at hand.
CUOMO: The professor saying this is my precondition. What's the plus? What's the minus?
MOORE: Well, generally, first of all, the person who is not telling the truth or is in the wrong doesn't usually ask for the investigation, doesn't usually say I want the FBI to enter my life and investigate what I'm telling you is the truth. That's a powerful, powerful statement on her part.
And actually it's what should be done. I mean, if you think about it, there's this allegation, it's a serious allegation. It's not just something to just fluff off like, oh, it was just high school stuff. Apparently he was 17, if I have that correct.
CUOMO: That's what we're told.
MOORE: So, that means he was a junior or senior in high school. She was 15. That means she was a freshman or sophomore. That's quite a difference.
And we try 17-year-olds as adults in this country. So I think that obviously she -- every woman who makes a claim like this has to be taken seriously, has to be investigated. If we've learned anything in all these years, it's that you cannot any longer just turn yourself away from this kind of allegation, and I think -- I think that it doesn't need to be rushed. It should be slowed down not because of, you know, trying to get Kavanaugh through before the November election.
If that's really what they're worried about, what the Republicans and Trump are telling us, is they think they may lose the Senate.
CUOMO: Well, but that's the issue, right? Everything you say makes sense in a vacuum or in a world of only pure reason.
CUOMO: But now we're in politics, and it's not just the practicality, or what's the right thing to do. It's what's the right thing in this instance. And there's a generation of jurisprudence on the line.
And this is exactly what they don't want and, importantly for the political analysis, this is also exactly what the Democrats do want. So, there will be this collusion, forgive me for using the term. There will be a suggestion here. Oh, she wants exactly what the Democrats want. How convenient. They
want to delay the process. Why doesn't she just come in? She's going to get her day in court.
It's not really court. It's not really going to be fair. It's really not going to be something that elucidates the truth.
MOORE: She's smart. She knows that.
CUOMO: That's not what this is. This confirmation process is a canard like all the other ones of their stripe.
CUOMO: Parties have allowed to be that. That's where we are.
So does she take the given, I'll give you Monday or you get nothing, because that could be the trade?
MOORE: Well, what she shouldn't do -- and I heard her lawyer earlier say --
MOORE: -- that she's not going to allow some -- when you call like a court, really a kangaroo court of different politicians going after her and I think the word used was weaponized, to weaponize the process against her who is the alleged victim. The alleged victim -- all alleged victims if our society when something happens to them and the perpetrator is brought in, we don't gang up on the victim --
CUOMO: There should be a presumption. She's got to corroborate. She's got to show -- she's got make her story, especially in the court of public opinion. But you don't start off with finding reasons for obstacles of entry. Fair point.
But they say the Democrats did that, Michael.
MOORE: But he also has a right, a presumption, of being innocent until proven guilty.
CUOMO: A hundred percent. A hundred percent.
MOORE: So, he should also want the investigation, should also want the FBI to go in there and find out what happened. If he's saying -- and he said categorically he's innocent.
CUOMO: But do they share his confidence in himself? Do his sponsors, right, the White House, that's what it is, how do they come up with those 65 people so quickly --
MOORE: Yes. CUOMO: They heard about this. What they did was they went into defense mode. They didn't go into deduce mode. Let's find out what's true and what isn't. They put together a defense around him. They're his sponsor. They're not a fair broker in the situation.
But do they share his confidence in himself? Are they worried that if we give it another week, two weeks, other people come up, other things come up?
MOORE: What does that say then if they're in defense mode so they can protect their nominee? They should be just like everybody else should be right now with this. We want to know the truth.
CUOMO: Is that naive given the stakes?
MOORE: It doesn't matter. So, if they don't want to know the truth, they want to potentially put somebody on the Supreme Court who at the age of 17 who was, if was a senior in high school and committed this crime, didn't you feel -- I've heard you talk about this on your show and how you feel as a man and you have daughters and all this and --
CUOMO: I have a son, too. I worry about both of them in this climate.
MOORE: Well, yes, and you talk about how you taught your son how to treat women, how to behave with women, how to be decent and respectful. That if we are to find out later that this actually happened, why wouldn't Donald Trump and the Republicans, they should be at the forefront of this saying we don't want to put anyone on the Supreme Court either who may have committed this crime.
CUOMO: It's not how it played out in '91, Anita Hill, made a solid showing.
MOORE: Aren't we a lot smarter now about this?
CUOMO: That's what we hope.
MOORE: Aren't we better?
CUOMO: Look what just happened in the election? Not to steal the idea of your movie, but what just happened? We have one woman who we believe could very well be credible on these allegations at this point.
CUOMO: I can't go any further than that. I have to see her and hear her, OK?
MOORE: Right, right.
CUOMO: Because I don't know enough. That's why we need the FBI to give us some facts. But what if we see in the election, this is one woman, they had many,
they had a videotape of the president talking about things that were certainly of a moral character and standard that your critics many years ago would have never adopted as a standard for their leader, and they swallowed it and they voted for him anyway, many versus one. Why are you surprised they want to get away from this?
MOORE: First of all, when you say it's just one -- look--
CUOMO: I'm not saying it's just one. I'm saying one should be more than enough. But recent precedent shows one, let alone many, can be ignored.
MOORE: Well, yes, he did say he could stand in the middle of Fifth Avenue and shoot somebody and nothing would happen.
CUOMO: And many women came forward, one of them has a civil suit that's moving forward against him right now --
CUOMO: -- and his party, his voters, his base said that's OK. Now it's one.
MOORE: Yes, the majority of Americans didn't say that's OK.
MOORE: That's why Hillary Clinton got 3 million more votes than he did.
MOORE: When it was put up to just a raw vote, who do you want leading you? The majority of Americans didn't want him leading them.
MOORE: So, let's give our fellow Americans credit on that particular issue. That's where they stood.
But there are women watching you and I right now, two white guys sitting here talking about this. And I got to tell you, and you must know this, that in your lifetime, how many women have told you -- whether -- go all the way back to high school where they've told you a story of some guy doing this very thing that's been described by Dr. Ford --
CUOMO: Too many times.
MOORE: Too many times. Of being shoved down, pushed down, held down --
CUOMO: Threatened, worried about losing everything, about being put on trial. MOORE: On CNN when I saw you guys put on the chyron, the type what
have she said in "The Washington Post" interview that she had a sense that she may die when his hand was over her mouth --
MOORE: -- what must that feel like? Because, first of all, that's not something you or I have had to go through.
CUOMO: God forbid. Or my kids.
MOORE: In such a terms of, from the other gender doing this to us.
CUOMO: Traumatic enough that a fully empowered woman who has done amazing things with her life, this was something she never wanted to address, that she said, according to multiple friends, who came out in a piece today. That she spent a lifetime trying to forget.
CUOMO: So this has to be of paramount difficulty.
MOORE: Yes. And if she's watching right now, how -- what is she going through in this process because she -- I just think that without making a judgment, because you and I can't sit here and do that --
CUOMO: No way. We don't know enough.
MOORE: Right. So let's find out. Let's know enough and let's always, always when a woman says, you know, this happened, let's say, OK, we have to get into this.
CUOMO: That would be great if we were set up to do it and the only thing we have is the justice system, because once we get into politics, look at this confirmation process --
CUOMO: -- it is all about nondisclosure.
MOORE: So, are you saying our justice system and the way our society operates right now, that we're not -- we haven't advanced enough yet that with this issue of sexual harassment and sexual abuse that we have a means to deal with this in a profound way?
CUOMO: I'm saying that and more. I'm saying that the justice system handles it. Perfectly? No. Nothing is perfect.
But once we get outside that, we're lost. We're not allowed to struggle because when we struggle it shows that either you're not deferential enough to the accuser or prejudicial to the accused. When it's a close call, when it's hard to understand, when we have to get into defining who do we want to be, what will we tolerate, because who says assault, who says that being hurt is the line where decency should be so much short of that? You know, that how you treat -- your culture, your demeanor, all the
things we teach our kids -- that's the line. It's not it only counts when it's a crime. That's what we got now. How often do we talk about the president, and I know you addressed this in your movie in different ways, where because it's not a felony it's OK. That's why we're lost on this.
And now, you couple that with the contagion of this confirmation process where they're all in it for a generation of jurisprudence versus the existential crisis of trying to stop that on the Democrats side. How can they be fair on this? They're so unfair that it's not even a clear call that they need the facts first.
MOORE: Yes, but you're assuming the Democrats would then want to use this woman, Dr. Ford, as a prop to get their way.
CUOMO: I'm not saying that.
MOORE: I don't think so.
CUOMO: But I don't like how this happened either.
MOORE: Well, how should it have happened?
CUOMO: You could make different arguments that when it came up -- and I understand from one of Dr. Ford's friends who is on tonight, by the way. It's the first time we've seen someone who knows this way come on to make the case, where I call it a camera case, you know, to the camera. talking to people, get a feel.
I get why she wanted to do it anonymously. I get that this has to be painful. I can't process it personally, but I've done enough of this job to understand people in her situation. Understand where they're coming from.
But she had to understand that it would never stay quiet. It means too much politically. And how did it go from people safeguarding her and Eshoo and Feinstein want to go keep it quiet and not asking Kavanaugh to it being leaked right here at the end of the process.
I don't like the way it smells. I can't paint prejudice because I don't know enough, but I don't like the way it looks --
CUOMO: -- in someone who wants transparency. That's why the idea of this being closed door was a nonstarter for me.
CUOMO: Those days are over. Everything has to be in the open.
MOORE: Yes. I guess what I think it probably didn't look very good when she was being held down, somebody was trying to rip her clothes off, and somebody's hand was over her mouth to the point where she couldn't breathe and thought she was going to die. CUOMO: Yes.
MOORE: And I have to say when I, again, saw you put that up earlier on CNN on the screen, I really teared up and I thought no woman should ever --
MOORE: -- ever have to feel that way. And because of that, we, and we as men, have a responsibility when whatever they decide to speak out about it --
CUOMO: Let it. Let it happen.
MOORE: That we need it to happen.
MOORE: Not just let it happen, but we need to happen, we need to encourage it. We need to --
MOORE: We need to say, look, we have to be here for people who are abused and we certainly are not going to put anybody on the Supreme Court where there's one iota of fear --
CUOMO: Of doubt.
MOORE: -- of doubt that this individual from that time when he was first a near adult within months of being an adult, behaved in this manner.
MOORE: And what does this tell us?
And I think you know as a journalist that if this is, in fact, what happened, she probably wasn't the only one. And someone else out there tonight is watching the show.
CUOMO: Well, look, you know very well that we can't go there. We don't know. Is there --
MOORE: But you know enough to know that a man --
CUOMO: Does criminology tell us that someone who does it once, does it multiple times? Yes.
CUOMO: Could that be part of the concern? That people are digging? Yes, it could be part of their concern.
MOORE: So why do we have the investigation? Let's have that --
CUOMO: I've been calling for it from the moment we heard about this. Two points and then you are a victim of your own success in terms of articulating this point, because I don't have time now to talk about the movie.
But my promise is --
MOORE: Well, that's OK. This is far more important.
CUOMO: The movie -- it all matters. When it comes out and people start to talk about, which they will, please come back and I'll give you more time than anybody else to discuss why it matters.
MOORE: Listen, I've been making these movies for 30 years.
CUOMO: I know. But they matter right now. Hold on, two points because I don't want people to forget this. One, why do I say let it happen, because that's where we are culturally.
Of course, it should be, no, you don't let them. They're empowered. They count as much as anybody. But we're not there. We've suffocated people who are in that position. So you got to play the ball where it lies.
MOORE: We suffocated who?
CUOMO: People in the position of being victimized. Yes, they're survivors and we should call them that, not victims, I get it. But women who are in the position of Professor Ford have been silenced culturally, they have.
CUOMO: So, we need to reverse that and the way you do it is by at least understanding that this must come out. You can't jump right to they get as many rights as everybody else. That's, of course, true here, and it should be true here, but it hasn't been true in our reality. We do the opposite.
That's why I say let it happen. Obviously, they don't need an allowance. But the way our system is, what's happening to her right now and the bar should not be that when they've been assaulted, we care.
CUOMO: That's way too damn high, you know, for a human being to accept.
MOORE: It's way too late.
CUOMO: It's way too late. The bar has got to be --
MOORE: So, when you say let it happen, then you would agree with me that an investigation --
CUOMO: A hundred percent.
MOORE: -- is probably better than let's have --
CUOMO: Not better.
MOORE: -- some kangaroo court hearing.
CUOMO: Not better. Necessary.
CUOMO: A hundred percent.
MOORE: Yes, yes.
CUOMO: They don't know enough and they can't be trusted to do it fairly.
CUOMO: The senators.
MOORE: And I know you well enough, even though your last name is Cuomo, that you are a journalist and I watched you over the years that you play it right down the middle in terms of you're just going for what the truth is. This is your history.
So when you're saying this, anybody is watching this and thinking, oh, well, his last name is Cuomo, that's not how you roll.
MOORE: And you're saying that because you know the right thing to do here is there has to be an investigation. The victim, the alleged victim, is calling for the investigation. She deserves that. We certainly deserve that. It's a lifetime appointment on the Supreme Court.
And may I just add this --
MOORE: That our president is under a criminal investigation possibly for treason or treasonous activities with his compatriots. That person should not be allowed to make an appointment to the Supreme Court.
The Republicans said President Obama didn't have a right to make an appointment. What was his crime? He only had 11 months left.
CUOMO: Right. Let the people decide.
MOORE: So that's the reason. Let the people decide. Well, I say let the people decide. And you cannot have a man under
this kind of potential indictment, investigation, or even impeachment be allowed to make a lifetime appointment to the Supreme Court.
I would say that if it were the opposite, if a Democrat was doing it. There's no -- we should all take a breath here. The nomination should be removed. The investigation should take place, and let's figure out what the crimes are of Donald J. Trump. If there are crimes, let's be done with that. Let's have at that.
CUOMO: And he should want that to happen if he's exonerated, he gets the best kind of closure that he could ever hope for. Otherwise, there's over a specter over his head.
So you have the breathless who want this to get done as soon as possible to secure a generation of jurisprudence in their favor politically versus taking a breath and making sure you get it right and we'll see who wins.
MOORE: They know the first part of that is wrong. I know there are enough good Republicans watching this right now who know that's wrong.
CUOMO: We will see.
MOORE: It has to be done the right way not the rush to judgment way.
CUOMO: Michael Moore, you are always welcome. When the film starts to percolate and people start to talk about "Fahrenheit 11/9", come back. We'll give you time.
MOORE: All right.
CUOMO: We'll give it the discussion it deserves.
MOORE: No problem. This is a far more important issue today. This is our Supreme Court. Nothing more important than that. Certainly no movie. There you go.
CUOMO: Thank you, Michael. We appreciate it. Be well.
MOORE: Thank you.
CUOMO: All right. So, you got the analysis, you got the passion from Michael Moore about what his concerns are, what the considerations will be. Think about what happens if we don't hear directly from Kavanaugh and his accuser on this alleged incident from decades ago. You will never know what happened.
But what the professor just called for puts everything up in doubt. We had a little bit of an advance that this was coming, so we've done a lot of thinking about it and we have all the possible outcomes of where we go from here. A white board you will not want to miss, ahead.
CUOMO: All right. So, we did a lot of thinking. Here is the big news. Professor Ford will testify but only if the FBI happens first.
OK. Is that fair? Yes, two reasons. One, people who are accusing people of others, if they're not telling the truth, they don't want the feds investigating it. So, this could be seen as a boost to her credibility.
Also, she's a private citizen and she deserves to want people to look into the allegations without just being part after political pinata process. Yes, it's fair.
Is it possible? Yes, it is. Now, there's a caveat here. What is it? The politics.
What the professor is asking for is very similar to what the Democrats want and she will be charged as being a political agent and an operative and this is all about delaying the process and it's not fair. That's going to be part of the back and forth.
But is it possible? Absolutely. How is it possible? Not the Senate. Not the committee.
This is about the White House, POTUS, the president. They're the sponsor of the nominee. They're the one who marshal the process. They need to go to the FBI.
This is the president's call. Will he make it?
That takes us to here. Yesterday, he said the right thing. This accuser deserves to be heard. Professor Ford should be heard. Judge Kavanaugh should be heard.
Not all allegations are equal. None is proof of absolute guilt. None is dispositive, both sides matter. That's what he said.
But now, be quiet. What's his basis? Put it up on this screen.
This misidentified notion that the FBI doesn't want to do this. What does he mean? I don't know.
What he's reaching for is this, they don't see a criminal case in this. That's not the standard. When it comes to judicial nominees, nobody is asking them to make a criminal case. They're asking them to do the background investigation that allows for competent advise-and- consent. Why wouldn't they do that here?
So, that basis is B.S. by the president right now. This is about politics, OK? Where does it take us?
Let me step across and I'll show you. Monday, that was supposed to be the big day. I don't see it as likely. Why?
Because if you have a crisis of conscience and people say, look, let's be honest we don't know what the heck we're talking about. We can't confidently ask these people any questions. We don't even know if we can get all the players to the table. Let the FBI do it.
They won't get it done by Monday. The process may start but they won't be ready. So, Monday goes away. What does that mean?
Well, if there's a crisis of conscience and the GOP gets onboard with giving true respect to the allegation, and, frankly to Judge Kavanaugh because let me tell you, does he want a cloud over his head if he becomes Supreme Court nominee? Well, Clarence Thomas did OK.
It's different today than it was in 1991. We have a cultural consideration and a concern and we have a motivation not to let people be silenced. So, Judge Kavanaugh should also want this. So, if that happens, you're going to have a delay.
If it doesn't happen, if there is no FBI, if the president doesn't allow it, Monday goes away and this is a done deal. Now, why can I say that? I'm always open to be wrong. It happens all the time.
But what have we seen in recent history? Forget about Clarence Thomas and Anita Hill. In this past election, Republicans showed, the Trump base showed that not only are they willing to ignore or discount or forget the accusation of one credible woman, they will do all of those to multiple credible women and a videotape. Why?
The generation of jurisprudence and having the rules of society reflect what they like versus this woman and her accusation. If they swallowed so many like a bowl of ice cream, what do you think they'll do with just one?
All right. This is all the possibilities going forward. As we get more facts, we'll find our way.
Another fact, timing. Seven weeks to the day from Election Day, it's got to be on the minds of both sides as they politicize this situation because the stakes are so high. We're going to do some war gaming on how this already could impact midterms. That's the starting point for a great debate next.
Admit the writing was good this time. Come on. Come on.
CUOMO: Breaking news is that Judge Kavanaugh's accuser, Professor Ford, has now indicated she'll testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee but with a major condition. First, she wants a full FBI investigation into the incident. This comes from her lawyer.
Now, the ranking Senate Judiciary Democrat Dianne Feinstein responded this way: I agree 100 percent that the rushed process to hold a hearing on Monday has been unfair and reminiscent of the treatment of Anita Hill. I also agree we need the facts before senators, not staff or lawyers, speak to witnesses.
Now, what's the plus/minus on this? Well, the plus is, look, it makes sense. First of all, from a credibility perspective, if you're not telling the truth, do you want the feds digging into your story?
But on the minus side, politically, there will be criticism that Professor Ford is aligned with the Democrats because she's giving them what they want, and that is the basis, my friends, of a great debate.
Let's bring in Symone Sanders and David Urban.
Symone Sanders, what do you make of the professor's request?
SYMONE SANDERS, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: I think the professor wants all the facts to get out there because I believe she has credibly come forward and I believe her. I think the professor is trying to protect what's left of her reputation and I don't think she's playing politics at all. Look, it takes a whole lot of courage to come forward, to have folks call you a liar, to assail your character.
We have now heard from her attorney that the professor has received death threats, that her family has had to relocate. There's no incentive or enticement for her to come forward except to tell the truth. So, I think that's why she's asked for the FBI investigation --
SANDERS: -- and I hope there is one.
CUOMO: How is the FBI a bad thing here, David?
DAVID URBAN, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Chris, well, just to begin with, I don't think the professor is playing politics here. I think, unfortunately, others are playing politics with the professor. I think that when Senator Feinstein got this information in July, she could have questioned Judge Kavanaugh kind of in camera, in her office --
CUOMO: Hands were tied, she says. How's the FBI a bad thing in this situation?
URBAN: It's not a bad thing, Chris. Listen, I think that the FBI --
CUOMO: Just do me a favor.
CUOMO: How is the FBI a bad situation here?
URBAN: I didn't say it was, Chris. I said --
CUOMO: I know. I want you to answer the questions instead of talking about the Democrats. Should they do it or not?
URBAN: Chris, let me finish. It's not --
CUOMO: I just don't like where you're starting. But go ahead.
URBAN: Why don't you let me finish. You don't get to like what I say or not. You just have to listen.
I don't like what you have to say half the time and I listen politely. So, listen politely and let me go.
URBAN: So, Chris, what I'm saying is I agree with you this entire process has been incredibly politicized to the detriment of both Professor Ford and Judge Kavanaugh. It's not fair to either of them.
URBAN: I do think -- listen, I do think that both parties, both sides would love to get to the truth.
URBAN: What is that truth? You have Dr. Ford's version of the truth and you're going to have, you know, she is saying one thing and you can have Judge Kavanaugh saying completely something the opposite. So, they're going to have an FBI investigation.
URBAN: They're going to sit down under oath in front of the FBI and tell the exact same story that they've told the media, they've told the press.
URBAN: It doesn't seem like anybody has a specific recollection of where, what, when, who was there. They're not going to go back and dust forensically. This isn't "CSI" where they're going to end in 30 minutes with a conclusion. Here's the bad guy, here's the guy.
They're going to end up in a situation exactly like we are now with more --
CUOMO: That's not true.
URBAN: With more questions --
CUOMO: It's not true. And, Dave, look, I get why you want it to be true.
URBAN: Chris, what do you think they're going to end up with?
SANDERS: The truth. The facts.
CUOMO: I don't know that they're going to get the truth. Here is what I know. I know you don't know and I know I don't know --
URBAN: You're right, I don't know.
CUOMO: And I know you want this to happen now and you want to see it only as part after political process.
URBAN: No, I don't, Chris. Don't put words in my mouth.
CUOMO: Doesn't smell good from the Democrats' perspective.
URBAN: Wrong, wrong, wrong, Chris. Wrong.
CUOMO: Isn't this better if the FBI gets involved? And the answer, Symone, is yes, that's the answer.
URBAN: Wrong, Chris, you're wrong. Do not mischaracterize what I said, Chris.
CUOMO: That's exactly what you said.
URBAN: No, Chris, I said the FBI is a good thing. I think it can be done in an expeditious manner. There's not a lot of witnesses here.
CUOMO: You actually never said any of that, but it's good --
URBAN: I sure did. Press rewind on the tape and play it when you get home tonight.
CUOMO: You said, I don't like that it's been politicized by the Democrats. That was your direct answer to whether the FBI is a good thing.
URBAN: It's been publicized by both sides, Chris.
CUOMO: It's a complete non sequitur. Then when you got to the FBI, you just said, they'll find out nothing more than we know right now, and I'm telling you, you don't know that.
Let me go, Symone. Symone, go ahead.
SANDERS: Look, I think the fact of the matter here is that the treatment of Dr. Ford and the situation by the leadership on the Senate Judiciary Committee, the Republicans, has just been abysmal. I think if folks -- really what is the rush, is my question? You know, after Justice Scalia's death, Mitch McConnell held that seat open for 422 days. Denied Merrick Garland a hearing.
It has only been about 47, maybe 48 days, since Justice Kennedy retired. What is, in fact, the rush here?
And so if folks really believe in getting to the truth, if people really want the facts, we need to do our due diligence. Let the FBI do the investigation. And I hope senators from both sides of the aisle and operatives included will call on the president to ask for that investigation.
CUOMO: Quick follow and then, Dave, I'll come back to you.
Symone, fair point. How we got to this point, I don't like it. I get there was a request for anonymity.
URBAN: My point.
CUOMO: I get -- yes, not as an answer as to whether the FBI should investigate. Hold on a second.
So, Symone, do you think that there is room for criticism, that when they got this letter, whether it was Eshoo or Feinstein and they knew what it was, yes, they had a duty to the accuser. They had a duty to Ford. No question. But they had a duty to the process as well.
Was this handled the right way?
SANDERS: I'm sorry, I have to chuckle because the Senate Republicans, the Senate that has blown up -- a Senate that has blown up the rules at almost every single turn the last two years is now talking about process --
CUOMO: No, it's me. I take it to them. Don't worry about that. Is there room for that here as well?
SANDERS: No. I really don't think the Senate Republicans have any ground to stand on.
CUOMO: Not the Senate Republicans. Me. Do you think that Feinstein should have done more to provoke the process?
SANDERS: I think if she is protecting the confidentiality and anonymity that Dr. Ford asked for in that moment and that's what she was doing, she absolutely had the right to do that to protect Dr. Ford first because, clearly, the Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee and the Senate at-large weren't going to do so.
CUOMO: But then somebody leaked it and that looks like political opportunism as well.
SANDERS: Which is why we're here at this point. I don't know who leaked it.
URBAN: Chris, I don't think it was a Republican who leaked it.
CUOMO: I'm sure it wasn't a Republican either because when they heard about it, what did they do? They went into protect mode and they found people to surround Kavanaugh with to say he would never do this.
Now, you could argue that's not their job either. They're not supposed to be just a sponsor and booster. They're supposed to be a fair broker. I don't see that from them either.
URBAN: I agree. You forget that telling -- when you raise your hand in front of the Senate, you could be held in contempt of Congress. It's a crime. Lying to the Senate is a crime as well. So, the fact they can't get to the bottom of it somehow is -- you
know, I agree that process --
CUOMO: I don't think they can get to the bottom of it because they're not motivated to.
URBAN: The process should be highly politicized and completely --
CUOMO: A hundred percent, the whole confirmation process is fugazi. Nobody goes up there to disclose anything. They go there not to disclose. And it's been allowed since Bork because the two parties have a tacit agreement. We'll vet about it, but let you get your people in because we're going to do the same, and that's why these things are nothing about what they're supposed to be.
URBAN: Listen, having the FBI I think, is a wise thing. We want to have -- we want to make sure especially when you look back at the Anita Hill hearings and you hope the Republican --
CUOMO: Right. That's why Kavanaugh should want it. He doesn't want this cloud over his head. If he says it didn't happen, he wants to make this case, why not have the cleansing and disinfectant light of attention from the FBI and having their stamp saying we've looked at it, we don't see anything more or we do as the case may be.
URBAN: I think, however, you can put some parameters on it and say we're going to get this wrapped up in a short period of time, two weeks. It doesn't appear that there's a whole bunch --
CUOMO: They're saying Monday or bust, the Republicans.
URBAN: I think -- I think, you know, Monday is a long way from now. Facts change.
URBAN: You know, you've been covering politics for a while. This is a political process. I think the Republicans need to be very careful about appearing completely insensitive and out of touch.
CUOMO: The safe play is to let the FBI investigation.
Last word to Symone.
SANDERS: I just want to know -- I have to yet to hear -- I have yet to hear you, David, say you think the president should call for -- should call for the FBI and an investigation. So, are you going to advise the president?
URBAN: I think -- I think the FBI should look into this. I think they should. They can provide a background check. They did a 15-year or longer background check on Brett Kavanaugh in 2003. You know, Brett Kavanaugh was delayed for three years.
SANDERS: Well, now, we're asking them to do a background on these allegations and I think the president should call for that.
URBAN: Yes, the FBI has done it before. They've done it in this case. And I think that, you know, as Chris says, sunlight is a great disinfectant. Everyone will feel -- I don't know at the end of the day what is going to come out of it. I think, you know, you have two sides here who seem pretty entrenched.
CUOMO: That's why you take it away from them. You take it away from them.
URBAN: Chris, I think that's why the FBI -- no, I understand.
CUOMO: Hold on. Let's secure this moment with something I never get on this show enough, common ground. Everybody believes that this process is not what it should be in terms of the politics and the best move is to let the FBI -- keep the irony to the side that the president has been trashing them for a year -- that they should look, they should figure out what can be known and then you move forward. Agree?
URBAN: But, Chris -- I agree, Chris, but I think there should be some parameters.
SANDERS: Yes, but the White House has a problem to do that.
CUOMO: That's right, it will only happen if the White House asks. Everybody knows that. That's the protocol.
URBAN: But I do think there should be some parameters. This shouldn't be open-ended.
SANDERS: What do you have? What does Judge Kavanaugh have to hide?
URBAN: Symone, nothing. But I'm saying --
SANDERS: Then why do we need parameters?
URBAN: It shouldn't be dragged out. In a week if the FBI comes back and says, hey, we concluded this --
CUOMO: All right. We've got to go. SANDERS: No one has asked for parameters when the FBI went on a
tangent to investigate black extremists, quote/unquote.
URBAN: Symone, that's not what we're discussing here.
SANDERS: I find it crazy that now we need parameters.
CUOMO: Let's keep it on point.
SANDERS: Someone who's an ally of the White House is not --
CUOMO: Let's keep it on point. We don't know why you need to have qualifications. But let's do one step at a time.
Will the White House, will the president make the call to get some clarity here and take it away from the politicians? Let's hope they do. We all seem to agree on that. That's good enough for now.
Symone Sanders, thank you. Dave Urban, always a pleasure.
We've talked about the politics and the policy allegations against Judge Kavanaugh.
Up next, the personal. Now, one of the reasons we had an inkling this was coming we hadn't heard from Professor Ford about Monday and the woman on your screen right now, a lifelong friend who had reservations about testifying and something she needs you to know about who Professor Ford is, next.
CUOMO: All right. Now, earlier tonight, we got a special opportunity. We now have the first chance for you to hear on TV, on the show, from a friend of Professor Ford.
Several key points were made. First, this lifelong friend of Christine Blasey Ford, that's the professor's full name, and she also attended Holton Arms School. Her name is Samantha Guerry. She has signed a letter of support vouching for the professor's character and she is one of hundreds to do so in various efforts.
Now, she foretold the professor testifying was in doubt. Here's her explanation.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SAMANTHA GUERRY, FRIEND OF CHRISTINE BLASEY FORD: I think if Congress is serious about wanting to understand her experience and to verify it in whatever ways they can, there are other ways to do that and that's what they should engage in. I think if I were in her shoes I would have grave reservations about doing that. Having seen sort of the level of discourse in the hearing so far and I think we all remember Anita Hill and that didn't go so well. And, you know, the public discourse right now is mean and divisive and
very partisan. And when she first brought this forward, it was as a piece of information confidentially. She's been dragged into this and having to put her name to it, but that was not what she was bargaining for at the outset.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CUOMO: That last point is very interesting because so many assume that Ford is looking for her moment in the spotlight. Her friends and her actions suggest the other is more likely that she is now surprised by the position she finds herself in.
The key component for Samantha Guerry is the main component. Why should we believe Professor Ford?
Now, Guerry's answer is she's not just an accuser. This is someone she has known for decades and she has watched her develop as a person. Here's her answer.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GUERRY: I have known her for 40 years along with many of our friends. All of us who have signed the letter in her support, and there's nothing that we've ever known about her to be anything but honest and straightforward and -- but I understand that that is a personal testimony, which is why I'm here.
But I would also like to say -- two things, she is a biostatistician, her entire career has been dedicated to accuracy and to data and to facts. She's someone who is committed to that and highly regarded for that. And I think that speaks a great deal about what a serious, substantial person she is and how seriously she would take her telling her experience in this regard.
And, finally, I would say, you know, she has nothing to gain from this except a clear conscience, which is a very powerful thing.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CUOMO: The takeaway there, there is a suggestion, an allegation, if you will, that Professor Ford is the tip of the spear for the Democrats. She's here to motivate their agenda, get a delay, try to derail Kavanaugh here at the last moment. Why did she ask for anonymity? Why did she fight to keep it that way with Eshoo and Feinstein?
And why is she asking for the FBI to dig into the allegations? That's the last thing you would want if you're coming at this from a point of incredibility.
Now, the last point was somewhat of a repeat but it's important that Samantha Guerry was here to say my friend is a professor and a private citizen, not a politician and why she came forward matters. Take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GUERRY: Christine is not a political person and does not have a political agenda with this. She came to this as a private citizen with information that she thought was important on a very important civic matter. It was certainly a difficult decision to come forward and enter this fray, you know, basically unprepared and to be, you know, sort of thrown into this knowing that she was going to become a political football.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CUOMO: A quick point on this. This is important for you to hear, my social media is popping up with you all saying you need to hear this. You haven't heard this.
This is why you need the FBI to look into this. You need people to have the interviews with those who are around and those who knew and developed contexts and understanding of compatibility. You need all of that.
Why? Because these senators are starting at zero in terms of being able to advance our understanding with what they know right now. And that's putting aside to the fact that I'm assuming they want to, that they want to probe for probity sake, and we all know that is not an easy assumption to make these days.
So, that's Samantha Guerry. We thank her very much. Like what she says about Professor Ford, she was not looking to come to talk to you tonight. She's got her own life to worry about. She doesn't want to be a political football either, but it matters enough to come out and speak what she says is the truth.
So, there's another book coming out that President Trump likely doesn't want you to read. Stormy Daniels penned this one. It talks about their affair but also a lot more. It is buzz worthy and, guess what? CNN's got a copy.
You want to hear what's in it? Next.
CUOMO: Stormy Daniels has a tell-all book, the title is full disclosure but it's not just claims about her relationship with Donald Trump with Donald Trump.
CNN has obtained a copy and Sara Sidner has been digging into all the details.
So, let's start with Stormy writing about the first time she met with Donald Trump back in 2006. Give us some content and context.
SARA SIDNER, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: I'm ready to get after it, and I have read the entire book, Chris. And there are some stunning details in there, I have to say, but it's not just about Donald Trump. She talks about her life as a young woman and as a child, which are disturbing details in what she went through. But we all know the story of her meeting Donald Trump, right, at the
golf course. And she was there for a company, a porn company that was basically doing an entertainment thing in there, kind of around, just hanging out with the people who came to the golf tournament.
Then she described something that we hadn't heard before. When she walked into the hotel room, she writes Donald Trump invited her. She writes, Trump came swooping in, wearing black silk pajamas and slippers. "What are you doing?" I yelled. "Get some," and she uses the word, "F-ing clothes on."
That is how she met Donald Trump for the first time inside that hotel room. She says he did put his clothes on. She said they had a whole conversation after that. They talked about many things like how the porn industry works businesswise and also about their families.
She said she asked him point-blank, and here is what she said, she said: What would your wife think about me being here with you? And he replied, she writes, oh, don't worry about that, it's not a big deal. Anyway, we have separate bedrooms.
She goes on to say that Donald Trump at that moment takes out a picture of Melania and his 4-month-old son Baron and shows it to her. She says he was genuinely proud of his family. But after that, the two of them did end up having sex, Chris.
CUOMO: And on that topic, obviously, it's of great importance and there are many questions I have that I won't ask you right now. But on TV, what can you tell us.
SIDNER: OK, so she --
CUOMO: Be mindful. Be mindful.
SIDNER: In great detail. Look, my mother is watching and I'm not going to embarrass my mother, OK?
CUOMO: Of course, she is. Thank you.
SIDNER: She talks in great detail, Chris, about Donald Trump's genitalia, I'll just put it that way. And I'll give you a small bit from her book.
She says his penis is distinctive in a certain way. She talks about shape. She talks about size. She talks about a lot of different things.
And then there's something really fascinating that we had never heard before beyond those salacious details. She says that the second time that she was in a hotel room with him which was here in Los Angeles, in Beverly Hills, at the Beverly Hills hotel.
He got an interesting phone call. That phone call was from Hillary Clinton, she writes. Here is what she says. She talks to him, she hears him say hello to her. She can hear her on the phone.
She says, when he hung up, he was effusive about Hillary. I love her, he said. She is so smart.
Now, this was a time, I want to remind you in 2007 --
SIDNER: -- what was happening at the time, Hillary Clinton was up against Barack Obama as they were trying to get the presidential nomination of a Democratic presidential nomination. So, a very interesting thing to hear from Donald Trump. He was effusive. He really, really said that he liked her.
CUOMO: Shocking that he would say one thing and then say another.
Sara Sidner, you're a better person than I am. Thank you for going through the book and telling us everything we need to know and nothing more. Thank you very much. Appreciate it.
All right. We're going to take a break. When we come back, we return to our top story. The Kavanaugh storm just took a major new twist. Mixed metaphor but it's a real headline.
Right back with big Kavanaugh supporter in Congress to talk about the news of day, Congressman Matt Gaetz, next.