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Trump Says A Lot Depends on FBI Investigation of Kavanaugh; Lindsey Graham Says If Kavanaugh Nomination Fails That He Will Re- Nominate Him; Clinton Says Kavanaugh's Behavior During Hearing Is Quite Out of Bounds. Aired 2-2:30p ET
Aired October 2, 2018 - 14:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[14:00:00] BROOKE BALDWIN, CNN HOST: You're watching CNN. I'm Brooke Baldwin. Thanks for being with me. Moments ago, President Trump said lying to Dr. is not acceptable. Just as his Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh is facing more accusations he did in fact lie to Congress. The President also took note of a major cultural shift he sees happening, the presumption of guilt. Here is the President.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I don't think you should lie to Congress There have been a lot of people over the last year that have lied to Congress., and to me that would not be acceptable. I don't want to do anything to interrupt what's happening with Judge Kavanaugh. And I think the process -- I must say I think, hopefully as mitch said, they'll have a vote by the end of the week and it will be a positive vote. I say that it's a very scary time for young men in America when you can be guilty of something you may not be guilty of. This is a very difficult time. What's happening here has much more to do than even the appointment of a supreme court justice. It really does. You could be somebody that was perfect your entire life, and somebody could accuse you of something. Doesn't necessarily have to be a woman, as everybody is saying, but somebody could accuse you of something and you're automatically guilty. In this realm, you are truly guilty until proven innocent.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BALDWIN: Let's talk about all that we just heard there. With me, David Catanese. And April Ryan. David, you first. On the bit about what Trump said, I don't think you should lie to Congress. I harken back to Sunday night on "60 minutes," Jeff Coons saying if he lied, he's done.
DAVID CATANESE, SENIOR POLITICS WRITER FOR U.S. NEWS & WORLD REPORT: I think that Trump may have been referring to other investigations on the hill, FBI investigations and people he accused of wire tapping. It seemed that's what he may have been referring to when he was speaking about other people lying before Congress. He's clearly standing by Kavanaugh. It seems like he wants a vote on this this week. They're going to go through this FBI investigation, which seems to be getting expanded by the day. But to your point, it really just determines if three people think he's lying, Jeff Flake, Lisa Murkowski and Susan Collins. They're the three swing votes in all of this. McConnell probably only needs two of them, that gets him to 50 and then Kavanaugh is confirmed. So, they're the real three that are going to determine if Kavanaugh lied under oath.
BALDWIN: I want to come back to them in a second. April, as David pointed out, it's a huge embrace from this President around his supreme court nominee. He said he's trying to stay out of the process and in the very same breath he said, "it is a very scary time for young men in America." I just sat there and I wondered is it a scary time for men or is it a scarier time for women and men to come forward?
APRIL RYAN, CNN ANALYST AND WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT FOR AMERICAN URBAN RADIO NETWORKS: Yes. You know, it's very interesting, depending upon the day, depending upon who the President talks to, it's one way or the other. When Dr. Ford gave her testimony, she was compelling. The President felt that, but he liked the fight of his supreme court nominee. But, you know, now the President has -- he's standing strong but he's also giving himself an out, you know, talking about lying under oath or perjuring yourself possibly. When he goes to this "it's a sad day for young men," he's bringing himself into it and he's also bringing those who believe in Judge Kavanaugh. So, he's trying to have it both ways. He's giving himself an out but still supporting Judge Kavanaugh. He's got that out. This White House is clear that there are some discrepancies in some of these reports and some of the friends are coming out and saying things. And they're concerned about persona perjury under oath, and the case about Bill Clinton and the Vince Foster issue. The White House is concerned about what he knew and when he knew. The President is still standing by him but giving him an out and supporting those who believe in Judge Kavanaugh.
[14:05:00] BALDWIN: Stand by for me. We have more to talk about. Let's focus just for a minute now on the FBI investigation itself of Judge Kavanaugh. Because somehow the band UB-40 and a 7-foot benched NBA player are all headlines. It al it's all part of the police report. So far, the FBI has interviewed the witnesses Republicans have requested. Sources say investigators have talked to Patrick Smyth, Leland Keyser and Mark Judge. Where Christine Blasey Ford says she was present where Kavanaugh assaulted her. What's not clear is if the FBI is looking into this New Haven police report back in 1985 detailing this bar fight. It shows officers did in fact question a young Brett Kavanaugh but did not arrest him. It also shows that Kavanaugh did not want to admit or deny that he tossed ice at one of the men involved in the fight, a fight that began according to a classmate who was there over whether someone looked like the lead singer of UB-40. In the end, Kavanaugh's friend, former NBA player, Chris Dudley, was arrested and that classmate is not one of several people from Kavanaugh's college days who said Kavanaugh lied about the level of his drinking when he testified last week.
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CHAD LUDINGTON, FORMER YALE CLASSMATE OF KAVANAUGH: Yes, I believe that he lied and distorted and dissembled to the Senate Judiciary Committee. He never acknowledged that he got to the point that he might not actually remember something, and I find that very hard to believe, frankly. I find that impossible to believe actually. I don't think that getting drunk in your college years should matter, no, but I do believe that it's fundamentally wrong, indeed illegal, to lie in front of the Senate judiciary committee.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BALDWIN: Here is what Kavanaugh said under oath.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. AMY KLOBUCHAR, (D), MINNESOTA: Have you ever passed out from drinking?
BRETT KAVANAUGH, SUPREME COURT NOMINEE: Passed out would be -- no, but I've gone to sleep. I've never blacked out. That's the allegation. That's -- that's wrong.
KLOBUCHAR: 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?
KAVANAUGH: Blackout that's -- did you?
KLOBUCHAR: Could you answer the question? That's not happened? Is that your answer?
KAVANAUGH: Yes, and I'm curious if you have.
KLOBUCHAR: I have no drinking problem, Judge.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BALDWIN: Several of Kavanaugh's classmates do support his testimony, including dan murphy, who once lived in Kavanaugh's sweet. Murphy said, "I never saw Brett black out or not be able to remember the prior evening's events, nor did I ever see Brett act aggressive, hostile or in a sexually aggressive manner to women." The President said moments ago lying to Congress would be unacceptable. What areas of dispute from Kavanaugh's testimony might the FBI be looking at here? CNN's Chris Cillizza, author of -- hang on, we have Hillary Clinton speaking at this Atlantic festival.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: -- of the Clintons among other people. Your response.
HILLARY CLINTON, FORMER SECRETARY OF STATE: I mean, really, yes, it deserves a lot of laughter. I wasn't watching when he said that. I was having to be somewhere else and away from a TV and even my phone and so I heard about it later. You know, look, I thought it was just part of the whole of his very defensive and unconvincing presentation.
[14:10:00] And told someone later, boy, I'll tell you, they give us a lot of credit. 36 years ago, we started this against him. I mean, it is --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Back at Yale. CLINTON: Yes, well, even before back at high school apparently. So,
I don't -- you know, look, I want the FBI to conduct as thorough an investigation as they possibly can within I mean, it is --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Back at Yale.
CLINTON: Yes, well, even before back at high school apparently. So I don't -- you know, look, I want the FBI to conduct as thorough an investigation as they possibly can within whatever restraints are imposed upon them, but I think for anyone who believes there's such a thing as a judicial temperament and that we want Judges, particularly those on our highest court, to approach issues, plaintiffs and defendants with a sense fairness, that there's a lot to be concerned about.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I want to ask you a question about Dr. Ford for a minute. There are a lot of Democrats and a lot of other people who are absolutely certain, 100 percent, her recollection is the absolute truth. I'm asking this as a lawyer. Do you feel 100 percent certain that the events that she described are true and are therefore disqualifying?
CLINTON: Look, I watched as much of her testimony as I could. I found her very credible. You have to ask yourself why would anybody put themselves through this if they did not believe that they had important information to convey to the Senate? She basically said that, she thought it was her civic duty. So, I found her presentation, I found her willingness to say I don't remember that but I remember this to be very convincing. And I felt a great swell of, you know, pride that she would be willing to put herself out there under these circumstances.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You frame this a little bit in the context of what we're all seeing as -- or understanding to be almost a war developing between the genders or between large factions of gender? Women's anger of course has become an enormous issue. Frame that out against the back drop of some of your own experiences in being the first major party female candidate for President.
CLINTON: Well, I wouldn't frame it so starkly as you just did. I think what is happening is that on many, many fronts, young women and girls are saying you have to hear our stories, too. We have the right to be heard. And I remember those -- we saw it all on TV, those two young women following Senator Flake into the elevator, and they were determined that he would know that there were young women like them representing many, many more who wanted to be heard and wanted their stories to be taken seriously. So, I don't see it so much as some kind of conflict as finally righting the balance because there's been a tremendous imbalance on women's lives, women's narratives. They've been historically dismissed, condescended to. I have a chapter in my book about women in politics. It not just me. It's about a lot of other women who have been picked apart, guessed and held to a different standard. At some point it's time to say enough. We want to be judged on our merits. We want to have as much right to our agency, to our autonomy as we should able to have. So, it's trying to get back to or maybe for the first time get to a balance where women's lives are valued as much as men's lives, their stories are as important as men's stories and that they're written into the history as men's stories are.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There's a lot of anger and frustration among males and I think we saw that in the performance and testimony of Judge Kavanaugh. Forget the backdrop, the issues that brought that hearing to reality. Down think that the temperament he showed in that hearing disqualifies him from the supreme court? What would be the down stream consequence to the Supreme Court for someone who in his confirmation hearing was obviously partisan?
[14:15:00] CLINTON: Well, these are hard questions, Jeffrey. I was in the Senate for eight years. I voted against nominees from President George W. Bush on the basis of, you know, their positions. But I don't remember any of them, nor the most recent appointment by President Trump of Neil Gorsuch, behaving such a way. I regret they take the stand they take, I worry about the consequences of their decisions, how it will affect so many people and their lives and our country as a whole, but this latest example is in a different category. We have not seen anything quite like that for a long time. You know, Clarence Thomas vigorously defended himself, as some of them can remember. It was a very painful and difficult time for Anita Hill and many watching because it felt like and probably was a denial of the legitimacy of women's stories. In this case, though, the performance, the behavior, was quite out of bounds. I don't ever remember anything like that. And, you know, as somebody who has testified under difficult circumstances, I would wonder about --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You were never so emotional.
CLINTON: Well, look, for 11 hours you couldn't have been, but for whatever period of time. So, there is such a thing that you seek in Judges of a judicious temperament, people who are able to discipline themselves to be open to the evidence wherever it might lead, to be fair to all the litigants appearing before them. I'm a recovering lawyer. I used to practice law and I was in different kinds of courts and this was quite unusual what we saw the other day and certainly the senators should on both side of the aisle take that into account. It's not like there's not a long list of other Judges who would decide the same way. Democrats didn't necessarily all want to support Justice Neil Gorsuch. There's a long list of things that could get to the same result in terms of the issues and Congress.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So, no vast conspiracy organized by you against Brett Kavanaugh?
CLINTON: would have had to have happened starting 36 years ago, and that seems a stretch, even for the vast right-wing conspiracy stories about me.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Can I ask you a question about that language? I understand the situation where gave rise to the expression vast right- wing conspiracy. Given where political discourse has gone, do you regret using that kind of language?
BALDWIN: This is the first time we've seen Hillary Clinton, just as we've been listening to so many people weighing in on what the story involving Dr. Ford and this nominee, Judge Kavanaugh, and Hillary Clinton being asked about Brett Kavanaugh's testimony last Thursday called it defensing, not fully believable, not saying how he behaved didn't mean he shouldn't become the next justice. You heard her dancing around that. She talked about ford's testimony, found her very credible, reiterating it was her civic duty and saying women want to be heard, April and David. April, what struck you about what she said?
RYAN: What struck me about women just want to be heard. This is 2018. I harken back to the scenes that we watched yesterday in that briefing or the press conference with the President of the United States. It was tough for two female great reporters to get their questions out.
BALDWIN: Couldn't believe that.
[14:20:00] RYAN: And I don't want to oversimplify this or just talk about freedom of the press, but these were two women who were I guess denigrated, whatever you want to say, by the President of the United States, a man. And the background behind him, white men laughing. Washington and this nation is still a male dominated world. Washington is a white male dominated world, and women are still trying to find their way in 2018. We've got to the highest heights but we still are trying to find our voice and to be believed by this male dominated in one world.
BALDWIN: David Catanese, I want to play a quick clip of what Senator Lindsey Graham has said.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM, (R), SOUTH CAROLINA: You could be accused of doing something to a child. Any of us could. The accusation should always be listened to, man or woman. And sexual violence is not just limited to men on women. Men are abused by men sometimes.
So, it's about a process, it's about encouraging people to come forward who have been treated badly. It's about a process of a person can be accused, can defend themselves and there are certain systems in place that will stand the test of time. So that's what I'm focusing on. The reason I've been so passionate about this, I though for Kagan I never thought twice about it, I got some political heat. But I thought that process worked in terms of finding out if they were qualified.
I can never imagine me engaging in anything like this to take them down and I've been a lawyer. And the law -- I enjoy politics. I'm privileged to represent South Carolina, but I love the law. It keeps us different than other countries. It's a place where no matter high and mighty you are, you can still be challenged. As a President, you can be challenged. As a nominee to the Supreme Court you can be challenged. Do just because of a challenge that is not enough.
So, we'll see where this goes. I think he's going to be just fine in terms of the vote. I don't think he'll ever be a same. I think he'll be a great judge for the court and maybe, maybe, this is, I don't know why I think this, this is a turning point. This is bottom. If this is not bottom, help us all, god help us all. I believe this is bottom at least I hope so.
BALDWIN: This is the same Lindsey Graham, David, who has floated now, I've heard it twice, talking about if Judge Kavanaugh's nomination were to fall short, he would encourage the President to re-nominate him. Plausible?
CATANESE: Anything's plausible. Look, in ordinary times Kavanaugh's nomination would probably be pulled by a President George Bush. This is a President Trump Donald Trump. We know anything's on the table here. The frustration among Republicans is this has metastasized and snowballed beyond the allegation of sexual assault. We're talking about what was written in year books --
BALDWIN: Bar fights in college.
CATANESE: Let's say he did throw ice at someone and was drunk. Is that disqualifying? That's very separate from a serious allegation of covering a woman's mouth and getting on top of her. I also have to say on the Hillary Clinton clip, wow, that was dicey for her. She talked about the denial of the believability of women. She participated in that in the 90s, denying women's claims against her own husband. So, in watching that clip, difficult for her to really be tough on Kavanaugh because the next natural is do you believe the women that accused your husband of rape. And I don't know how she gets around that. How does Bill Clinton get around that in this era of a new #MeToo generation? I know it's what about-ism, but if we believe all the women, do we believe Juanita Broderick?
RYAN: I understand what you're saying about Hillary Clinton and the deniability or the believability of those women who accused her husband. But let's go back about a year or so ago when President Trump -- well, then candidate Trump believe those women. Where are they now with him, he's strategic in believing different people. He didn't believe the central park five.
[14:25:00] He didn't believe Bill Clinton, but he's believing all these other people. And he's even said to -- he's said publicly that his own accusers have caused him to feel sympathetic to Judge Kavanaugh. So, we've got to look at this and really use critical thinking with this.
CATANESE: I agree. There's selective believability on both sides is what I'm saying.
RYAN: Exactly. Exactly.
CATANESE: It's happening on both sides, as well as with Hillary Clinton.
RYAN: One last thing about this. If they want to play this in the court of public opinion, this is a dangerous game because you have what people are calling like Congressman Elijah Cummings, who sits on Government Oversight and Reform, the minority head, who is saying this is guerrilla warfare because people are coming out. Then you have people like Senator Cory Booker who is saying this nomination is in jeopardy, and this is about we the people, the people are speaking out. And women are very upset. This is a very dicey game. If it's played out in the court of public opinion, that's what will tip the scales it's not going to be about the FBI Friday. It's going to be about we the people standing up who are trying to forge a more perfect union.
BALDWIN: It's the court of public opinion but at the end of the day, isn't it math? I believe they're hoping for this vote to happen Friday. April and David, we'll continue this conversation as it plays out everywhere. Thanks to you two, so much.
Coming up, as you just heard the President say, it is a scary time for young men in America, echoing Don Jr., who he says he's more concerned about his sons than his daughters. And a new report. Also breaking today, we're getting word that four white supremacists have been arrested at the Charlottesville rally. Stand by for that.