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Chaotic and Angry Reaction Still Boiling on Streets of Washington DC Outside U.S. Supreme court; Brett Kavanaugh Now Formally a U.S. Supreme Court Justice; President Trump Speaks at Campaign Rally in Topeka, Kansas; President Trump Tweets About Size of Opposition Crowd at Supreme Court; Senator Susan Collins to Speak With Dana Bash on "State Of The Union"; Donald Trump Says Radical Democrats Have Turned Into an Angry Mob; White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders Congratulates Justice Brett Kavanaugh. Aired 7-8p ET
Aired October 6, 2018 - 19:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[19:00:20] ANA CABRERA, HOST, CNN NEWSROOM: It is 7 o' clock here in the nation's capital. I want to welcome our viewers here in the U.S. and all around the world. I'm Ana Cabrera, thank you for being with us. You are live in the "CNN NEWSROOM" and we have a live look right now at two crowds fired up.
One waiting for President Trump's imminent arrival to celebrate the historic victory for Brett Kavanaugh, who moments ago sworn in as Supreme Court Justice. The other, more than 11,000 miles away, lining the streets outside the Supreme Court, waiting for Justice Kavanaugh to depart, so they can continue to express their fury and their dismay.
It's a process that came to an end today, a process that further divided an already divided nation -- a divide that is playing out live right now. Now, just a few minutes ago, as you see in these official White House photos, Brett Kavanaugh was formally sworn in by his new boss, Chief Justice John Roberts, and the man he's replacing, now retired Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy.
Other people were there too, other justices. We will have more details from Justice Kavanaugh's private swearing-in ceremony in just a moment. CNN's Phil Mattingly has that, but first that chaotic and angry reaction still boiling on the streets of Washington DC outside the U.S. Supreme Court, and CNN's Miguel Marquez is there.
Miguel, even before Justice Kavanaugh was confirmed by the Senate, people started gathering there, and they are growing in numbers and in their passion. What are you hearing from them?
MIGUEL MARQUEZ, NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT, CNN: I wouldn't say they are growing in numbers. The number have come down throughout the day, but there were many arrests at the U.S. capital before the confirmation process began -- before the vote on his confirmation began.
And then most of the people who were at the capital, crossed the street over to the Supreme Court where they stayed on the sidewalk for much of the day. And then right toward the end, there was one protester that went up on to the steps just about as Justice Kavanaugh was about to be sworn in.
And then the entire sort of phalanx of protestors rushed up the stairs and right to the doors of the Supreme Court.
Let me show you where we are right now. This is the North entrance on the back side of the Supreme Court. We believe Justice Kavanaugh is going to leave soon. The crowd has been gathered here for some time, chanting, wanting to express their displeasure with his being seated on the Supreme Court. There's also another exit down on the South side that he may exit from as well.
I can tell you, a couple of civilian vehicles left here about 30, 40 minutes ago and water bottles were thrown. There were a lot of police here earlier in motorcycles and cars.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I lost him.
CABRERA: Miguel Marquez there. Of course, some technical difficulties. we lost Miguel. We'll try to check back in with you. Thank you so much.
We also have Phil Mattingly, who's been covering this from the very beginning, inside the U.S. Capitol. Brett Kavanaugh now formally a U.S. Supreme Court Justice. What do you know about this private ceremony, Phil? Who was there? Who swore in the newest Justice?
PHIL MATTINGLY, WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT, CNN: Yes, private ceremony, small ceremony. John Roberts swore in the new Justice. Anthony Kennedy was there as well, obviously the man he's replacing, a man he also clerked for.
The people who were there included his wife, his parents and daughter. And I think, with all of the kind of outrage and fury and bitterness over the course of the last couple of weeks, it's kind of a reminder that there's a family involved here, and that this man will now actually be seated as one of the nine Justices on the Supreme Court.
Now that he's sworn in, he will be ready to take part of in the Supreme Court's activities next week. And Ana, there's no question about it, this was done very quickly. The United States Senate voted to confirm Brett Kavanaugh just a couple of hours ago.
He is now on the court and in between all of the protests, all of the outcry, and frankly if you're talking about where Republicans stand, all of the elation, there's a reminder that he's now a Supreme Court Justice, he will now by ruling on the most important decisions that come before the court over the course of probably a generation to come.
And as has been kind of the stakes that have been laid out from the very beginning of this nomination, the very beginning of this fight, he now very clearly tilts the Supreme Court towards the conservative side of things.
It's been what Democrats have been railing against and trying to oppose, and the reason that at least here on Capitol Hill, Republicans were so dead set on moving somebody who they say had all of the qualifications, had all of the background for this job.
Mitch McConnell, the Senate Majority Leader, said over and over again he thought he was the most qualified nominee that's ever been picked to serve on the court.
Well, now he's there, and I think the big question is, along with all of the questions about what happens in this institution, the U.S. Senate, the institution across the street, the Supreme Court, and frankly the country, but also from Brett Kavanaugh's perspective, what kind of Justice he's going to be, what he'll bring to the court, what he'll do on the court, and all of those questions are questions frankly, Ana, that we just don't have answers to at this point.
CABRERA: There are so many questions, you are absolutely right, and a lot of concern tonight about what this means for the country. Phil Mattingly, thank you. Miguel Marquez, thanks to you as well. We'll discuss more about this moment, what it means for the U.S.
But first, I want to take you back to Kansas and this picture where crowds are gathering, where they are expecting to hear in just a moment from President Trump as he headlines the campaign rally in Topeka, Kansas. It's a safe bet he will bring up Kavanaugh's confirmation as he fires up his base there.
Just 30 days now from the midterms and just moments ago, after handling in Topeka, the President said this about the Supreme Court's newest member.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: He's an outstanding man, an outstanding person. What they put him and his family through, the Democrats, over the last few weeks is horrible.
If you look at what he's had to endure, horrible false statements, it doesn't get any worse. But the beautiful thing is he is now in, he's going to be there for a long time and he's just an outstanding intellect, outstanding scholar.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CABRERA: CNN's Sarah Westwood joining us now from the rally venue. And Sarah, Trump also spoke to reporters aboard Air Force One. What more did he say?
SARAH WESTWOOD, WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT, CNN: Well, Ana, Trump has been eager all day to tout this victory. He's been praising now Justice Kavanaugh and the Republicans who voted to confirm him earlier today. He's been defending the controversial process that unfolded on the Senate Judiciary Committee and at the FBI in the nearly two weeks since that sexual assault allegation against Kavanaugh was first raised.
Take a listen to what he told reporters aboard Air Force One?
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: When these allegations first surfaced, you said, there shouldn't even be a little doubt. Are you 100% certain that Ford (inaudible).
TRUMP: I'm 100%, I have no doubt. And the FBI has done an excellent job, they went through it, and they went through it seven times. The FBI went through seven investigations, and they did a very thorough job, excellent job.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WESTWOOD: Now, Trump has taken every opportunity to talk to reporters today as he was leaving the White House aboard Air Force One. When he was getting off the plane, he did a phone interview with The Washington Post. So, he's clearly jumping to take credit for salvaging a nomination that at one point looked doomed.
And perhaps we're going to see a very forceful victory lap from Trump once he takes the stage. Because, by any objective standard, Ana, this has been a pretty successful week for President Trump, not just with the confirmation of Kavanaugh, but also with the striking of new trade terms with Canada and Mexico, and with those eye-popping job numbers that came up earlier this week, and capping all that off with confirming a Supreme Court nominee who will tilt the ideological bent of the Supreme Court for years. So, Trump is actually going to have a lot to say to his base here in a little over 30 minutes from now, Ana.
CABRERA: And also, Sarah, what is the President saying about the protests that we're seeing?
WESTWOOD: Well, President Trump fired off a tweet on his way here to Kansas about the size of the crowd at the Supreme Court, downplaying the energy and outpouring of opposition we've seen around the country to the confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh.
He's compared the size of the crowd in the Supreme Court to the crowd that's gathered here for him today. And that just mirrors the rhetoric that we've seen from him as the process has wound down. He's also accused the protesters of being organized by Democratic groups, by George Soros, of being paid. There's no evidence of any of that, but Trump is clearly eager to discredit the kind of opposition and pain that we've seen from people who did not want to see Kavanaugh seated on the court, Ana.
CABRERA: Sarah Westwood, thank you. We will continue to check in with you, especially as we hear from the President in a matter of minutes.
And joining us now, let's discuss first the President's comments and then also the Supreme Court state of play, so to speak. CNN's Ariane de Vogue is with us. Lynn Sweet, Washington Bureau Chief for the Chicago Sun-Times is here. And national political reporter for Bloomberg Politics, Sahil Kapur.
So, Sahi, the President, in his remarks, on his way to the rally, as Supreme Court Justice Kavanaugh is being named, being sworn in, saying he is 100% sure that Kavanaugh was not the person who assaulted Christine Blasey Ford. Remember, she said she was 100% sure it was Kavanaugh. Kavanaugh is confirmed now, why even go there?
SAHIL KAPUR, NATIONAL POLITICAL REPORTER, BLOOMBERG POLITICS: This is a very Trumpian way to handle this whole battle. He took an argument and a narrative, and he tried to flip it around into a counter- narrative. They say worry about her and think about her and believe her. He say, well, what about him?
[19:10:20] In his view, he was being unfairly treated. They say worry about your daughters being sexually assaulted and not being believed. He said worry about your sons being falsely accused.
He responded to fire with fire and made a lot of Republicans nervous. And I think there's going to be a very serious backlash for Republicans in the polls as a result of this, especially in the House, where many, many suburban districts are going to hinge on college- educated women, who are most turned off by President Trump and his party.
So, I think he's going to pay a price for it. But this Supreme Court seat was worth a lot to conservative elites. It's going to lock in 5-4 majority on important issues, enormous issues like campaign finance, voting rights, gun rights, and it's going to tilt the court from 5-4 liberal majority to potentially conservative majority on issues like abortion and same-sex marriage and affirmative action, and the death penalty.
If you are going to burn capital on something, this is a very -- you're getting a lot out of this, even if there's a backlash, if you are a conservative.
CABRERA: It seemed like he was taking a victory lap, as he took his comments even further, Lynn. And it wasn't just about, yay, we have another conservative justice, but he continues to be on the attack.
He continues to say things that ultimately are going to create outrage on the other side, and among women I would imagine, when he goes on to say that women were outraged about what happened to Brett Kavanaugh and that he believes his comments criticizing Ford's story had a great impact.
LYNN SWEET, WASHINGTON BUREAU CHIEF, CHICAGO SUN-TIMES: OK, so let's just quickly break this down. His words of mocking and denigrating her testimony could have an impact. That's why he does these things. It's very calculated.
It doesn't mean what he says is true, and I hope that's an importance distinction to everyone who is listening. He knows how to cultivate these wedge issues, and he somehow thinks that by denigrating Dr. Ford, he can build up Republicans and himself.
That speaks more about him than about women who are survivors of sexual assault, who need to be and should be taken credibly, and Dr. Ford. And also, I think it is just nonsense that he knows for certain 100% that something didn't happen.
What we know is what we know, OK? So there is a credible allegation out there. The fact that the FBI didn't find more after a truncated further look at the inquiry means that things are inconclusive, not absolute.
CABRERA: And that is enough to get the votes that they needed--
CABRERA: --because there was no corroborating evidence.
SWEET: Well, he couldn't just take his victory, because he doesn't believe in a unifying theme or trying to unify the nation and moving on. He wants to take this weeks before the election and create more wedge issues, more polarization, more divisiveness in order to stoke his base.
CABRERA: That divide has never been more obvious. When you look at the protests we were seeing, as Judge Kavanaugh is being sworn in behind those doors as protesters are banging on the doors of the Supreme Court. You've covered the Supreme Court for a long time, Ariane, all things Supreme Court. Put this moment into perspective for us.
ARIANE DE VOGUE, SUPREME COURT REPORTER, CNN: Well, you don't often see people go up on those stairs and bang on the door, and then go sit on the lap of Lady Justice. And at the same time, the President was very quick to say, well those are just a few people.
He sees the divide, but he feels like this is a great moment of victory for him, and it is. He has now shifted this court to the Right for decades. And it's interesting, we looked at those pictures earlier of Kavanaugh's confirmation and we saw him being sworn in by Justice Kennedy. That's the man whose seat he's taken, it's his former boss.
That's so indicative of so much, because Kennedy was the swing vote and Kavanaugh is not. He's further to the Right and he's going to change this court for decades in those areas we were talking about, abortion, LGBT rights, affirmative action. That's going to change.
But there was one other thing that was interesting that we didn't see in those pictures, and I talked to the Public Information Officer, and we were all talking earlier, well how are the other justices going to react to Kavanaugh coming on the bench? They don't like the politicization. They know that he talks during his opening statement using really strong political terms--
CABRERA: At the hearing, when they were asking him about the accusations.
DE VOGUE: Absolutely. Well, today, at this closed-door swearing-in, we saw the Chief and Kennedy, but also Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg was there, Justice Thomas, Kagan, and Justice Alito. And the others who weren't there were on travel.
They were there, they came in to be the first -- to be a part of this ceremony. That tells you a lot about the court and what the court is going to try to do. And it also tells you that now Kavanaugh is a justice, he is going to try to get back to that judge who has written 300 opinions and distance himself away from the other side (ph).
CABRERA: It sounds like they were sort of bringing out their arms to say, you are one of us, and despite the division happening outside, they're saying we are now a united Supreme Court.
SWEET: It also means that there's no better way to maybe have a chance to get in a vote than to be welcoming. I mean, they have--
SWEET: --I know--
--Kagan talked about not wanting to be seen as political. But they know their math and there are major issues where they could make a 4- 4, 6-4, 7-2, if they don't--
CABRERA: And I think--
SWEET: --if they welcome him.
SWEET: --and in a sense that they say, can we play ball on some issues?
CABRERA: I got to hit a quick pause guys. We'll take a quick break, but we're going to continue our conversation. I just want to say that Sotomayor also commented on issues that they worked together. She referenced Neil Gorsuch and something that she's been working on with him, to help make him find common ground.
Stay with me everybody. We'll be back, lots going on right now. We're watching the live pictures outside of the United States Supreme Court, where Brett Kavanaugh was sworn in as the new Associate Justice on the highest court in the land.
And again, we're live in Topeka, Kansas where people are gathered. This crowd wants to hear from the President, expected to speak about this Kavanaugh confirmation in this hour. And don't forget, tomorrow morning, Senator Susan Collins and her pivotal voice, her moment that came this week. She will join our colleague Dana Bash on "STATE OF THE UNION" at 9 Eastern and Pacific only here on CNN.
[19:20:20] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
CABRERA: It is official. Brett Kavanaugh has been sworn in as Supreme Court Justice. Now we're waiting for President Trump to address a fired-up crowd in Kansas.
It's a divided country right now, playing out live on your screen, and a day nobody will soon forget. Back with us, our panel, CNN's Supreme Court Reporter Ariane De Vogue, Lynn Sweet, Washington Bureau Chief for the Chicago Sun-Times, and National Political Reporter for Bloomberg Politics, Sahil Kapur.
We talked about the crowds that have been gathered today as the Justice was being sworn in with Brett Kavanaugh inside the Supreme Court, and the President did tweet on this. Sahil, I'm going to ask you about this.
He wrote, the crowd in front of the U.S. Supreme Court is tiny. Looks like about 200 people and most are onlookers. That wouldn't even fill the first couple of rows of our Kansas rally or any of our rallies for that matter. And he goes on to say the fake news media tried to make it look so big, and it's not.
Numbers are all relative, of course. But do you think the fact that the President is making us a competition with his rally in Kansas. Is this a popularity contest? Do you think he takes it personally to see these protestors out by the Supreme Court?
KAPUR: A little bit. He always takes these things a bit personally. He likes to argue that his crowds are always bigger than the opposition's crowds. But the underlying fact here is that the Supreme Court's reputation and perceived legitimacy is going to take a hit with this nominee. Not only because of the partisan divisions that are surrounding this nomination, but because of something Senator Lisa Murkowski, the lone Republican opponent said, which was that Brett Kavanaugh doesn't rise to her high standard for a judge. His attitude, his temperament, the partisan nature of his behavior at that hearing where he testified.
Even if you believe that he is innocent of this, the behavior there in Murkowski's view was not in keeping with how a judge should behave. So that's something that I think will linger for a really long time. And by the way that margin, two votes, the closest margin of any Supreme Court confirmation in all the times.
CABRERA: Hold on just a second, hold your thought, because I just want us know what we are looking at here. For viewers who are watching this, this is Kavanaugh returning to his home in Maryland. Again, following his confirmation, following his swearing in ceremony, he is now Justice. Brett Kavanaugh, as he returns home with his family, who was also there at the swearing in ceremony, which was in private today at the Supreme Court, as he gets ready to take the bench.
You brought up Lisa Murkowski. She seemed to speak to sort of the bigger picture. She said this, I believe he's a good man. She didn't really talk about specific allegations against him, whether or not she believes those. But she says, I think that this moment is bigger than one person, and she was concerned about the integrity of the Supreme Court.
DE VOGUE: Right. She was, and there was another person this week, who was concerned about the integrity of the Supreme Court, and that's retired Justice John Paul Stevens. That was very rare. He came out in this interview, and he said that he had been a fan of Kavanaugh.
But when he saw him during the last half of that hearing, when Kavanaugh was angry, seething mad at the Democrats, bringing up politics, bringing up Clintons, even said he didn't think that he was qualified because of that ability to put those things aside and think like a judge.
He is going on to this court with that cloud over his head, and we saw in those protests, and that's is the reality. And the Justices, they don't like that, they don't like it to be perceived as a political branch.
CABRERA: And the reality though is that there are more conservative justice, there are more justice and progressive justice, and with his confirmation, he shifts -- he really does tilt it to the Right?
DE VOGUE: We were talking a little about, well, the other justices might have shown up to try to get the vote. There's no vote playing here. There's no more swing vote anymore. There are five solid conservatives. There are four liberals.
The conservatives, they don't have -- in the days of Justice Kennedy, maybe they would have to be careful. Maybe we get a vote here and maybe--
CABRERA: Who is the centrist now?
DE VOGUE: There is no centrist and that is sort of key. And Justice Elena Kagan said that in her interview. She said, before Kennedy we had O'Connor, and that leaves a gaping hole, when you don't have someone in the center.
CABRERA: OK, the President here now live at his rally. These are images in Topeka, Kansas. Let's listen for a moment.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
(SONG PLAYING - GOD BLESS THE USA)
TRUMP: Hello, Kansas, thank you very much. Hello, Kansas, thank you. I'm thrilled to be here with all of my friends on this truly historic night.
This is a historic night. I stand before you today on the heels of a tremendous victory for our nation, our people, and our beloved constitution.
Just a few hours ago, the U.S. Senate confirmed Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the United States Supreme Court.
And I proudly signed the Judge's commission aboard Air Force One just before landing.
And this Monday night at 7 PM, in the East Room of the White House, we will perform the swearing-in ceremony for soon-to-be Justice Kavanaugh, a great man.
And he will sit proudly alongside Justice Neil Gorsuch.
Who's doing a great job, to uphold your sacred rights and to defend your God-given freedom.
And I want to thank our incredible Republican Senators for refusing to back down in the face of the Democrats' shameless campaign of political and personal destruction.
Since the moment Brett Kavanaugh was named and you remember this. We made an announcement, and since right from the moment we announced, radical Democrats launched a disgraceful campaign to resist, obstruct, delay, demolish and destroy.
Right from the beginning. Brett Kavanaugh is a man of great character and intellect.
[19:30:20] He's a totally brilliant scholar who has devoted his life to the law. He is a loving husband, a devoted father, and a faithful public servant, and he always has been.
What he and his wonderful family endured at the hands of democrats is unthinkable, it's unthinkable.
In their quest for power, the radical Democrats have turned into an angry mob. You saw that today with the screaming and the shouting, not from the 200 people or less that were -- you know what, those people, they couldn't fit in the front row. Look what we have here tonight.
They threw away and threw aside every notion of fairness, of justice, of decency, and of due process. Nobody has seen anything like it. But each of you will have a chance in just four weeks to render your verdict on the Democrats' conduct at the ballot box.
Got to vote. Got to vote.
On November 6, you will have the chance to stop the radical Democrats, and that's what they have become, by electing a Republican House and a Republican Senate. We will increase our majorities.
We need more Republicans. We need more Republicans.
Over the past few weeks, every American has now seen the profound stakes in the upcoming election. You now see it. We have been energized. We have been energized.
If democrats are willing to cause such destruction in the pursuit of power, just imagine the devastation they would cause if they ever obtained the power they so desperately want and crave.
You're going to have other Supreme Court Justices, places to be filled. It could be three, it could even be four, it could be a lot.
And if you allow the wrong people to get into office, things could change. They could change and they could change fast, and we're not going to let that happen. We can't let that happen.
It could go very quickly. It can change very fast. We can't let that happen. You don't hand matches to an arsonist, and you don't give power to an angry left-wing mob and that's what they have become.
The Democrats have become too extreme and too dangerous to govern. Republicans believe in the rule of law, not the rule of the mob.
We're doing a hell of a job of doing it. We're draining the swamp, and we want to defeat the democrats conclusively.
Under Republican leadership, America is booming. America is thriving. America is winning, because we are finally putting America first. We are putting America first.
Yesterday, it was announced that unemployment has fallen to 3.7%, the lowest unemployment rate in 50 years, lowest in 50 years.
We've created nearly 600,000 jobs in the last three months alone, think of that, 600,000.
And if I ever said that when I was campaigning, the fake news media would go and say, impossible.
They are fake. Manufacturing confidence is at an all-time high. Confidence, very important, all-time high.
And we have the best economy in the history of our country, the best.
We're taking care of our veterans, protecting our great seniors, and rebuilding America's military might like it hasn't been built before.
But if Democrats take control, they will try to plunge our country into gridlock, poverty and chaos and that's what's going to happen. It can change.
The Democrats want to significantly raise your taxes.
Essentially, they want to impose socialism, Venezuela.
Dismantle law enforcement and eliminate our borders. They want to have nice, open borders, no way.
The Democrats have become the party of crime. They have become the party of crime, think of it. Republicans are the party of law and order and justice.
(APPLAUSE) And we really have become even more so than ever before the party of opportunity and wealth, and that's what's happening. We're creating wealth for everybody.
Whether it's small businesses, big businesses or people wanting great jobs, that's what's happening. And you know, wages right now, for the first time in 19 years, wages are going up for people. And jobs, you can choose the job you want, for the first time in many years.
So, we are thrilled to be joined by a number of your state's terrific Republican leaders, and I have to tell you that I wasn't supposed to be here, because this is such a big day. This is such a big day.
I was supposed to call you. They said, do you mind calling Kris Kobach and Steve Watkins, do you mind telling them, that because of the fact that we are today getting this great, great talented wonderful Supreme Court Judge.
They said, could you call the people of Kansas and tell them we won't be able to make it tonight? I said I don't have the courage to do that.
I don't have the courage. I said I don't have the courage. They called me, they said, sir, we're signing the next United States Supreme Court Justice. You've heard it. The biggest thing a President can do, they're always said is Supreme Court Justice, the biggest.
And some of that none -- we've had two in less than two years. I guess, you know, some of that none--
Some Presidents have nothing. But it's the biggest thing you can do, so they said, sir, do you mind cancelling Kansas tonight, we are going to have -- I said no way I'm cancelling Kansas.
No way. No way. I had that phone working on the plane, I had that signature going on the plane, and here we are.
And by the way, you think this crowd inside is big? You ought to see the crowd that's outside.
We just put up big movie screens, but I think this is better, right? This is better.
I want to thank Congressman Roger Marshall. He's been a great friend.
Roger has been a great friend, and a great friend also, Ron Estes, great person.
[19:40:20] They helped us so much with the tax cuts, with regulation cuts, with so many things that we have passed that nobody thought would be possible. So, thank you both very much.
Where are they? Where are they? Thank you very much, fellas. Thank you. Fantastic.
And also, I want to thank somebody who has done a fantastic job, GOP Chair Kelly Arnold.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CABRERA: OK, we've been listening into live comments from the President at a campaign rally in Topeka, Kansas, sounding like a campaigner in his comments. But we wanted to listen in certainly, because it was our first opportunity to hear the President really reacting to today's events and the historic moment that it was, with the Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh being sworn in as the new Supreme Court Justice.
That swearing-in ceremony happening within the last couple of hours. The President commenting how he signed the Judge's Commission, while he was aboard Air Force One on his way to this rally. And he also mentioned that there will be a public swearing-in ceremony, more symbolic for Brett Kavanaugh on Monday night at 7 PM.
And as he has been really working the crowd, he talked about the protesters that have also been out in force today, including at the Supreme Court, and they are still out around the country right now with new protests popping up.
I want to bring you live pictures from Seattle, where we have people in the streets also protesting, from our affiliate Cuomo. You can see a few people there, chanting, marching, a couple of signs on the ground as well. We have seen protests we know that have happened around the country. They were planned, at least, in about a dozen-plus states around the country. Here again moments ago in Seattle, it gives you a better look at the numbers that are there.
The President, I want to bring back my panel and discuss a little bit of what we just heard from the President. And joining us as well, welcome to the panel, is James Schultz, the former Trump White House attorney.
I wanted to get your input first on - we haven't heard from you yet. So, overall, your thoughts on what we just heard from the President and this moment that's with now a ninth new justice.
JAMES SCHULTZ, FORMER ASSOCIATE WHITE HOUSE COUNSEL FOR U.S. PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: The President has a job right now and that job is going into the November elections and getting Republicans elected.
And I think what he's trying to do is draw on the enthusiasm, the enthusiasm bump that Republicans have seen around the country as a result of what's been going on with Judge, now Justice Kavanaugh, and the attacks that have been levied upon him.
And I think that's really energized the base to come behind the party, energize to come out and vote. The President has to continue that wave. The only way to do that, and he's the only guy that can do it, is to go out and hold these rallies, and rally the troops.
CABRERA: Do you think he appreciates the division, though? I mean, it sounds like he's trying to create one side against the other.
SCHULTZ: Well I think what you're seeing is the President looking at the country right now. And before all of this took place, you saw Republicans kind of ready to stay home. They were not happy, not energized, not ready to come out.
You see in the polls now they're starting to get excited. They're excited about Justice Kavanaugh. They were angry about the attacks that were levied upon him. And now, the President has to try to get that vote out in November.
SWEET: Actually, to underscore what you say, after the vote, the Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell had a press conference and he thanked the Democrats. Because he said one of our problems was trying to figure out how to motivate our voters to turn out, and they fixed the problem for us.
KAPUR: Yes, the President has been channeling the whole thing. I think a number of Republican strategists. there's no doubt that there's been a boost in enthusiasm among their base as this battle has gone on.
Conservatives tend to be very attuned to the courts, and they were very much attuned to this battle. But history usually doesn't work in the way that voters don't go to the polls to say thank you. They go to the polls to express anger. Backlash politics tend to be much stronger than the politics of victory. You can ask the Democrats in 2010, after they passed their Affordable Care Act and a bunch of other things.
President Obama tried to rally those same voters to show up, they didn't. He wasn't on the ballot; they didn't show up to vote for the Democrats. I'm wondering, and a number of strategists I spoke to, are worried that a lot of Trump's voters, hardcore Republican voters, will show up to vote for him, when he's on the ballot. When he's not on the ballot, they're concerned that they may not. That's one of the biggest questions that I think we'll be trying to look into.
SWEET: Actually, that was true for President Obama, too. When you have these kind of extraordinary one-off political personalities, you can't replicate their campaigns or their successes, and it doesn't always transmit to lower-ticket races.
CABRERA: It really stood out to me to hear the words that the President used there though. He says, you don't hand matches to an arsonist and you don't give power to an angry left-wing mob.
I mean, this word mob, we're now hearing from the President, we heard it from Lindsey Graham earlier, we've now heard it from Mitch McConnell today. It seems like they have a marketing message out there to rally their troops. The question is, will it work?
KAPUR: Right, there's no doubt it's a coordinated strategy. Go ahead.
DE VOGUE: But it's interesting to see what the President has done with the courts. Because, when he was a nominee, he zeroed in on this. No other nominee has ever come up with a list of Supreme Court Justices, and he did. He saw this coming, working with the federalist society, Don McGahn, Chuck Grassley, McConnell, and it's not just the Supreme Court, although the Supreme Court is massive.
They're also working at the lower courts, getting these appeals court judges in, in an unprecedented haste. And you've heard the President right there saying, he thinks he'll get more vacancies, three to four people, and you heard that crowd roar. And it's interesting how early on this President homed in on this issue, and now all day long we're talking about the Supreme Court and suddenly now we're talking about the midterms again.
CABRERA: And I remember talking to people prior to the 2016 election, and people who didn't like a lot of what they were hearing from the President, but they voted for the Republican in the race because of the Supreme Court.
Guys, I got to squeeze in a quick break. Stay with me. The President is still speaking in Topeka, Kansas. We'll be right back. You're in the "CNN NEWSROOM."
[19:50:20] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
CABRERA: Welcome back. Continuing our breaking news coverage of the Supreme Court nomination and confirmation now of Brett Kavanaugh. These are moments ago, images from Seattle, of course three hours earlier, there's still daylight, but you can see protesters gathering with their signs, would be anti-Kavanaugh protesters wanting to make sure their voices are heard today and their opposition known.
White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders meantime congratulating the newly confirmed Supreme Court Justice, Brett Kavanaugh. She writes this, Congratulations Judge Kavanaugh. Instead of a 6-3 liberal Supreme Court under Hillary Clinton, we now have a 5-4 conservative Supreme Court under President Donald Trump, cementing a tremendous legacy for the President and a better future for America.
So what does this future look like? With us, former White House Attorney Jim Schultz is back with us, and former counsel to the U.S. Assistant Attorney General for National Security, Carrie Cordero.
Both of you, just want to get your take. We just mentioned this court has now taken a sharp turn to the right. What will you each be watching for?
CARRIE CORDERO, FORMER COUNSEL TO U.S. ASSISTANT ATTORNEY GENERAL FOR NATIONAL SECURITY: Well, regardless of whether or not it would have been Justice Kavanaugh or any other nominee that the President could have nominated, the court would have turned to the right.
So in some ways, this confirmation is the direction the court was going to go anyway, given the Republican President in place, given particularly that President Trump has embraced the conservative legal community.
So whether it was him or not, the court was going to go in a conservative direction. And so, that will affect many of the cases that comes before it. Whether or not it's in the area of national security or law enforcement or corporate interests, there will be a variety of Fourth Amendment issues we'll see. Sometimes on Fourth Amendment issues, libertarian issues, interpretation are changing sort of the conservative and liberal dynamics. But, we'll see that the court continues and moves into the session, and it looks like Justice Kavanaugh is going to be starting immediately.
CABRERA: What will you be watching for?
SCHULTZ: The President made promises during his campaign to appoint conservative judges to the court--
SCHULTZ: --neither of you do that (ph). But that hasn't - he has fulfilled those promises on the Circuit Court, on the District Court, and now on the Supreme Court. And he will continue to do so and he just said tonight he's going to continue to do so.
It'll be interesting, Justice Kennedy swearing in Justice Kavanaugh tonight. Justice Kavanaugh was a clerk of Justice Kennedy. It will be interesting to see if he follows in the footsteps of Kennedy. And we already saw--
CABRERA: Would you expect him to, because I doubt that? I mean, a lot of the people who wanted Trump to be in office in order to elect the Supreme Court -- nominate Supreme Court Justices who were conservative didn't want somebody who would follow in the footsteps of Kennedy. Is that--
SCHULTZ: Yes, Kennedy about 90 plus percent of the time was with Scalia and with the majority and with the conservative justices on the court. He was a swing vote on certain key issues.
Let's not forget the Kavanaugh decision on the ACA case, the dissent in that case, which was eventually followed by Roberts. So, there's really no telling where they are going to be on any particular issue. It will be interesting to watch.
CABRERA: I mean, giving when what we heard during that hearing, in which he came out swinging at Democrats, talking about revenge for the Clintons, a lot of people have called into question his politics now, and whether his motivation in rulings would be driven by politics. Do you think it's fair to ask Judge Kavanaugh to recuse himself from cases that may have to do with Democrats or sexual assault victims, for example?
SCHULTZ: No, I don't think he has to do that at all, and that's within his judgement as to whether he wants to make that decision or not.
But, going back to that, when he said what goes around comes around, a lot of people are seizing upon that, that that's how he's going to conduct himself as a judge. When he said what goes around comes around, he was talking about confirmation processes in the future, and that there are going to be Democrats that will be coming before that body again.
And what comes around goes around, meaning that vitriol that was so dead set against him in those hearings, that had nothing to do with how he was going to act as a justice.
CORDERO: OK, the problem with the way that Judge Kavanaugh, now Justice Kavanaugh, comported himself at that second hearing, the difficulty is what it does to the Supreme Court as an institution and what it does in the perception of some with respect to how he will proceed as a justice.
The fact of the matter is that he was partisan. He was very deliberate in the things that he said that were political and they were partisan. And so, there will be some, both litigants who are before the court as well as the public, who are going to question whether or not he is able to set that anger aside, set what are some deeply held political and partisan views, and set them aside.
And so, hopefully he will. But on the other hand, his credibility, I think his professional credibility took a really big hit. And unfortunately, I think that is going to be transposed some to the Supreme Court as well, where now there is going to be even more questions as to whether or not the court with him on it is going to be even more political as opposed to--
CABRERA: We got to go, guys. Carrie, Jim, thank you both. Our breaking news coverage continues next. Don't go anywhere.