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Senate Expected To Confirm Kavanaugh Today; Trump To Cap Momentous Week With Rally; Kavanaugh Confirmation All But Certain As Collins, Flake, And Manchin Pledge "Yes" Votes; Grassley: Lack Of Women On Judiciary Is Because It's A Lot Of Work. Aired 7-8a ET

Aired October 6, 2018 - 07:00   ET




[07:00:00] UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Supreme Court nominee, Brett Kavanaugh, is on the path to confirmation.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Are you going to allow him --

SEN. SUSAN COLLINS (R), MAINE: I will vote to confirm Judge Kavanaugh.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Believe survivors!


SEN. LISA MURKOWSKI (R), ALASKA: I could not conclude that he is the right person for the court at this time.

SEN. CORY BOOKER (D), NEW JERSEY: And so I say to every American that is hurting tonight, every American that's angry tonight, tomorrow we face a defeat, but we shall not be defeated.


ANNOUNCER: This is NEW DAY WEEKEND, with Victor Blackwell and Christi Paul.

CHRISTI PAUL, CNN ANCHOR: Well, we have had votes, explained decisions, explained as to why people are voting the way they are on the Senate. Now, all that's left is really to make it official, a Senate confirmation vote on Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh is forthcoming here.

VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN ANCHOR: A live look here at the Senate floor where there have been debates, speeches from senators all night. You see here, New York Democrat Kirsten Gillibrand, who's been speaking for maybe the last 20 minutes or so. While that's happening, there are protests planned for today across the country. Today's vote ends a political battle that gripped the world -- the political world, at least, for weeks and continued overnight. As those debates, the Senators, mostly Democrats, were there on the floor. Joining us now for a closer look at how this vote will unfold, CNN Congressional Correspondent, Sunlen Serfaty, on Capitol Hill. Busy couple of weeks, winding down to the vote later today. Tell us what to expect.

SUNLEN SERFATY, CNN CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: That's right, Victor. It certainly has been a busy few weeks. And there's been so many twists and turns into the story and really a bitter partisan battles every step along the way. But Republicans do indeed have the votes today, later in the day, to confirm Brett Kavanaugh. And the Senate will officially seal the deal, and a final confirmation vote later this afternoon. But key to all of this is when we had those key swing Republicans votes that had gone into the day, previously undecided yesterday and one-by-one revealing how they all vote.

We heard from two Republican Senator Collins and Jeff Flake and one Democrat, Joe Manchin, who will, indeed, vote for Brett Kavanaugh later today. Notably, Lisa Murkowski, Republican of Alaska, being the sole Republican who says she will vote no later today. And these senators, really, taking to the Senate floor late yesterday to explain, and in large part, defend their decision. We heard from Senator Collins, she said that she didn't think that there was sufficient corroboration to Christine Blasey Ford, the first accuser, to her accusations against Kavanaugh. She and Lisa Murkowski, who came to two very different decisions in the end said that they struggled and agonized over their decision.


COLLINS: My fervent hope is that Brett Kavanaugh will work to lessen the divisions in the Supreme Court, so that we have far fewer 5-4 decisions. And so that public confidence in our judiciary and our highest court is restored.

MURKOWSKI: I believe that Judge Kavanaugh is a good man, but in my conscience, because that's how I have to vote, the end of the day is with my conscience, I could not conclude that he is the right person for the court at this time.


SERFATY: And overnight, the Senate floor was held open where we saw a series of Democrats take to the Senate floor. And you're now looking at live pictures of Senator Gillibrand speaking on the Senate floor this morning. Senators essentially venting about this nomination. Nothing they can say here can change what largely we know out of the vote totals and how it will likely come down later today. And indeed, pending anything extraordinary happening, and we do believe that Brett Kavanaugh will be confirmed.

One thing to note, Victor and Christi, as we watch the vote tallies come in later today, Senator Lisa Murkowski from Alaska, that Republican, she, of course, with that big no-vote, she will technically today be voting present. And she says it is out of courtesy, this is something we've seen happen in the past, but out of courtesy to Senator Daines. He is going to be walking his daughter down the aisle today at her wedding in Montana. So, he could not be here for the vote. So, essentially their votes cancel each other out. They're paired up, and the margin there in the end will be the same. Back to you guys.

[07:05:20] BLACKWELL: All right. Sunlen Serfaty there for us in Capitol Hill. Thank you so much. Let's put these live pictures back up because we don't often see senators speaking at this hour on a Saturday morning. But of course, this is an important weekend.

PAUL: Yes, I mean, Democrats are holding the floor on this run-up to the expected confirmation. In fact, let's listen to Senator Cory Booker.


BOOKER: Tomorrow we face a defeat, but we shall not be defeated. Tomorrow may seem like a loss, but all hope is not lost. I have faith in us as a country. We are a nation that always finds a way to move forward, to learn, to grow, and what is dependent upon us doing that is for us to never, ever give up.


PAUL: Josh Rogin, CNN Political Analyst and Columnist at The Washington Post with us now; as well as Yodit Tewolde, Criminal Defense Attorney and Former Prosecutor. Thank you both for being with us.


PAUL: Talk to us here, John, about the significance of what we have seen overnight, as Victor said: This is a very rare scene.

ROGIN: Yes, absolutely. I think we can't overstate how much this has, on the one hand, broken what has previously been decades of Senate comity process and bipartisanship surrounding this level of nominations. So many unprecedented things that we've seen over the past weeks: The judicial nominee being rude to senator, writing op- eds, the president of the United States making fun of a sexual assault victim. Everyone sort of taking the politics to the brink in a sort of no-holds-barred tribal political warfare that from which the bonds of bipartisanship and process and comity in the Senate were broken and -- they'll have a tough time putting that back together again if they ever do.

But what we saw from Cory Booker and what we're seeing from Kirsten Gillibrand and others on the floor today is an effort to make sure that this is not all just scorched earth. They want to sort of use whatever political emotion, momentum, they can and turn that into gains in the upcoming November elections. And I think that's the fight that is still ongoing -- although the fight over the Brett Kavanaugh nomination is now essentially over.

And you know, we see in the polls shrinkage in the enthusiasm gap between Democrats and Republicans which suggests that the president and his team are scoring a win here in terms of their relative chances of doing better than they would have otherwise done in November elections. On the other hand, historically, elections show that anger is a better motivator for bringing out voters than happiness. So, if you take the two competing wins, it's very hard to predict how this will happen. But that's why these senators are working the issues so hard right at this moment. They want to make sure that a loss does not become --

PAUL: And they want to be on the record --

BLACKWELL: Yes, all night.

PAUL: It would be on the record.

BLACKWELL: Yodit, let me come to you -- and this is an interesting window here, because we're actually seeing like a sort of denouement before the actually vote. This is all but certain now that the exclamation point came with Senator Collins and her declaration of her vote. Let's listen to a portion of her 46 minutes on the floor.


COLLINS: My fervent hope is that Brett Kavanaugh will work to lessen the divisions in the Supreme Court, so that we have far fewer 5-4 decisions. And so that public confidence in our judiciary and our highest court is restored.


BLACKWELL: Is there evidence that he can do that? That -- what we saw from him on the 27th which many people have called partisan, was wiped away by his op-ed in The Wall Street Journal and he can live up to the expectations from Senator Collins there?

YODIT TEWOLDE, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY AND FORMER PROSECUTOR: No. First let me just address how I felt listening to Susan Collins make her speech yesterday where she talked about the importance of the presumption of innocence and due process. It was incredibly frustrating and, honestly, disingenuous, because I've never heard Republicans speak so passionately about the presumption of innocence more than I have these last few weeks.

And honestly, I hope they can keep that same energy with regards to people who continue to sit and rot away in our jails for charges they haven't been convicted of, who simply can't afford their freedom. And therein lies the difference between Judge Kavanaugh and those who come into contact with the criminal justice system. We have to remember Judge Kavanaugh was never charged with a crime. His liberty was never at stake. A seat on the Supreme Court was at stake. So, he doesn't get to benefit from a presumption of innocence regarding any conclusions we draw from past actions.

[07:10:25] This idea that Kavanaugh's guilt needed to be proven beyond a reasonable doubt in order to eliminate him or disqualify him as a nominee is absurd. And so, you have the Senate Republicans who are going to confirm a man, who many in the legal profession, including myself, are concerned about in terms of his impartiality and his judicial temperament required of any Supreme Court nominee. And so, you have the ABA, the largest legal nonpartisan organization, who decided yesterday to reopen their evaluation into Kavanaugh's fitness for the Supreme Court.

You have a retired Supreme Court Justice, John Paul Stevens, who initially supported Kavanaugh's confirmation, now saying he doesn't belong on the high court. And then you have signatures of more than 2,400 law professors who oppose his confirmation. So, someone who demonstrated at his Senate hearing such strong political partiality, who believes this whole thing was orchestrated by, you know, a political hit, by legal or by left-wing groups. How can someone like that preserve the integrity and transparency and legitimacy of the Supreme Court?

PAUL: So, Yodit, let me -- let me expand that a little bit because you brought up a very good point, and it's one that I've heard a lot of people talking about: An allegation does not equate to guilt. How do we go from this point on to balance listening and believing and hearing women or men who have a very sensitive allegation to make, how do we balance that with due process for an alleged perpetrator?

TEWOLDE: Well, it's important to realize what bin you were in -- and this is what was frustrating because people were acting as if the Senate hearing was a criminal proceeding, and it wasn't. And so, we can listen to victims, people who make accusations of sexual misconduct or assault, and also give the person that's being accused their rights to defend themselves. But this was not that hearing, this was a hearing in order to assess someone's character and fitness. I have to apply to the bar in order to sit for a test. They have to assess my character and fitness. That is something we need to do for anyone who's up for a job. He's not owed this job. He's not in criminal court where his life is at stake, his liberty's at stake. He knows that. And so -- I'm sorry?

PAUL: Should he be for the allegations that are against him?

TEWOLDE: Well, she's barred. Dr. Ford would be barred by a statute of limitations. Maryland used to have a statute of limitations back in 1982 for a year with regards to sexual assault. They've changed that since, and now there is no statute of limitations, but we can go back. So, if that weren't the case, I would say yes, why couldn't that be investigated. Because we know that outcries are made late all the time for various reasons, for legitimate reasons. So, I would say that if she could, why not, absolutely.

BLACKWELL: Josh, let me come to you quickly on the process of confirmation. Both parties agree that this process was -- I'll call it messy, they used other terms for it. Some have bemoaned the elimination of the 60-vote threshold for confirming justices. Is there any real appetite, any real traction to change that?

ROGIN: Yes. Well, I've been covering Congress for 15 years, and I've seen a degradation of process and bipartisanship going on that entire time. That being said, this is the worst that I've ever seen it. And people always sort of wonder, oh, well, when you gerrymander districts and then when you sort of get hyper-partisan lawmakers and then you destroy the mechanisms of the Congress that are meant to encourage bipartisanship.

And then, all of a sudden, you have a super partisan Congress that can't seem to work together or really even function the way it's supposed to. Oh, how did that happen? You know -- and this is what you get. OK. Now, what we're seeing is our political hyper- partisanship spill into our judiciary. And it was only a matter of time before that happened, and this erosion of the center of our politics where even people like Jeff Flake and Bob Corker and -- you know, they just can't survive.

And now, who knows what's going to happen with Susan Collins and Lisa Murkowski and Joe Mnuchin? We've created a culture, political culture, in our country where the center can't survive, OK. And now, that that's becoming ingrained in our political culture, it's now being to become ingrained in our judicial culture. And that has horrible effects for both the sort of ability of our country to function the way it was designed politically and now legally, both in the short-term and now in the long term that I think, you know, we're only sort of beginning to wrap our heads around.

PAUL: All right. Josh Rogin and Yodit Tewolde, always appreciate having both of you on. Thank you.

[07:15:15] ROGIN: Thank you.

TEWOLDE: Thank you.

BLACKWELL: President Trump prepares to cap what may be the biggest week of his presidency -- with a campaign rally in Kansas.

PAUL: And I have to ask you, have you seen this man? The President of Interpol, he is missing this morning.


PAUL: Well, it has been, many would say, a momentous week for President Trump.

BLACKWELL: Yes, so it started with this new trade deal, replacing NAFTA. Yesterday, there was another drop in the jobs rate, down to a 49-year low. And expect to hear about all of it when the president travels to Kansas today for a campaign rally. Let's go down to CNN's Joe Johns at the White House. The president has a lot to brag about over the last seven days.

[07:20:01] JOE JOHNS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Certainly does. And yes, that 49-year low is a big deal. It goes all the way back to 1969, the last time the jobless rate was this low. The president, though, and a lot of people at the capitol -- at the White House were certainly focused on the Susan Collins speech. Probably the moment of the week over the last seven days or so when Susan Collins of Maine, the Senator, went to the floor to explain her reasoning, her think about the Kavanaugh nomination and at that time announced that she would, in fact, vote in favor of the Kavanaugh nomination.

Here at the White House, quite a scene. Behind the scene, the president in the oval office, with the number of members of the House of Representatives, also the Senate, there were getting ready for the president to sign a five-year reauthorization of the federal aviation administration. The president asked if they wanted to sit and watch the speech by Senator Collins of Maine, and so they did. The president has been described here, of course, as a very happy and in a good mood, quite frankly, about the developments on Capitol Hill as we move closer now to the nomination vote -- presumably, Kavanaugh being confirmed as a justice of the united states Supreme Court.

So, we have the jobless numbers, we have other factors, of course, the president has had some wins. He says, on trade, his really, tweaking, if you will, of the North American free trade agreement. So, a good week for them, it's important because we're moving toward the midterm elections, also important to say, of course that while the right has been energized by the fact that the president has kept a campaign promise, getting another, apparently jurist on the Supreme Court on the conservative side. The left has been very much galvanized, as well, in this fight over Judge Kavanaugh.

We do expect protest on Capitol Hill today against this nomination, coming from Planned Parenthood. The president will fly out to Topeka, Kansas for big campaign rally, trying to get some more house members shored up as we move toward the midterm elections. And he is expected to appear before the cameras on his way to Topeka before that vote, he's also expected to have that rally after the vote. A couple opportunities to hear from the president on Kavanaugh and other matters. Back to you guys.

BLACKWELL: All right. Joe Johns, of course, at the White House. Joe, thank so much.

PAUL: Thank you, Joe. So, America's top diplomat is in Japan this morning. Mike Pompeo making a quick stop on a swing through East Asia to meet with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. After that, the secretary of state will head to Pyongyang, where he'll meet with North Korean Leader, Kim Jong-un. Now, the two likely to discuss denuclearization as well as a possible second summit between Kim and President Trump.

BLACKWELL: As we wait for the Senate to vote later today on Kavanaugh's nomination, we'll ask one of his supporters what she thinks of his future on the high court.


[07:27:52] BLACKWELL: All right. Just a few hours now, Judge Brett Kavanaugh's Supreme Court nomination is heading to a final Senate vote later today. Right now, it looks like he is sure to be confirmed. Senators Collins, Flake, and Manchin deciding to go -- back Kavanaugh.

PAUL: Senator Lisa Murkowski is the lone Republican here who says she opposes the judge but will vote present. That's as a gesture to Senator Steve Daines, so he won't have to leave his daughter's wedding and can walk her down the aisle. She's essentially a -- you know, it's an even -- even Steven kind of thing.

BLACKWELL: Yes, even trade there. For weeks, Kavanaugh's confirmation process has been a heated battle on Capitol Hill. Really heated across the country with hours of hearings, FBI investigations, of course, because of those allegations of sexual assault.

PAUL: Carrie Severino, Chief Counsel and Policy Director for the Judicial Crisis Network with us now. Carrie, thank you for being with us. A lot of questions about this process as a whole and the image that it's left in people's minds about the Senate. Do you think that there is some cleanup to do?

CARRIE SEVERINO, CHIEF COUNSEL AND POLICY DIRECTOR, THE JUDICIAL CRISIS NETWORK: Yes. I mean, I thought Senator Collins' statement was so eloquent yesterday talking about how frustrated she was seeing everything from the misrepresentations of Kavanaugh's record, to the presumption of guilty until proven innocent. And this is coming from someone also who has experienced incredible levels of harassment.

You know, people not only just on our front lawn shouting, screaming, but people threatening her staff, saying we want you to be raped and impregnated, people threatening to spit in her food and then what she views as real bribery, this GoFundMe campaign against her. We've seen that, we've seen the doxing of senators by a staffer who's now been charged with releasing their personal information, a real security risk, as well. So, some of the ugliness we've seen surrounding this is something I hope we've -- on all sides learned a lesson from and let's move past this going forward.

PAUL: There's been a lot of ugliness, it seems, behind the scenes, as well. And I want to ask about these reports that George W. Bush had several conversations, specifically with Senator Collins. What does it say to you that is seems, and can you clarify that those conversations with the past president may have swayed her more than conversations with the present president?

[07:30:10] SEVERINO: Well, I hadn't -- I hadn't heard those stories yet. But it doesn't surprise me. Senator Bush is someone -- or President Bush is someone who worked very closely with Judge Kavanaugh, obviously, in his previous capacity.

So, he would know more than anyone I think, having seen him under a pressure. In you know, these intense situations how he behaves. And I think he's also obviously, watched with interest his -- a dozen years on the bench. So, I think, that gives you an opportunity to hear from someone who really understands Brett Kavanaugh as a man and also as a judge with his incredibly -- you know, well-known service on the D.C. Circuit.

PAUL: There are a lot of questions though about what he will do once he gets on the Supreme Court. We heard from Senator Collins saying that she hopes he can lessen the divisiveness. But does any of this lead-up that we're seeing -- I mean, today, there are going to be a lot of protests out there.

A lot of women who say, I want my voice to be heard." And they believe that this is canceling their voice out -- but this vote cancels it out. Is there any way that the lead-up we have seen to what's going to happen later today is an indication of how he'll or will shape how he will rule on the bench?

I mean, we know that it's not going to necessarily change his ideology. But do you see him using a measured language when he is writing opinion, so that he will -- he will modify anything to try to adjust to the climate were in right now.

SEVERINO: Well, with Judge Kavanaugh, we're looking at someone who has a long record on the bench. He had a contentious hearing, remember last time around. He was filibustered, he had to have a whole second round of hearings years later, and there's a lot of controversies. And nonetheless, what has a record on the bench that was really known and had a strong reputation for being one of even- handedness.

People across the aisle, saying, "I know he's going to be fair to perspectives on both sides of the aisle." And I think, he's going to probably return to that same pattern. Now, we've certainly seen contentiousness outside.

But Susan Collins herself discussed how she views the MeToo movement is incredibly important. But it's not fair to assume that -- you know, vote in favor of Judge Kavanaugh means we are ignoring people. Ignoring when we can -- we can respect their voices while disagreeing in this one case about the -- you know, whether these allegations had corroboration, had any evidence.

But I think it's for Judge Kavanaugh. He's going to go back to being the judge he has been for the last dozen years. And so, that's somewhere where I think it's very good to know when you've got that experience and he has something to go back to. This isn't the only formative experience for him as a judge.

PAUL: All right, Carrie Severino, appreciate your time this morning. Thank you.


BLACKWELL: All right, the first lady is finishing up her first major solo trip abroad. We'll continue looking at the first lady's tour in Egypt.


[07:37:35] BLACKWELL: Authorities in France are investigating the disappearance of the head of the French-based global police agency, Interpol.

PAUL: Meng Hongwei, hadn't been seen, hasn't been heard from, at least, not by his family in nearly two weeks at this point. CNN Sam Kiley is on the case in Hong Kong. Sam, what do we know?

SAM KILEY, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, we know according to the South China Post, which is the newspaper published here in Hong Kong, according to them, he was picked up at the end of September when he arrived from France at an unknown -- none known location inside China, with an airport and very rapidly taken into a detention by the Chinese Communist Party.

Not by the police or the secret police, and that would have been a double irony because not only is the president of Interpol, the international police liaison organization. But he's also the Vice Minister of Public Safety in China. And one of his responsibilities there is, at least, part of the police force.

So, he was been taken. We understand according to the local media reports into detention by the Communist Party for reasons that have not been explained. Not even Interpol says anything other than this is an issue between France and China. They're not commenting any further. The French say, he didn't disappear on French territory.

Now, this is a highly sensitive issue clearly. So sensitive, indeed. But this is what it looked like when my colleague, Steven was broadcasting on the subject just a few hours ago inside China. Look at where the Chinese start to cut him off. Let's roll that tape.

Now, we have a malfunction apparently on that tape, which has come as a great relief I think to Chinese authorities that in any case are blocking all in any reports suggesting that Mr. Meng has disappeared.

But that is certainly the view of his family. And this, of course, against the background of the Fan Bingbing, the most famous actress in China who vanished for a period of about three to four months before issuing a statement saying that she expects to be released in return for the payment of $130 million allegedly in back tax.

We do not know though, officially in any way at all where Mr. Meng is.

BLACKWELL: All right, a mysterious one indeed. Sam Kiley for us there. Sam, thank you.

PAUL: Thank you, Sam. I want to go to Indonesia with you now. There is hope of finding survivors. But, not a lot of it sadly at this point. More than a week since that devastating earthquake and tsunami struck the island. Rescue teams are still searching for more than a thousand missing people. But few have been found alive.

Officials say, more than 1,600 people have died. And that number is likely to rise as information from remote areas trickles in.

[07:40:21] BLACKWELL: First Lady Melania Trump is on the last leg of her tour of Africa. She's now in Egypt, where she'll meet with her Egyptian counterpart and toured the ancient pyramids. The four-day trip is part of the first lady's Be-Best campaign that focuses on children's health care.

Still, to come, a Chicago jury finds a police officer guilty of murder. Coming up, the sentence this officer could face.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) [07:44:55] PAUL: Well, in Chicago, police officer could spend decades in prison after being convicted in the 2014 shooting of Laquan McDonald. The jury took two days to find Police Officer Jason Van Dyke guilty of second-degree murder and 16 counts of aggravated battery.

And Van Dyke testified he fired in self-defense after McDonald lunged at him with a knife. But grainy police dashcam video showed McDonald walking away from the officers.

Release of this video, in fact, led protests -- to protests. A Justice Department civil rights investigation, and eventually, Van Dyke's arrest.


JOEY JACKSON, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: You can't shoot someone 16 times who doesn't appear to pose an imminent threat to you. No other officer on the scene fired. The value of that is that why did you act so differently from your compatriots? Those two officers testified saying they didn't seem to share your fear concern.

And I think the second-degree murder result, which was a lesser included I should add because he was charged with first-degree murder. The distinctions for the viewer's briefly is that they felt that he thought that he had lawful justification, that is officer Van Dyke did, but it was unreasonable and unjustified that made it second- degree murder.


BLACKWELL: Judge Brett Kavanaugh's Supreme Court nomination heads to a final Senate vote later today after days of hearings. FBI investigations, of course, those allegations of sexual assault. And right now, it looks like he will be confirmed.

Joining me now to discuss, Andre Bauer. CNN political commentator and former lieutenant governor of South Carolina. Maria Cardona, CNN political commentator, and Democratic strategist. Good morning to both of you.

Andre, it's been a minute, how you been man?


BLACKWELL: Good morning, welcome back. Maria, welcome --


BAUER: Thank you. Thank you.

BLACKWELL: OK. All right, welcome back. Maria, good to see you as well.

MARIA CARDONA, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Thank you. BLACKWELL: Andre, let me start with you and this comment from a former Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens, in which he said -- of Judge Kavanaugh's partisan comments on 27th of September.

"I think there were several commentators who have written pieces in which they suggest that he has demonstrated a potential bias involving enough potential litigants before the court that he would not be able to perform his full responsibility. It's not healthy to get a new justice who can only do a part-time job."

What's your concerned that despite the cleanup job he tried in the Wall Street Journal, that he has damaged himself as it -- as it relates to the impartiality of a Supreme Court justice?

BAUER: Victor, I think so much of this is from what side you're looking at this. And of course, most conservatives feel like he was overly vetted, he was mistreated, and that he has for years had a stellar reputation from every person that ranks lawyers or judges. And that he's never had a complaint before.

I mean -- and so, you know, if I'm looking at from the other side, it's vastly different. And so, I think you see a big divide in this country with folks that feel like Brett Kavanaugh is the right man or either Dr. Ford wasn't treated justly.

I mean, from my perspective, it seems like he was more than vetted. If you look at all the other folks that have applied for this job before if that's what you would call it. He had almost 1,300 questions which is almost a 1,000 more than the average person that goes before the United States Senate to be confirmed for this job.

So, from a conservative perspective that does support Judge Kavanaugh, I see a pattern where he has overly gone far beyond what most of them go through to be confirmed, and he has a record that from the bench perspective, he has never been questioned.

BLACKWELL: All right. Maria, overly vetted, Andre says.

CARDONA: Well, you know, again, I actually do agree with Andre that this is it depends on where you come from, and from in terms of your perspective and that this has been very divisive. But that's exactly the problem, Victor. This has been one of the most divisive, hurtful, confirmation processes and hearings that we have been through.

I think it not only taints Brett Kavanaugh, it taints the Supreme Court, which should be one of the most venerable institutions that we have as a country. And so, my question to Republicans is, couldn't you find somebody else who was equally as experienced and equally as capable as they believed he was, but without the atrocious black cloud that is now going to be following him into one of the highest institutions in the land? One that actually will divide this country for years and years to come?

Do they really believe that this was that important to them to vet -- to get this particular person onto the Supreme Court? Do they have no other lawyers that they believe could have been as good or better than him?

BLACKWELL: Well, let's have Andre answer that, then I've got another question. Go ahead, Andre.

BAUER: Well, this pick had an unblemished record. He has superior rating in every aspect. And so, quite frankly, the Democrats created something that was not there and it has not been substantiated.


CARDONA: But that's not quite true, Andre. That's not true.

BAUER: Look, with all due respect to Dr. Ford, she made an allegation, and several different bodies went to try to clarify it. She provided four different individuals. Her friends, not his, who could not quantify or in any way back up what she said. In fact, they said just the opposite.

And then, the FBI did a check. And again, they couldn't find any factual evidence. Look, I have a daughter. I worry about anyone that makes this claim, and Dr. Ford has a legitimate claim that needs to be addressed.

But we have a process in this country where you are innocent until proven guilty. And no factual information what so (INAUDIBLE) has been giving to this.


[07:50:30] CARDONA: That's actually not the case for this, Andre. That's not the case for this. This is not a criminal court. This is not a criminal court.

BAUER: It is the case.

BLACKWELL: Let me ask you, Andre. Andre, you talked about your daughter. Hold on. Andre, let me ask you about this daughter. Andre, you say you have a daughter and you worried about anybody who makes these types of claims. If your daughter made a claim and she put to forward a list of a dozen people who corroborated and investigators never spoke to one of those dozen, would you think that would be a valid investigation?

CARDONA: Exactly.

BAUER: Oh, if my daughter provided her four best friends who she said we're at a party and her best lifelong friend said, she never met Brett Kavanaugh, she never saw him doesn't recall this party. I would ask my daughter to rethink what may have happened. Are you sure it was this individual?


CARDONA: Wow! Are you serious you wouldn't believe your own daughter? BAUER: If you can't remember any other facts -- if you can't remember any other facts, I wouldn't interrupt you while you're talking, number one.

BLACKWELL: You would ask your own daughter to reconsider that she was sexually assaulted.

CARDONA: Wow, you would not believe your own daughter. That is astounding, astounding.

BAUER: If my daughter -- if my daughter 37 years later could only recant the individual, couldn't recant any other information, then I would be worried, does she have her facts right.


CARDONA: Astounding.

BAUER: And if she get her best friend -- her best friend can't corroborate --

BLACKWELL: All right -- all right. OK, all right. Let me -- let me stop right here. Let me stop right here because we both made our all heard the point. But I think this actually is unfair to Andre's daughter.

CARDONA: This is -- this -- Wow!

BLACKWELL: So, let's move on from this. You've made your point here, let's move to something else.

CARDONA: He brought it up.

BLACKWELL: I know he did. But I don't want to go too far down this line because you do have an actual daughter, this isn't theoretical.

Let's move on to something else, this is from Senator Grassley, who when asked why there aren't more women on the Senate Judiciary Committee? He said, "Well, it's a lot of work. Don't forget compared to a lot of committee meetings we have an executive every Thursday. So, it's a lot of work. Maybe they don't want to do it."

Now, he was asked to clarify that later because people were a bit shocked that he said it. He said, "Well, it's a lot of work for men too. Is that why Andre there's never been a Republican woman on the Senate Judiciary because it's a lot of work?

BAUER: I think Senator Grassley probably misspoke. I've met him, he seems to be a pretty fair and reasonable guy. And I don't -- I've never seen him be a real partisan individual first off. He's one of the more moderate folks I think in the Senate. I've always kind of --


BLACKWELL: That ain't partisan. BAUER: I don't think he -- I don't -- I just meant to say he's always been a guy that I thought was fair and reasonable. And I don't think he meant it like that. I haven't talked to him actually quite frankly, Victor. I haven't seen the footage, but I know it came off not the way anyone would want it to.


BAUER: And I'm sure he -- I'm sure he is a great regret saying it.

BLACKWELL: Maria, quickly to you on one other thing. Jen Psaki was a CNN contributor tweeted out, "Who wants to run for Senate in Maine? There will be an army of supporters with you." And President Obama's ambassador to the United Nations, Susan Rice, responded, "Me."

First, you convinced that the dissatisfaction with Senator Collins vote will be still potent two years down the line when Collins is up for re-election. I mean, for Ambassador Rice or anybody else.

CARDONA: Oh, absolutely, Victor. I have already been invited by so many groups to go up and start knocking on doors for 2020 -- 2022 for first Susan Collins. There is no question that this will have huge reverberating consequences for Republicans who voted the way they did.

But, the reason for that Victor is the two things that you just brought up on this segment. The first one is Grassley's disgusting sexist comments which is exactly how so many women's view the Republican Party in terms of the disdain that they have for women.

So that has been clearly something that has been known and perceived from this Republican Party. And what they did with Brett Kavanaugh just underscores that. But I do -- I need to address something, Victor. Because this, this is -- this is --


BLACKWELL: Yes. We -- 10 seconds because we got to go. 10 seconds.

CARDONA: OK, 10 seconds. When you're a victim of sexual assault, you hardly ever have anybody else in the room. That is the nature of sexual assault.


CARDONA: There is this does not happen publicly. So you very rarely you're going to have corroborating people or witnesses who are going to say, "Oh yes, I was there." That's the problem when people thinking.

BAUER: But if you -- if you with your best friend and --

BLACKWELL: We got -- we got -- we got to wrap it there. We got to wrap it there. Maria Cardona, Andre Bauer. Thank you so much.

CARDONA: Thanks, Victor.

BAUER: Thank you.

[07:54:46] BLACKWELL: Quick break and we'll be right back.


ANNOUNCER: STAYING WELL, brought to you by Aleve. All day strong, all day long.

SHUAI CHEN, NEUROLOGIST: Today's scavenger hunt is about finding clues, solving puzzles, and performing challenges. We're going around the North Beach area of San Francisco.


CHEN: Scavenger hunts are great exercise. You run around a big area, and it gets you out into a new environment, it gets you to play. And play is known to be really great for health, it's great for stress. They're also great for the mine. You have to like solve puzzles.

JUSTIN GRAHAM, PHYSICIAN: You have to think quickly on your feet. You have to navigate through a complex environment. Hopefully, it will make me get older a little bit slower.

CHEN: It helps you develop new brain synapses. It helps your neurotransmitters go off faster. Scavenger hunts are great for socializing. Some of the clues have you talking to strangers, or meeting up with another team, and collaborating and playing with them. And that really helps you get out of your shell.