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State of the Union

Trump Publicly Questions Kavanaugh Accuser's Story; Rosenstein Under Fire; Interview With U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley; Interview With Hawaii Senator Mazie Hirono; President Trump Stands By Kavanaugh; Biden Defends Handling Of 1991 Anita Hill Hearings; Trump's Presidential Library In This Week's "State of the Cartoonion"; "PARTS UNKNOWN" Final Episodes. Aired 9-10a ET

Aired September 23, 2018 - 09:00   ET




JAKE TAPPER, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): High-stakes testimony. After days of negotiating, Professor Christine Blasey Ford says she will speak to the Senate.

UNIDENTIFIED PROTESTERS: We believe Christine Ford!

TAPPER: As the president publicly questions her story.

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Why didn't somebody call the FBI 36 years ago?

TAPPER: And Democrats turn up the heat.

SEN. MAZIE HIRONO (D), HAWAII: I just want to say to the men in this country, just shut up and step up.

TAPPER: Senator Mazie Hirono will be here in minutes.

Plus: Firing line? Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein denies a new report that he discussed secretly taping the president. But is the president buying it?

TRUMP: There's a lingering stench, and we're going to get rid of that, too.

TAPPER: And U.N. showdown. As President Trump heads to the United Nations, Iran accuses the U.S. of being behind a deadly terrorist attack and compares President Trump to Saddam Hussein. How will President Trump respond this week?

U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley is here.


TAPPER: Hello. I'm Jake Tapper in Washington, where the state of our union is on the edge of our seats. After days of tense negotiations, Senate Judiciary Committee Republicans and Brett Kavanaugh's accuser, Christine Blasey Ford's attorneys have reached a tentative agreement on what would be a dramatic, even historic hearing this coming Thursday.

Ford's lawyers say will share her firsthand account of that night back in the early '80s when she says 17-year-old Brett Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her. Kavanaugh categorically denies the allegation, this as the White House is pointing to the new statement from a fourth person said to be at the party denying any knowledge of the party or the incident.

This woman, a friend of the accuser, Professor Ford, echoes the other three attendees, including Kavanaugh, who say they have no knowledge of the incident or even of the party.

On Friday, President Trump pivoted away from relative restraint and began attacking Professor Ford, asking why Ford -- quote -- "didn't report at the time," prompting an uproar on social media and a phone call from Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell telling the president that his comments were not helpful.

And, as if that's not enough, it's also a huge week for President Trump on the world stage. He's heading to New York to chair the U.N. Security Council meeting on Iran.

Let's get straight to Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley.

Madam Ambassador, thanks so much for joining us.

I want to get to all those important foreign policy questions in a second, but, first, I do have to ask. President Trump again attacking Professor Blasey Ford, suggesting that, since Ford did not report the assault to law enforcement immediately after it occurred, it probably didn't happen.

Senator Susan Collins, Republican of Maine, responded to that by saying this:


SEN. SUSAN COLLINS (R), MAINE: I was appalled by the president's tweet.

We know that allegations of sexual assault are one of the most unreported crimes that exist. So, I thought that the president's tweet was completely inappropriate and wrong.


TAPPER: Madam Ambassador, what was your response?

NIKKI HALEY, U.S. AMBASSADOR TO THE UNITED NATIONS: Well, first of all, I'm getting ready for 140 heads of states and delegations at the U.N., so I have not been as Kavanaugh-focused as some of you may have. What I have said very clearly is, every accuser always deserves the

right to be heard. And -- but, at the same time, I think the accused deserves the right to be heard. I think that's going to happen, which is great.

The Senate has a huge responsibility here. They have to make sure it's fair. They have to make sure it's responsible. And they have to take the politics out.

And, for the good of both families, I think they have to do this swiftly and quickly, and they have to do it with a lot of care.

And so, with that, we don't know what the truth is 35 years ago, but we will find out. And I think that's the best thing we can do, is just hear from both sides and then take it from there.

TAPPER: Let me remove Kavanaugh from the equation, remove Ford from the equation.

Just as a general principle, do you think it's fair for someone to suggest that, if a person, a woman or a young girl didn't go to the police when an alleged attack actually happened, then the attack likely didn't occur? Is that a message that you're comfortable with?

HALEY: The message I'm comfortable with is that accusers go through a lot of trauma. And some handle it one way and some handle it the other way.

Regardless, you never -- it's not something that we want to do to blame the accuser or to try and second-guess the accuser. I think we don't know the situation she was going through 35 years ago. We don't know the circumstances.

I think she's going to get the opportunity to say that. But, what I have said often is, she deserves respect, she deserves to be heard. Kavanaugh, who's been accused, deserves to be heard.


And I think we will get all our answers next week.

TAPPER: Let's turn to foreign policy.

The Iranian regime is blaming other nations, including the United States, for a terrorist attack on Saturday where gunman killed at least 29 people in a military parade.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said earlier today -- quote -- "It is America who supports these little mercenary countries in the region. It is Americans who are provoking them. It is Americans who provide them with their required necessities to perpetrate such crimes. The government is ready to counter any action by the U.S., and the Americans will regret this."

Rouhani is going to be in New York this coming week. Are President Trump and Rouhani going to meet? And what does the president plan to say about these allegations?

HALEY: Well, we will welcome Rouhani, like we welcome all other heads of state.

But I think that, again, what you're seeing is, you have got a lot of rhetoric coming from Rouhani. The United States condemns any terrorist attack anywhere, period. We have always stood by that.

I think what Rouhani needs to do is, he needs to look at his own home base. He's got -- the Iranian people are protesting. Every ounce of money that goes into Iran goes to his military. He has oppressed his people for a long time. And he needs to look at his own base to figure out where that's coming from.

I think the Iranian people have had enough, and that's where all of this is coming from. But, having said that, he can blame us all he wants, but the thing he's got to do is look in the mirror.

TAPPER: Well, speaking of looking at one's own home base, the president's attorney Rudy Giuliani appeared at an Iranian opposition event in New York last night and said that U.S. sanctions could lead to a successful revolution in Iran.

According to Reuters, Giuliani said -- quote -- "I don't know when we're going to overthrow them, but it's going to happen."

What are the Iranians supposed to think when one of the president's closest advisers is out there saying that there's going to be regime change in Iran?

HALEY: Listen, Rouhani's closest advisers have not said anything kind about the United States.

This is what happens. I mean, there is no love for Iran here in the United States, and there's no love for the United States in Iran. And both sides are going to go back and forth.

At the end of the day, what we have said is, Iran had a terrible deal, and the fact that they were getting hundreds of billions of dollars, they were continuing to do ballistic missile testing, they were continuing to support terrorism, and they were continuing to sell arms.

Every conflict that we have, we see Iran's fingerprints, whether it's in Yemen, whether it's in Iraq, whether we're looking at what's happening in Syria.

The goal of what we want to try and do is make sure that we defeat ISIS. We will do that. We want to get the Iranian influence out. We're trying to do that. And we want to make sure that we hold Iran to account.

They're going to come up with a lot of different things, but, at the end of the day, Iran is not a good actor, and they have got a lot of soul-searching to do. And the international community needs to hold them to account. TAPPER: So, how seriously should they take it, the Iranians, when

they hear the president's close adviser Rudy Giuliani saying there's going to be regime change?

HALEY: I -- look, the United States is not looking to do a regime change in Iran. We're not looking to do regime change anywhere.

What we are looking to do is protect Americans, protect our allies and make sure that we do everything we can to stop it. And the president has been very strong on Iran. He's been very strong that we can't turn away from them, that they are a bad actor.

And you will continue to see him strong in terms of every action we take from there. Iran's economy has plummeted because the president pulled out of the deal. They're getting desperate. And I think we're seeing the actions of that.

TAPPER: President Trump is preparing to meet tomorrow with South Korean President Moon to discuss North Korea.

The president said this week there's been -- quote -- "tremendous progress" on North Korea.

In July, Secretary of State Pompeo told the Senate that North Korea was still making nuclear material.

Now, I know North Korea has halted missile and nuclear tests. They didn't have missiles in their parade.

But can you point to any concrete steps that the regime has taken to actually denuclearize?

HALEY: Well, I think, first of all, it is a major step that they're not testing. That's no small feat.

All through 2017, we were constantly seeing ballistic missile tests. The fact that they have stopped that, the fact that the two leaders in Korea both shook hands and said they want to denuclearize and they want peace, that's no small thing.

I think the fact that their parade, they didn't show off nuclear weapons for the first time is a major accomplishment. But, look, we are far from reaching the end of this. And I think what we want to focus on is denuclearization with verification.

We have to both make sure that North Korea knows what we mean by denuclearization. We have got to make sure we enforce sanctions, because that's what brought them to the table in the first place. And I think that's what we're going to continue to do.

TAPPER: This week, the administration cut the number of refugees that the U.S. would accept in 2019 to 30,000. That's the lowest level in 40 years.

Now, I know you have made working with refugees a priority. Did you sign off on this decision to reduce the number to 30,000? And do you support the cut?

HALEY: We all gave our own opinions on what we thought that number should be. And, at the end of the day, there's the National Security Council process that goes through that.


This is what I will tell you, is, the United States is the most generous to refugees of any country in the world. I mean, like you said, I have been to see the Syrian refugees in Jordan and Turkey. I have been to Ethiopia. I have been to the Democratic Republic of Congo.

And the United States does all we can to make sure that we're taking care of refugees closest to home, because never did I hear any refugee say, we want to go to America. They want to go back home.

And so we will continue to do that. The fact that the cap was reduced on the number that come into the United States is such a small part of the refugee conversation. The refugee conversation is, how do we support these refugees going home? How do we support political solutions so the conflicts go away? And what are we going to continue to do going forward?

And I think the United States is going to continue to be the most generous country in the world when it comes to refugees.

TAPPER: Ambassador, let's take Syria, for instance, in what you're talking about here in terms of the priority being to get the Syrian -- the refugees back home.

In August, the Trump administration cut more than $200 million it was providing for stabilization assistance to reconstruct and rebuild Syria.

How does that help refugees return to their homes in Syria at the same time the United States is cutting the number of refugees that we are admitting here at home?

HALEY: Jake, we have made it very clear we are not going to pay for reconstruction of Syria as long as there's Iranian influence there. We're not going to pay for reconstruction as long as ISIS has not been defeated, which we're almost there.

We're not going to pay for reconstruction to help Russia out, when this is their problem. What we're saying is, there's a lot of things that have to happen before reconstruction is even talked about.

And it's not just going to be the U.S. Other countries have to weigh in. But, right now, you have got a very sensitive situation in Syria. And Russia has to step up. They took responsibility for this. They have got to manage it.

They can't sit there and do whatever they want, allowing the Iranians to continue to have influence, when they're the biggest sponsor of terrorism, and then turn around and have their hand out and asking us for money in -- in return.

TAPPER: United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley, we always enjoy you coming here. Thanks so much for being here.

HALEY: Thanks so much, Jake.

TAPPER: One Democratic member of the Senate Judiciary Committee wants men to -- quote -- "shut up and step up."

What does she want to hear from Brett Kavanaugh this week? Democrat Mazie Hirono from Hawaii is here to tell us next.



TAPPER: Welcome back to STATE OF THE UNION. I'm Jake Tapper.

CNN has learned that a fourth person whom Professor Christine Blasey Ford says was at that party in 1982 where Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh allegedly sexually assaulted her, this fourth person has come forward and said that she believes Ford, but she has zero memory of the incident or even ever being at a party with Brett Kavanaugh.

Questions remain as to how Ford will tell her story to the U.S. Senate this week, but a hearing appears to be on track for Thursday. And a source tells CNN that Ford is in favor of a public hearing.

One Democratic member of the Senate Judiciary Committee has been making headlines this week for her fiery defense of Ford, Democrat Mazie Hirono of Hawaii.

And she joins me now.

Senator, thanks so much for joining us.


TAPPER: Appreciate it.

HIRONO: Good morning, Jake.

TAPPER: So, it looks like the hearing will be this week. What specifically do you plan on asking Brett Kavanaugh?

HIRONO: There are a lot of issues around Brett that -- involving what was happening in high school, et cetera.

But, even before all of this happened, he had credibility issues in his testimony, three days of testimony. He's very outcome-driven in terms of how he views cases before him. And so I had issues with his credibility and how he went about things way before this even happened.

TAPPER: But you're not going to talk to him about policy at this hearing. This hearing is about specifically the allegations. HIRONO: We want to hear -- I would be wanting to hear what kind of

environment it was in high school. Apparently, there was a lot of drinking and partying going on.

This is why we need an investigation. We need an independent investigation that lays all of that out for us, so that there's at least some chance of some outside entity like the FBI doing an investigation.

This is totally untoward, because, remember, during the Anita Hill days, there was an investigation, perfunctory as that was. But Dr. Ford is not even afforded that.

Meanwhile, she's coming forward and very bravely saying, I will tell my story.

So I'm going to do everything I can to make sure that she can tell her story free of intimidation, fear and the kind of threats that she's already getting for even coming forward with it.

TAPPER: The "Wall Street Journal" editorial board wrote a piece about the presumption of guilt, they say.

They quoted you directly to argue that a core tenet of American law is not being applied to Kavanaugh.

They write -- quote -- "The Democratic standard for sexual assault allegations is, they should be accepted as true merely for having been made. The accuser is assumed to be telling the truth because the accuser is a woman. The burden is on Mr. Kavanaugh to prove his innocence. This turns American justice and due process upside down."

What's your response?

HIRONO: If "The Wall Street Journal" really cares about due process, I would say that they should care that there is no independent investigation of these allegations.

I think that this kind of attitude is what makes it really difficult for victims and survivors of these kinds of traumatic events to even come forward.

You know, we don't seem to have come very far from the Anita Hill days. But, as I said, for "The Wall Street Journal" to come out and talk to us about, talk to me about due process, or all the women out there that I'm hearing about who never came forward, it is really important, not only for these survivors to be heard, but if their stories are credible, as Dr. Ford's story is, they need to be believed.

TAPPER: So, four people said to be at the party Ford described have denied knowledge of the incident, Brett Kavanaugh, obviously, Mark Judge, who she says was in the room, P.J. Smith, and even Ford's longtime friend Leland Keyser.

So there hasn't been a law enforcement investigation, but there are these statements from the four people she remembers being there who don't remember the incident or don't even remember being at the party in question, according to her friend Leland Keyser, who says she believes her...


TAPPER: ... but doesn't have any memory of it.


TAPPER: Doesn't Kavanaugh have the same presumption of innocence as anyone else in America?

HIRONO: I put his denial in the context of everything that I know about him in terms of how he approaches his cases.


As I said, his credibility is already very questionable in my mind and in the minds of a lot of my fellow Judiciary Committee members, the Democrats.

So he comes, and -- when I say that he's very outcome-driven, he has an ideological agenda, is very outcome-driven. And I can sit here and talk to you about some of the cases that exemplifies his, in my view, inability to be fair in the cases that come before him.

This is a person that is going to be sitting on our Supreme Court, making decisions that will impact women's reproductive choice. He has a -- he very much is against women's reproductive choice.

TAPPER: Mm-hmm.

HIRONO: And I can tell you two very important cases in which he applied the same standard, but came to totally different results to make it much harder for women to get this kind of coverage.

So there's -- there are so many indications of his own lack of credibility. And I put that in a context.

TAPPER: It sounds to me like you're saying, because you don't trust him on policy and because you don't believe him when he says, for instance, that he does not have an opinion on Roe v. Wade, you don't believe him about this allegation about what happened at this party in 1982? Is that fair?

HIRONO: Well, without -- this is why it is so important that there be at least an investigation, so that there's some effort at collaboration.

And we think that there was a lot of drinking going on. As far as the friend, his friend Mark Judge, not even testifying, that is astounding to me. He was right there in that room. He refuses to testify.

TAPPER: Well, he says he doesn't remember an incident. I mean...


HIRONO: So, then he says a lot of drinking going on. This is the environment with this school, apparently.

And, meanwhile, Dr. Ford has come forward and said, I would like...

TAPPER: You think Kavanaugh is lying, though, is what you're saying?

HIRONO: Well, I believe her. Let's put it that way.

There's credibility to her story. And I'm going to make sure that I and others -- the Democrats, at least, want to make sure that she is able to come forward.

And there's nothing for her to gain by even coming forward with this.

TAPPER: I want to ask you a question, because I have heard a lot of people saying that Democrats would be more credible about this issue if they were similarly outspoken when allegations like this are made about Democrats.

And one example is the Democratic Congressman and Deputy Chairman of the DNC Keith Ellison, who's been accused of emotional and physical abuse by an ex-girlfriend named Karen Monahan.

In a debate on Friday, Ellison was asked if he's confident there won't be any more allegations against him. Take a listen.


REP. KEITH ELLISON (D), MINNESOTA: You know, I don't know what somebody might cook up. But I can tell you that there is absolutely nobody that I'm aware of who has any sort of -- who's threatening or suggesting or has ever made a prior accusation.


TAPPER: He's running for attorney general of Minnesota.

Wouldn't the concern about Kavanaugh and Professor Ford be more credible if Democrats were also condemning similar charges against Democrats in their midst, including Congressman Ellison?

HIRONO: I have been very clear that I make no excuses for anybody who engages in this kind of behavior.

And, as far as Keith Ellison, these allegations need to be investigated, and appropriate action taken.

Meanwhile, we have -- within the next week or so, we have before us a nominee that is under a cloud. There's not even a modicum of investigation. And so we are left with basically he said/she said.

This happens a lot in the context of sexual assault. We know this.

So, for example, when the person who is running against my sister Heidi Heitkamp, when he says, oh, nothing happened, really? I don't think North Dakota should be electing somebody who does not think that attempted rape is a crime.

But this is the context, this is the environment in which we are having this discussion. So, I want to be very laser-focused on the fact that this person, who already has credibility issues, he will misstate the holding of a case, of cases that I'm very familiar with. He will misapply the case.

And I said at his hearing I do not want to have a person on the Supreme Court who doesn't seem to be able to apply the facts in ways that do not meet his outcome-driven agenda.

At the same time, we now have this cloud. You know, we already have one person on the Supreme Court who got there under this cloud. We should not have another.

TAPPER: I want to ask you, the last you questioned Brett Kavanaugh, you asked whether he'd ever committed sexual harassment or assault as a -- quote -- "legal adult."


TAPPER: I know you ask every Trump nominee this question. He replied no.

This allegation took place when he was supposedly 17 years old.


TAPPER: Why do you caveat the question with legal adult, because that would have excluded, obviously, this incident, which he denies anyway?

HIRONO: Well, of course, 17-year-old is no child, is not a baby.

I ask that question because juvenile records are sealed.

TAPPER: Oh, it's as simple as that?

HIRONO: Pretty much. Yes, that is why.

TAPPER: Because it does seem to delineate behavior 18 and older and behavior under 18.

HIRONO: Generally, we hold adults responsible for their behavior. And it's that reason.

But these are questions that have never been asked before of any nominee. At this point, I have probably asked this of about 100 nominees. And I ask this to both men and women, the same two questions, because we need to change the kind of environment that says that women who and men who suffer from this kind of trauma are not in a supportive environment where they can come forward, because, when you think about it, this is very underreported.

[09:25:10] Why? Because, so often, the victims and survivors, when they come forward, they're not believed. They're vilified.

All of the things that are happening to Dr. Ford happens...


TAPPER: So, we only have a little bit of time, but I just want to ask you.

Sheldon Whitehouse told me, the senator from Rhode Island, told me this week that, if Democrats win back the Senate or the House, when you guys get gavels back, as he put it, there will be an investigation against Kavanaugh, even if he is a Supreme -- sitting Supreme Court justice.

Does that set the stage for an attempted -- a potential impeachment of Kavanaugh?

HIRONO: Frankly, I have such concerns about this person getting to the Supreme Court.

But, on the other hand, we know that -- I know that Maryland has eliminated the statute of limitations for kidnapping and for sexual assault of a minor. And I think that is still out there.

And so there may be an investigation along those lines. So, I think that this is a situation that is not going to go away. The court- packing is going on big time, with people from the Federalist Society anointed, The Heritage Foundation.

And they have spent decades and millions of dollars to lay the groundwork for people like Judge Kavanaugh and everybody else to get on the court with their very outcome-driven agenda that will not support women's right to choose, that, basically, for Judge Kavanaugh in particular, very expansive views of protecting a sitting president from either criminal or civil proceedings.

And I think this president in particular is aware of that, because you know what? His mission is self-preservation every second, minute, hour of the day.

TAPPER: Senator Mazie Hirono, thank you so much for being here.

HIRONO: Thank you.

TAPPER: We really appreciate it.

HIRONO: Aloha.

TAPPER: President Trump's tweet questioning why Ford didn't report turned into a viral hashtag on Friday, but could it also turn into big turnout in November?

We will discuss next.




TRUMP: A senator, good guy, said to me the other day, it was very interesting, because we were talking about, frankly, Judge Kavanaugh. And I said we have to fight for him, not worry about the other side and, by the way, women are for that more than anybody would understand.


TAPPER: President Trump at a rally on Friday night in Missouri saying that there are women in favor of him fighting for Brett Kavanaugh more than any of us would understand. Our experts are here with us to talk about it.

Amanda Carpenter, let me start with you. Is that true?

AMANDA CARPENTER, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Yes. I do think Republican women and men want to see this vote go through and have some firm resolution by the end of these hearings.

And I think Susan Collins has set out a very clear and reasonable standard. Brett Kavanaugh has said, I categorically, unequivocally deny participating in any of this kind of behavior through my whole life. And so if anything comes out to disprove that, he's toast. That's the standard.

TAPPER: We have now four individuals who have come forward who were named by Professor Ford who were at that party and all four, Kavanaugh, judge, Smith and her friend, Leland Keyser, have all said they don't remember anything like this ever happened. And Leland Keyser, who says she believes Ford, says that she doesn't even remember ever being at a party where Kavanaugh was present.

JENNIFER GRANHOLM, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Right. And that actually corroborates Ford's story which is that she was so horrified by this that she kind of snuck out or slunk out of this apartment in a way that no one would know what happened because she was so utterly mortified and she didn't tell anybody for years, which is consistent with the way women, 77 percent of women behavior when they have been sexually assaulted.

So the president saying that -- calling into question her credibility shows, to me, you know, that this hearing, as it's set up, as a he said, she said, cannot stand as a he said, she said. There has to be additional investigation or testimony to provide some corroborating context.

Her behavior is perfectly consistent with the victims of sexual assault. And so the president and others who are attempting to smear her credibility without hearing are the ones women are going to be furious at in this election and beyond. TAPPER: Michael, earlier in the show, U.N. ambassador Nikki Haley, didn't directly criticize President Trump for saying that if she didn't come out at the time then likely it didn't happen. That seems to be what he was suggesting but she did seem to suggest that that is the wrong way to be looking at sexual assault allegations the way that the governor just described.

Take a listen.


HALEY: Regardless, you never -- it's not something that we want to do, to blame the accuser or to try and second guess the accuser. I think, we don't know the situation she was going through 35 years ago.


TAPPER: And we know that Senator Mitch McConnell called President Trump after he started attacking Ford's credibility and said, this is not helpful.

MICHAEL CAPUTO, FORMER SENIOR ADVISER, DONALD J. TRUMP FOR PRESIDENT: Well, I like the President Trump we saw at the early part of this whole debate. And as a father of a 16-year-old daughter who frustrates me greatly, I can tell you that she might not tell me this kind of a thing.


GRANHOLM: She wouldn't.

CAPUTO: Yes. You know, she goes to drinking parties and that frustrates me as well, but at the end of all of this, I think that Chairman Grassley has been really accommodating. Probably more accommodating than I would be as a father of daughters, but he has also taken a very, you know, careful political balance for Republicans facing a difficult midterm session, where we really do want to have women voters support us on November 6th. At the same time, if you can't confirm Kavanaugh, why vote Republican at all?

TAPPER: What do you think of all this?

KARINE JEAN-PIERRE, SENIOR ADVISER, MOVEON.ORG: I don't think Grassley has been doing his constitutional duty in order to really give advice and consent which is their constitutional duty. They should slow this down and get all of the information. There's no reason to rush this.

TAPPER: You mean have an FBI investigation?

JEAN-PIERRE: Exactly having an FBI investigation and let's put it out there. I mean, Dr. Ford -- she is the only one asking for an FBI investigation. Someone who is lying, who's not credible, wouldn't be asking for that.

She took a polygraph test, was administered by a former FBI agent. Someone who is not credible or lying would not do that. And I don't understand, why don't we slow this down?

We're talking about a lifetime appointment to the court, someone who's going to interpret and administer the law. We should slow this down.


CARPENTER: She doesn't show on Thursday. I think --

JEAN-PIERRE: I don't think so. I don't think she would have gone this far.

CARPENTER: How willing she was actually to tell this story.


CARPENTER: She wanted to be anonymous. There is so much pressure. I don't know how anybody could perform in this environment, particularly someone who does not want to be in the press. We only have one photo of her because she has scrubbed herself.

JEAN-PIERRE: But, Amanda --

CARPENTER: I mean, I think it's so hard to say --

GRANHOLM: Which to me lends itself to her credibility.

CARPENTER: Let's investigate everything.

JEAN-PIERRE: Credibility. Exactly.

CARPENTER: Sure. Of course.

JEAN-PIERRE: And not being a political person.


GRANHOLM: -- anything other than a duty to the country.


CARPENTER: But I think we're focused on this hearing --

TAPPER: But she is calling for it to be public. She is calling for this to be public.


JEAN-PIERRE: Right. And she said this is her duty as a citizen to come forward so I think she come on Thursday and I think she is credible and will tell her story. But I don't think we're doing it the right way.


(CROSSTALK) GRANHOLM: I mean, to your point, and I think this issue about why the rush, the fierce rush to get this done in this short amount of time and Republicans will say, of course, it's because we want to get it over with before the election, right?

So the election is almost six weeks away. There is plenty of time. I mean, if they had launched an FBI investigation last week, it might have even been done by now.

TAPPER: It would be over. The police man I talked to said this thing could be over in two or three days.


TAPPER: I think the Anita Hill investigation was over in two or three days.


CAPUTO: Let's all agree here that none of us know Dr. Ford and none of us know if this is true or not.

And as I look at it, as a Republican, I think that Kavanaugh is going to come out of this OK. But we also have to learn lessons from this as Republicans, one of which is, you know, the moderates in the White House and around the president insisted that Kavanaugh was the way to go. It was going to be a layup. He wanted Judge Amy Coney Barrett and he walked away from that idea because he could get somebody who was not a conservative, who was not a culture warrior.


TAPPER: Who was a Republican legal establishment.

CAPUTO: Right. But there are no layups anymore. We know that now.

Two hundred and twenty people arrested so far, probably 220 people more at the end of this thing. There are no more layup.

GRANHOLM: You're talking about protesters?

TAPPER: You're talking about protesters?

CAPUTO: Yes. There are no more layups.


TAPPER: Everyone stick around. We're going to keep talking about this. We'll be right back.




BIDEN: Can you tell the committee what was the most embarrassing of all the incidences that you have alleged?

HILL: I think the one that was the most embarrassing was his discussion of -- of pornography involving these women with large breasts and engaged in variety of sex with different people or animals. That was the thing that embarrassed me the most and made me feel the most humiliated.


TAPPER: That was then the Senate judiciary chairman, then vice president, Joe Biden in 1991 questioning Professor Anita Hill when he was in the hot seat there. My experts join me now.

Senator Biden, Vice President Biden is now out there painting himself as a hero of the resistance but there are a lot of women who lived through that period who remember questions like, what is the most embarrassing thing that you lived through, Professor Hill, who don't see him that way.

GRANHOLM: Right. I mean, he obviously has evolved, like I think a lot of people have on this issue from 1991 or the mid '80s to today.

My concern is you have got a whole bunch of members of the Senate Judiciary Committee who are still serving from that time. And what troubles me is now there are -- because they're all white men -- the Republican -- there has never been a Republican woman on the Senate Judiciary Committee ever in the history. So they're all so concerned about stuff like that that they want to outsource the questioning of Dr. Ford to a woman.

Now, can I just say, I mean, if they're not comfortable, in this era even questioning a woman I think it's time to be replace them but not outsource their duty to be open about asking her questions. She's asking for the Senate to question her. Are they so retrograde that they can't even, themselves, find a way to question her?

CARPENTER: I think the best thing they could do is get a lawyer who has experience but --


GRANHOLM: Because you don't want to see them questioning her, right?

CARPENTER: I'm perfectly fine -- what am I afraid of?

GRANHOLM: I'm not saying you personally.


CARPENTER: -- treated very professionally. And I don't trust the senators to do this professionally. What I do wonder --


JEAN-PIERRE: If that's the case that you don't trust them to do it professionally but it's their job. CARPENTER: It is their job.

JEAN-PIERRE: It is their job.

CARPENTER: But they also have the ability to surrender those questions over to --



CARPENTER: -- someone who has expertise in this area. What I do wonder, will the Democrat be able to resist the temptation to go overboard on Brett Kavanaugh's sexual history? That is what I think is going to happen.


JEAN-PIERRE: And that's a fair question. And that's a fair question.

GRANHOLM: Absolutely.

CARPENTER: He's already frustrated with the --

JEAN-PIERRE: But here is the problem too is that -- OK. Before we left the last segment, we talked about how there was an FBI investigation, because George H.W. Bush asked for one in 1991. And now we're here in 2018 and we're not even getting that.

We have Orrin Hatch who says, oh, she is mixed up.

CARPENTER: We have the four people at the party strongly denying it. I don't have a problem an FBI investigator wants to ask him the same questions. It will be a very quick investigation.

JEAN-PIERRE: Well, of course they're --but of course they're going to deny -- they were going to deny it. Nothing happened to them that night. Nothing out of the ordinary happened to them that night.


JEAN-PIERRE: So they're going to deny it. That to your point --


CARPENTER: They deny any knowledge of the party whatsoever.

JEAN-PIERRE: Yes, but nothing --

CARPENTER: She places possible witnesses.

JEAN-PIERRE: -- nothing out of the ordinary happened to them --


GRANHOLM: To bring her therapist who has -- (CROSSTALK)

CARPENTER: Sure. And her husband, her family and everyone is going to go through the ringer.



GRANHOLM: Right. Right.

TAPPER: What do you think happens Thursday? What do you think happens, Michael?

You have Professor Ford. You have Judge Kavanaugh. They're sitting there, at separate times.

The senators get to ask them questions. Let's assume that Professor Ford and Brett Kavanaugh both acquit themselves reasonably, credibly and well. Then what?

CAPUTO: I think we move toward our confirmation, absolutely. I think how this hearing goes, if it is held publicly, as Dr. Ford wants it, will do -- have a lot to do with what happens in the mid terms, for example.

GRANHOLM: (INAUDIBLE). So say she comes off as totally credible.

CAPUTO: Mm-hmm.

GRANHOLM: And now there has been no investigation and you really have pit this he said, she said moment.

JEAN-PIERRE: Exactly right.

GRANHOLM: And there's no additional witnesses. What if, you know -- I mean, Jake, you could offer your platform to be able to interview her or other witnesses. I'm sure there will be shows who will --


TAPPER: Of course she has a platform and Judge Kavanaugh has a platform. Yes.

GRANHOLM: So then the Republican senators are in this position of not having done an investigation themselves and stuff being out there in the public realm and the pressure on them to vote, to ram through him with credible evidence out there, I think, will be very, very difficult for them.

CARPENTER: Can we just talk pure politics? If no more information comes out, we end with knowing nothing else, Republicans might as well move forward. They're already (INAUDIBLE) with Republican female voters. So I think the feeling is, just go get your judge.

Whatever happens in the midterms -- GRANHOLM: What do you mean? So they should vote for it?

CARPENTER: No -- yes, go get your judge. Whatever is going to happen in the midterms is going to happen. They're already --


GRANHOLM: Why make it worse, though?

JEAN-PIERRE: I think they have made that calculation.


CAPUTO: There are two lessons.


CAPUTO: One, I agree with you. Put some women on that panel for God's sakes. Why don't --


CARPENTER: They shouldn't make the female senators do it just because they are women.


CAPUTO: Of course but we're looking -- we're looking at the optics of this --

GRANHOLM: I agree --

CAPUTO: -- how we learn from these optics and we need some female senators --

TAPPER: Democrats went through this in '91. Biden said that he only campaigned -- in exchange for campaigning for Senator Carol Moseley Braun before she was a senator he promised -- he made her promise that she would sit on the judicial committee. I mean, they were like, we need women on the judiciary committee. There are six Republican senators --


CAPUTO: And the second lesson is Barrett. Next time Amy Coney Barrett. Absolute.

This MeToo stuff can't be pulled against her, 220 people arrested in that hearing as well but we can get her -- we'll never get more than 51 votes again ever. This is going to be a knife fight for every single one of the president's nominees.

GRANHOLM: But if you have heard there is -- she is unequivocally anti-choice and then you will lose Murkowski --

(CROSSTALK) JEAN-PIERRE: Which is why she wasn't picked in the first place. Which is why she wasn't picked in the first place.

TAPPER: Stay tuned. Thanks one and all for being here.

Welcome to the Trump presidential library where it's always a dark and stormy night. That's the subject of this week's "State of the Cartoonion," next.



TAPPER: So many books, so little time. President Trump's first 20 months in office have spun off two dozen books as well as this week's "State of the Cartoonion."


TAPPER (voice-over): Who knew that Donald Trump hardly a bookworm would make America read again? He's inspired enough books to fill up the Presidential library. Many of them start with F, there is "Fire and Furry," Bob Woodward's "Fear" --

TRUMP: This Woodward book is a total -- it's a total fraud.

TAPPER: -- and Stormy Daniels new book "Full Disclosure." We would guess he prefers the L section of the library, the feel good books such as Judge Jeanine's "Liars, Leakers and Liberals".

JUDGE JEANINE PIRRO, FOX NEWS HOST: Mr. President, you know, after 18 months, not any kind of reference to any collusion.

TRUMP: There is no collusion. No phone calls, I had no phone calls. I have no meetings, no nothing.

TAPPER: Trump may even be responsible for a four percent bump in non- fiction book sales according to a report this week.

TRUMP: If it has a four in front of it, we're happy.

TAPPER: So go ahead and curl up with a good book from the vast and expanding Trump presidential library everyone else is. But before you do it, a quick warning to readers.

STORMY DANIELS, ADULT FILM ACTRESS: So I was like, I'm going to write everything and include it.

TAPPER: Some of these books not safe for work and maybe not even for the bedroom.


TAPPER: Tonight, we'll see the first of the final episodes of "PARTS UNKNOWN" hosted by our late colleague Anthony Bourdain. Here is a look. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ANTHONY BOURDAIN, CNN HOST, "PARTS UNKNOWN" (voice-over): Who gets to tell the stories? This is a question asked often. The answer in this case for better or for worse is I do.


At least this time out.

(on camera): First time on this continent?


BOURDAIN: It's unbelievable.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I always wanted to do it.

BOURDAIN: Try that in New York.

New York in your mind was where the writer's life was?


BOURDAIN: Yes. Here we go.

ANNOUNCER: Anthony Bourdain, "PARTS UNKNOWN: THE FINAL EPISODES," starts tonight at 9:00 on CNN.