tv CNN Tonight With Don Lemon CNN September 24, 2018 7:00pm-8:00pm PDT
nothing. what do you think of the argument? hit me on twitter @chris cuomo and let's have it out. "cnn tonight" starts right now. yes. so -- >> you weren't listening. >> yes, i was listening to you, but i just wanted to ask you because i've been off. and just from a distance, the ridiculousness of what is going on in this country. you know, i try to avoid the news. but because of the stories that happened last week, it is hard to avoid. and then people walk up to me and they say, what is going -- what is happening in our country? i don't know. i'm scared. what's going on? i mean it's -- i think sometimes we're too close to it, the forest through the trees, that we just don't see how this is crazy. >> i hear you. i understand that perspective. i cannot own it myself because i am into this 24/7/365. i think of nothing else. when i'm shaving all five whiskers on my chin, i'm
thinking about this while i'm shaving. i cannot get away from it because i do not want to. that's how i started the radio show today. i need more, d. lemon. >> even when you're putting on your toupee, you think a lot about that. >> thank you for your dog donating the air by the way. >> good to see you. pleasure. >> this is "cnn tonight." i'm don lemon. the russia investigation is on the line right now. it's on the line. so president trump's nomination of brett kavanaugh, that is on the line as well. either or both could decide the course of the trump presidency. and incredibly they're both coming to a head on the same day, and that's thursday. and that's throwing the white house and all of washington into chaos. and all of this chaos, everything we're seeing right now, the russia investigation, the supreme court, it looks like a direct result of what you could call the devil's bargain that conservatives made with a president who is not exactly
their natural ally. the deal? well, we'll support this president no matter what he says or does as long as we get a couple of key victories -- tax cuts, done. and the supreme court. well, the president's second pick for the highest court in the land, it's not going exactly as smoothly as the gorsuch confirmation. that is why judge brett kavanaugh is fighting back, doing an interview on fox news, an interview that just might be aimed at an audience of one. guess who that is. president trump. >> i'm not going to let false accusations drive us out of this process and, you know, we're looking for a fair process where i can be heard and defend my integrity. i'm not going anywhere. >> that's the kind of fighting spirit the president likes. "the washington post" reporting trump has been frustrated by the slow pace of the kavanaugh hearings and has demanded a
quick vote. and after being uncharacteristically restrained when christine blasey ford's accusations that kavanaugh sexually assaulted her when they were both teenager, when they first came out, the president is now insisting it's all just politics. >> i am with judge kavanaugh, and i look forward to a vote. and for people to come out of the woodwork from 36 years ago and 30 years ago and never mentioned it, all of a sudden it happens, in my opinion, it's totally political. it was totally political. >> so a lot of republicans on the same page. orrin hatch is on the same page as the president, senator orrin hatch. that's no surprise with his comments today about deborah ramirez who accuses kavanaugh of inappropriate sexual behavior when they were both at yale university. >> well, it's amazing to me that these allegations come out of nowhere at the last minute and that they weren't brought up earlier in this process.
and it's not untypical for our friends on the other side to pull that kind of crap. >> and tonight, some republicans hinting to cnn they might push through a vote on kavanaugh this week, even though they don't -- they won't even hear from ford until thursday. they want to push it through this week. so much for a full investigation, right? and senator mitch mcconnell, the man who said this -- this was 2016. watch. >> one of my proudest moments is when i looked at barack obama in the eye, and i said, mr. president, you will not fill this supreme court vacancy. >> well, now the senator is echoing what sure sounds like a republican talking point, claiming the accusations against judge kavanaugh are -- these are his words -- a smear campaign. >> but even by the far left's standards, this shameful, shameful smear campaign has hit a new low. a smear campaign, pure and
simple. it sounds like a choreographed smear campaign. democrats wouldn't let a few inconvenient things like a complete lack of evidence or an accusers's request for confidentiality to get between them and a good smear. but the smear campaign didn't stop there. let's put aside this last-minute, unsubstantiated smear. let's return to the facts. >> phrase of the day, kids -- smear campaign. with both sides battling tooth and nail over the supreme court, the russia investigation could be hanging by a thread. rod rosenstein, the man who is overseeing that investigation, was expecting the ax to fall today when he went to a meeting at the white house. instead he got an unexpected reprieve after "the new york times" bombshell report last week that rosenstein had suggested secretly recording president trump and even considering invoking the 25th amendment to remove him from office. rosenstein denied it, but you
can't blame -- you can't blame the man for thinking that he was surely on the chopping block with the notoriously thin skin of donald trump, president trump. instead, the president said this. >> i'm meeting with rod rosenstein on thursday when i get back from all of these meetings, and we'll be meeting at the white house, and we'll be determining what's going on. we want to have transparency. we want to have openness, and i look forward to meeting with rod at that time. >> doesn't sound like a ringing endorsement, does it, because it's not a ringing endorsement. and it comes after the president said this to geraldo rivera. >> will you fire rod rosenstein based on -- >> i don't want to comment on it. i don't want to comment on it until i get all the facts. i haven't gotten all the facts. but certainly it's being looked at in terms of what took place, if anything took place, and i'll make a determination sometime later. but i don't have the facts.
>> i want to refresh your memory now. remember when a noncommittal sarah sanders said this after the fbi raid on former trump fixer and keeper of secrets michael cohen. >> is the president considering firing or in other ways purposing out rosenstein? >> i don't have any personal announcements at this front. >> just one other thing. paul ryan today said he's been given assurances by the white house that the president isn't planning to fire rosenstein or mueller. do you know where he's getting those assurances? is it coming from the president? is it coming from others? where is it coming from? >> again, i don't have any announcements on that front. >> well, today she couldn't even muster a "no comment" and said, defaulting to a statement, saying, quote, at the request of deputy attorney general rod rosenstein, he and president trump had an extended conversation to discuss the recent news stories. because the president is at the united nations jen assembly, they will meet on thursday when
the president returns to washington, d.c. convenient. you got to wonder whether team trump even wants to fire rosenstein and potentially open a whole new bunch of obstruction charges, or do they prefer to stick to their strategy of discrediting the investigation? well, so will the president fire rod rosenstein on thursday? will the kavanaugh nomination crash and burn on thursday? and are republicans about to pay a price for the bargain they made with president trump? let's discuss now. cnn's white house correspondent kaitlan collins is here as well as cnn global affairs analyst susan glasser and mark mckinnon, a former adviser to george w. bush and john mccain, who is now executive producer of the circus on showtime sunday nights good evening to one and all. susan, i'm going to start with
you because you say it is not normal to start a monday morning wondering if we're having a constitutional crisis and a confirmation crisis. i happen to think we're already in a constitutional crisis. so talk to us about today's incredible developments. >> well, first of all, don, i think you're right that in many ways the crisis every day, people say is this it? is this the crisis? if trump does "x," if trump does "y," if he fires rosenstein, this is the constitutional crisis. but arguably it's been going on ever since january of 2017 in the sense you have a president who is willing to challenge any number of norms. and so it's left us guessing much of the time. but even by those standards today was a pretty crazy day. we can all agree upon that. i think it took two hour and 40 minutes. that's what the post reported between the initial reports that rosenstein was preparing to offer his resignation or did offer his resignation to the white house chief of staff. and when sarah sanders put out that statement saying, well, let
adjust put this on hold until thursday. scenes of chaos and uncertainty that are reminder to me, we really have a government by just one person, the president at this point. there is no such thing really is a regular order because even trump's own advisers are very uncertain as to what the president is actually going to do at any given moment. it makes it very hard for them obviously to run the country when they don't know. so the president is 250 miles away in new york, meeting with world leaders gathered for the annual u.n. general assembly. they must be thinking, look at the united states in this, you know, political chaos, internally divided, inward-looking. the message it sends about america's leadership in the world is something really quite remarkable, i think. >> a sight to behold. mark, what happens if the president does fire rosenstein on thursday? what happens? >> well, the larger perception will be that all hell breaks loose because there's the
broader perception that this is the first domino to fall, and the ultimate dominoes falling means that's the end of the mueller investigation. now, there are plenty of people who think that under any circumstance, that that's not going to happen and that people close to bob mueller say he will plant acorns everywhere, believe me, and already has. but, you know, i do think -- i like the cuomo strategy actually. i think the do nothing strategy would be a brilliant move, totally unexpected, dramatic, which trump likes. i think sean hannity, by the way, was suggesting not that it leads to further collusion evidence, but i think he was thinking more about the midterms, that it just throws chaos and uncertainty into the midterms when really a lot of republicans would rather focus on the kavanaugh nomination. it just -- republicans have enough trouble right now with the midterms and just throwing that uncertainty into the mix is a gamble i don't think a lot of republicans would like to take right now. why not wait until after the midterms? >> this thursday on the reality tv network, will the president
fire -- i mean that's what it sounds like. >> showdown at the ok corral. >> tune in on thursday night at 10:00 if you're going to do it. kaitlan, rosenstein's job has really been in jeopardy today. but today's summoning to the white house, it set washington on edge. what's going on behind the scenes? could the thursday meeting with the president -- could that be it for rosenstein, you think? >> well, that's the question. what happened today didn't resolve that question. it just simply postponed it for a few more days until the president returns from new york. but, don, i can't overstate the chaos that was in the west wing or among senior officials this morning after it was reported about rosenstein offering to resign to john kelly because it really set off this mad dash to figure out what it was that had happened, what conversations had transpired, and that is why we didn't see the white house respond with any kind of statement for hours. that is why you saw no press secretary coming out and saying, this isn't true. this hasn't happened. it's because they themselves were trying to figure out what happened. part of that is because john kelly, the chief of staff, is
here in washington. president trump hasn't been here since on thursday because he was traveling last week, then was in new jersey, now is in new york this week. but what we do know is that rod rosenstein simply miscalculated just how angry he believed the president was going to be to that "new york times" reporting. whenever they had reached out for comment, he essentially, of course, as you noted -- their reason has been pretty bad before to where the president openly talked about firing him. so when this story came out, the natural prediction was that president trump would be so angry that his deputy attorney general had floated the idea of wearing a wire to meet with him, that he would fire him. so rod rosenstein was prepared. he offered his resignation. he said he was willing to quit. john kelly was under the impression that he had accepted his resignation, and ha is what led and jump-started all the chaos that happened today. of course, president trump wasn't actually as angry as people thought. on friday, he did ask people, should i fire this guy? what should i do? we saw him make that comment at the rally about a lingering stench. but really, don, over the weekend, president trump was
much more preoccupied with what was happening with brett kavanaugh and the drama surrounding his nomination than he was with rod rosenstein. and that's not what rose nlstein saw coming, which is what led to so much of that chaos today. >> well, he's stood behind brett kavanaugh saying, you know, he's a good man. this is a smear campaign. so you set me up because we're going to talk about that when we come back. when we come back, i want to talk about the other big drama that has the white house and capitol hill in turmoil. that's what kaitlan just mentioned. judge brett kavanaugh trying to save his supreme court bid. he tried to make his case on television tonight, but was he really speaking to just one person, the president? minimums and fees.
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judge brett kavanaugh fighting to keep his supreme court bid alive tonight in the face of serious accusations against him by christine blasey ford who says he sexually assaulted her at a party when they were both teenager and by deborah ramirez who told the new yorker that kavanaugh engaged innive appropriate sexual behavior when they were both students at yale. cnn so far has not spoken to anyone who is willing to corroborate her story. back with me now is kaitlan collins, susan glasser, and mark mckinnon. kaitlan, since you mentioned this brett kavanaugh thing before, let's talk about it. but let's watch him defending himself on fox news earlier tonight. >> the truth is i've never sexually assaulted anyone in high school or otherwise. i am not questioning and have
not questioned that perhaps dr. ford at some point in her life was sexually assaulted by someone in some place. but what i know is i've never sexually assaulted anyone. >> unprecedented, kaitlan, the very fact that he did this interview. i mean that's unprecedented, isn't it? >> it is. even when clarence thomas was aaccused of sexually harszing anita hill and there was that drama testimony on capitol hill, he never did an interview until a month after he was confirmed during that vote to supreme court. so we are seeing something totally extraordinary here. that is why so many people commented on the fact. what this shows us is just how concerned the white house and judge kavanaugh truly are about this nomination because last week when we had just this one accusation from professor ford, the white house's response was, let's hear her. let's hear what she has to say, but let's also let brett kavanaugh defend himself. today we saw that media strategy completely shift after that allegation in "the new yorker" came out, and that started with kellyanne conway this morning
saying this was a left-wing conspiracy. then we saw snot majority leader mitch mcconnell come out, say this is going to be brought to a vote. then even president trump saying this is all political, he thinks, and that people are coming out of the woodwork to accuse brett kavanaugh of these things. what we are seeing is the white house shift their strategy to more of an offensive one. that is why they had brett kavanaugh come out to do this interview to defend himself, something he did not seem prepared to do last week, but with this allegation, we saw that strategy do a 180 today. >> mark, you heard what kaitlan just said. it shows you how seriously they're taking it. would this even be happening if they didn't think his confirmation was in serious trouble? >> no, i don't think so, don. but i do think that it's a smart thing to do, and i think they were kind of caught on their heels last week. i think when you have a good witness, go ahead and get him out there as much as you can. i saw the interview tonight. i thought kavanaugh did very well. you know, it's odd and unusual that it was narrow cast. it's not unusual give the
culture we're in today, but 20 years ago you would have done that on all the broadcast networks and on cnn. and i thought he was pretty compelling. so i think actually it's a good strategy by the white house right now. i'm one of the few republicans that actually think overtime would be good rather than trying to run out the clock which everybody else is trying to do and rush the vote. i think that could be a short term win. you get kavanaugh, but that's a long-term loss for the republican party as people look at that and think it was politically rushed through because you didn't give witnesses time to testify. friends of mine on the hill have been saying, we want the facts. if you want the facts, he said swlash she said testimony doesn't provide the facts. so that in the course of this, you not only make the right judgment because the rest of the country will say they ghaf it time, they looked for the facts and they gave it a full hearing. >> susan, christine blasey ford alleges he sexually assaulted
her. this was at a party. this is more of what kavanaugh had to say about that. watch this. >> i was never at any such party. the other people who are alleged to be present have said they do not remember any such party. a woman who was present, another woman who was present who is dr. ford's lifelong friend, has said she doesn't know me and never remembers being at a party with me at any time in her life. >> so that's pretty much he's categorically denying all the allegations because a woman said he didn't -- she didn't know him, and she doesn't remember. she doesn't say it didn't happen, but does this help him or hurt him going into thursday? >> well, first of all, don, important point. he left out the other part of her statement, which is that she believes dr. ford if this is what dr. ford recalls. so that's one important thing. you know, i think it probably made sense in the current political atmosphere where you have kavanaugh essentially acting like a political
candidate in a way that we've never seen someone up for a supreme court seat act before. but this is such a politicized time. essentially he's appealing to republican senators and to republican voters. it's very clear that they've given up to a large extent on the vote of democrats, even democrats from red states. initially they thought that they might get several -- even as many as four or five democratic votes in favor of kavanaugh. i think once the allegations emerged last week, it was clear that those democrats had a clear-cut reason not to vote for kavanaugh anymore. so now it's a much more partisan confirmation strategy than originally, and they're playing to keep republicans together. but of course what are we sacrificing here is any pretense of a real investigation or an effort to actually get to the truth of what happened. and so you have kavanaugh in this interview over and over again, he said 14 different
times -- someone counted 14 times he talked about wanting to have a fair process, and yet there's no process at all except that he says something, and she says something. there are no other witnesses. there's no independent investigation of this. so the entire public is going to be left going through this wrenching political debate without ever any even hope of hoping to get to the bottom of it. >> that's as of now. but as you know -- >> as of now. >> things sometimes take a u-turn, do a 180 here. so, listen, thank you, kaitlan. thank you, susan, and a man of many hats, mark mckinnon, who is -- oh, there he is. look, you come through for me. there you go. thank you, guys. when we come back, is the russia investigation in jeopardy? i'm going to ask former director of national intelligence james clapper what he thinks the possible exit of rod rosenstein could mean for team mueller. each of us is different. and each cancer is different. how it reacts, how it evades and adapts. and how we attack it.
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cnn has learned that deputy attorney general rod rosenstein discussed whether he should step down with both white house chief of staff john kelly and white house counsel don mcgahn after that "new york times" bombshell report alleged rosenstein suggested secretly taping the president and invoking the 25th amendment to remove him from office. so the deputy attorney general is probably not feeling really optimistic about his meeting with president trump on thursday. but for now anyway, rosenstein is still at the doj and still in charge of the russia investigation. the question is for how long, though, and what happens to the special counsel if rosenstein leaves? i want to bring in now cnn national security analyst james clapper, the former director of national intelligence. good evening, sir -- or good afternoon from australia.
good to have you on. so, director clapper, the deputy attorney general and the president, they're expected to meet on thursday. do you think president trump is going to fire him? >> i don't think so, don. i think this could possibly be nothing more than perhaps an air clearing. that's the good news. i think, though, the fact that they're having this meeting is yet another indicator that i think rod rosenstein's days are numbered. at some point, he is going to leave. i think a logical -- maybe the most elegant outcome of all this would be agreement to leave after the mueller investigation is over. now, i may be being an unrealistic optimist here. >> listen, this is what jerry nadler said. he's a house democrat. he told my colleague kate bolduan that we're watching a slow motion saturday night
massacre. what do you think of that? >> well, you know, we've been saying that for some time. that's not the first time someone has said that. every time there's some revelation about the president's desire or intent to fire -- and then you can fill in the blank -- and so far that hasn't happened. you know what i would hope, again, being unrealistic maybe, is it's really in the president's best interest to see this thing to a conclusion. by "this thing," i mean the mueller investigation. so even if rod rosenstein leaves, of course that sets up a set of complexities occasioned by what's known as the vacancy reform act, which is an ambiguous piece of legislation. and then, you know, a key thing here would be who might replace rosenstein if he is, in fact, fired or resigned, and that is important as we saw during the
turnover at the veterans administration, you know, just what that reading is. but, really, as i've said this before, there is a huge cloud hanging over this president, this presidency, this administration, and, for that matter, over the nation, which i think can only be resolved by mueller completing his investigation, whenever that happens. and it shouldn't be aborted because if it is, that cloud will stay there for the rest of this president's time in office. >> do you think he's close to completion? >> that's a good question h.. i don't know. just watching this where you start out at the outer periphery and work in closer and closer to the inner circle, if you believe that has a bearing on the timing and tenor of this investigation, well, i would say he's closer to
the end than he is to the beginning. and in the larger scheme of things, this investigation hasn't gone on all that long in com pa comparison to others. >> especially when you consider the benghazi investigation and other investigations that went on for years. that was a very diplomatic answer. he's closer to the end than he is the beginning. i like that. but i want to ask you about a particular strategy that the top-ranking democrat on the house intelligence committee, congressman adam schiff. here's what tweeted. rosen sign should continue to do his job, and if the president intends to obstruct justice, force trump to fire him. do you agree with that advice or strategy? >> i'm sorry, don. i didn't hear that. could you just repeat the last line. >> yeah. i'll read the whole thing. it's short. it says, rosenstein should continue to do his job, protect the independence of the doj, and if the president intends to obstruct justice, force trump to fire him.
>> well, wow. i have great respect for adam schiff. he's a stalwart, but i'm not sure i understand the logic of what he's suggesting there. that -- for me, that would be a take-home question. >> i gotcha. i think he's saying if you -- i think he's basically saying call him at his bluff, and he's calling it obstruction of justice if he -- you know, if he continues to meddle in the investigation or if he fires him, he's saying it's -- it's obstruction of justice. >> well, yeah, that -- you could certainly make a case for that, and adam's a former prosecutor. and so he's a better judge of what constitutes obstruction than i am. and of course there are -- depending on your point of view here, obviously there are other things that have happened that could be construed as
obstruction. i'm saying that as a layman. and i suppose if rosenstein were fired, you know, that could be the case. now, if rosenstein ostensibly, in air quotes, voluntarily resigns, then maybe that's -- you know, that casts a different light on this issue. >> i think that might be tough because then he gets to determine what he can and cannot say. if they fire him, maybe they can set the terms. maybe if he just quits, he'll say, look, i can say what i want. i'm a free agent. who knows? who knows? who knows? thank you. >> exactly. >> go on. >> well, no. you're right. i'm just agreeing with you. all kinds of combinations of permutations here depending on whether he resigns or is fired. >> enjoy your time down under. gid day, mate. always a pleasure. >> gid day, mate. thanks, don. when we come back, is the republican party in denial?
one of my next guests say the gop may not really want to get the truth about the russia investigation and about the allegations against judge kavanaugh. two giants of journalism, carl bernstein, dan rather. they join me next. i get it all the time. "have you lost weight?" of course i have- ever since i started renting from national. because national lets me lose the wait at the counter... ...and choose any car in the aisle. and i don't wait when i return, thanks to drop & go. at national, i can lose the wait...and keep it off. looking good, patrick. i know. (vo) go national. go like a pro.
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to plant trees in our communities. so the environment is there for my kids and future generations. together, we're building a better california. judge brett kavanaugh tonight fighting back against a claim of sexual misconduct when he was at yale, and the allegation of sexual assault when he was a teenager. the sprem court nominee denying both allegations saying he won't be intimidated to withdraw his name. thursday, his first accuser, professor christine blasey ford, will testify publicly before the senate judiciary committee. that is the same day that president trump will meet face to face with rod rosenstein. will trump fire the deputy attorney general, or will rosenstein quit first? two major stories. huge consequences. both coming to a head on thursday. so let's discuss now with two iconic journalists. dan rather, the host of the big interview on access tv, and carl
bernstein, cnn political analyst. good to see both of you. thank you for coming on this evening. so, dan, republican senator susan collins tweeted this today. i am very concerned by reports that deputy a.g. rosenstein will either be fired or forced to resign. so it seems like republicans are very concerned about a variety of things. why aren't they acting on that concern, though? >> well, it's a little lack of courage, but i think we're ahead of ourselves. i will say, don, oscar wild once wrote that the truth is rarely pure and never simple. and so it is with so much in this case, the kavanaugh case, and what's happening with the rosenstein situation. my own guess -- and i am guessing -- i think there's a pretty good chance that president trump will keep rosenstein until after the election. >> yes. >> because he'd be asking for trouble, some within his own party, trouble for the elections.
it makes political sense for donald trump to say, well, rosen 1250i rosenstein's going to stay. and as soon as the midterms are over, whether he keeps the house or loses, the house, he lets him go then. that phrase that was used earlier, saturday night massacre by stealth. slow motion saturday night massacre because let's make no mistake. both of these stories, the rosenstein story and the kavanaugh story, what they're about is president trump's fear. >> yes. >> fear that something's going to be found out criminal about him. so see the overall arc of the story. they're both connected. he chose kavanaugh because of kavanaugh's record of saying, well, he's not so sure a president can be subpoenaed. so kavanaugh is protection for him on the supreme court. and this whole business of should rosenstein stay or go is about trying to strangle the mueller investigation. with the cyclonic motion of news today, it's easy to get that's what this is all about. >> very well stated, mr. rather.
carl, i'm going to bring you in and let you respond. you say that the republican party has shown no interest in learning the truth regarding kavanaugh allegations or the russia investigation for that matter. go on. explain. >> well, i think that's right. i think dan has it exactly right, but let's go to part two of that equation. and that is that the president of the united states has shown repeatedly that he has no interest whatsoever in the truth emerging from either the mueller investigation or the appointment of judge kavanaugh and whether or not these events occurred that have been alleged. and there is a very convenient and effective means to try and get at the truth, and that is legitimate investigation involving the fbi in the case of judge kavanaugh, which the republicans on the hill refuse to allow, which the president is also refusing to endorse. and similarly, we know from the
people closest to the president of the united states, he intends to shut down the mueller investigation to whatever extent he possibly can when the midterms are over. so what we have is a president of the united states who is determined to suppress the truth and to see that the institutions of our government that are charged with getting the truth -- the department of justice -- that those institutions fail because of his own selfish interest above those of the truth and the national interest. that's what all of this is about. there's a cold civil war. you and i have talked about this a good bit going on, and right now we see the two great battles of the so-called civil war, the antidem and get he'sburg as it were coming forward in these two events. >> dan, can we go back to something you touched on a
little bit because you talked about the slow saturday night massacre. there have been a lot of, you know, parallels and people have been making parallels to this, talking about them at least, to this and watergate. do you agree with that? >> well, there certainly is a lot of similarities between what happened with the widespread criminal conspiracy led by president nixon, which was eventually exposed. >> but did nixon see everything -- to your point you said, and this is sort of narcissistic behavior. everything and everyone is a reflection of you, especially if it doesn't go right. was nixon that same kind of person? >> no. there are some similarities in their personality, which is that each of them -- i'll say this gently -- had a strong strain of paranoia. but president nixon was -- had a much broader and deeper intellect than president trump, and that's not necessarily an insult because nixon was a very experienced politician, and he was basically a smart person. but where they're similar is
president nixon, he didn't want to just beat his political opponents. he wanted to destroy them. and the same way with donald trump. in that case, they are similar. but, you know, this is a different time here in the second decade of the 21st century. and the country has changed a lot. you know, in these theories of evolution, we talk about what happened to the dinosaurs. they were yesterday's animal, and they got to be extinct. if the republican party isn't careful, that's what's going to happen to them because they may be able to push through the kavanaugh -- railroad through the kavanaugh nomination with the older white men who have the power. but this can't last because america is changing. for example, when clarence thomas got approved, when the anita hill case in the early 1990s, one of the things going for thomas is so many people of african-american heritage were pulling for thomas. they're not pulling for
kavanaugh. >> you want to talk about that, carl, because my question too, carl, is what has happened to the republican party? i try to understand and figure it out every day, and i just don't get it. i don't know what happened to them. >> well, i think the republican party right now has been captured by donald trump. it's moved rightward for the last 20, 25 years. and trump embodies a lot of things that those who call themselves republicans want to see happen in this country, and he's taken issues of race, of immigration, anger at the elites. he's been very smart about the way he's done it -- the president, and the way he campaigned. he won the presidency by following his own instincts. but the result is he is president of his base. he is not president of the people of this country in any
united way. and what we're seeing right now is an attempt to win the midterm elections through his base as a means of staying in power. it's not at all clear he's going to succeed. but what's also clear is the demographics of the country are changing, and that base is not reflective of the larger america. and that base is actually a smaller and smaller part of the larger america. but in the interim, donald trump has raised the temperature of this cold civil war to the point of ignition, and he's done it by obliterating a regard for truth, for competence, what we see in the bob woodward, what we see indeed in what rod rosenstein is supposed to have said about needing the 25th amendment. rosenstein, we know from inside, was horrified at what he was seeing regardless of whether he
was joking or not. just as bob woodward's book goes to the question of the competence and coherence of this presidency and the president, this is what rosenstein was addressing, half-jokingly or not. so it's not to be dismissed what he said about the 25th amendment. >> yeah. >> to the constitution. >> yeah. even with the denial. i've got to run, though, carl. >> it has some relevance to what we've heard in the last two weeks. >> thank you, carl. thank you, dan. i appreciate it. >> don't forget tomorrow is voter -- national voter registration day. >> thank you, sir. it's always a pleasure. a roommate of judge kavanaugh joins us next. buy it once and buy it well. the men who know things know this. worthwhile and well made are the qualities that attract them. because they know that a sea of mediocre will never yield an ounce of great. we understand these men - we make their shoes.
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brett kavanaugh making an extraordinary move trying to save his supreme court nomination tonight. going on fox news to deny allegations of sexual assault and sexual misconduct. kavanaugh cited friends and colleagues who attest to his character as evidence in his favor. joining me now is mark osler, professor of law at the university of st. thomas and a classmate of brett kavanaugh at yale law school. thank you for joining me. and i identified you as a roommate, former roommate, but you're not. you're a former classmate with the judge. so good evening. tell me, how do you know brett kavanaugh? >> well, we were classmates back in law school. yale law has small classes. about 160 people at that time. and so pretty much everybody knew one another. and i did run in some of the same social circles that brett did. i knew him. we were on law journal together. he was a face i saw quite a bit. >> yeah. the reason i had roommate on the
brain, because i had just read this. right? this is from mark kavanaugh's freshman roommate. james roche. also happens to know his accuser debra ramirez. here's what he says. he's out way statement. he says, "although brett was normally reserved, he was a notably heavy drinker. he became aggressive and belligerent when he was very drunk. based on my time with debbie, i cannot imagine her making this up. based on my time with brett, i believe he and his social circle were capable of actions that debris described." so listen, he was at yale as an underground, ant yale law like you but did you ever hear anything about the allegations made against kavanaugh now? >> i did not. i did not then and i haven't sensed that until now. that doesn't mean they're not true. the fact i haven't heard those. but i can't say that i had. >> you and your law school
classmates, you signed a letter supporting his nomination to the supreme court, but you say you would not sign that letter now. why is that? >> first i want to say why i signed it in the first place. the letter sets out, and i think this is fair, that there's a lot of things that brett kavanaugh believes legally and politically that i don't agree with, that other signatories didn't agree with. we thought he was qualified to be on the court. it appears that there's facts we didn't know, that have not been fully investigated. and certainly what dr. ford has come forward with is part of the story that needs to be examined. and so if someone sent me a letter like that right now, despite the truth of the fact that his qualifications from the bench are fine, i would not sign that letter. >> this is before these allegations came out that you signed that letter. >> yes. it's also before the hearings. >> before the hearings. so now you say no. >> yes. >> got you. you were a former federal
prosecutor. right? what do you think an investigation of the allegations, what would it look like? >> i think the fbi is very good at this kind of investigation because what needs to be looked for is corroborating information that corroborates dr. ford's story or possibly brett kavanau kavanaugh's story. the fbi would go out and conduct interviews. that's what they're trained in. that's what they do. the people who are there. and not just the people who are there but the people around and close to those individuals at that time. for example, i don't know if dr. ford's parents are alive. that's typically someone who might be talked to. was her behavior different? did she change? was something troubling her? or did she seem happy that whole year? either way, that's something that's going to tend to show one story or the other more likely to be true. >> hey, i've got about 20 seconds -- >> take the time to do that. >> i've got about 20 seconds left. but i'm going to be honest and tell our viewers, in the break you said man, i wish we were
talking about something that was better for the country and that educated the country. i'm paraphrasing here. than what we're talking about now. why did you say that? >> because i think criminal law reform, clemency reform is a vital issue that needs to be addressed. i wish that we had a better process for getting through things like this and addressing it so that we could be focused on those things that are also going to be deeply meaningful. >> thank you, sir. i appreciate you joining me. >> all right. thank you. >> when we come back, is robert mueller going to be the next one out if rod rosenstein leaves the justice department? you've got to hear what the president's lawyer said about this. got directions to the nightclub here. and if you get lost, just hit me on the old horn. man: tom's my best friend, but ever since he bought a new house... tom: it's a $10 cover? oh, okay.
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