tv Situation Room With Wolf Blitzer CNN October 1, 2018 3:00pm-4:00pm PDT
probe of frrk, suggestibrett ka. we're learning more about brett kavanaugh as agents started questioning a key witness, mark judge viciously and violently. that's how mr. trump is portraying the democrat's treat of brett kavanaugh, saying the judge suffered trauma without mentioning what his accusers went through. crossing a new line implying he has compromising information about a member of the opposition party. sparring with the press, in an off-the-rail news conference, the president refused to talk about kavanaugh then unloaded. did he do his nominee more harm than good in his newest attempt to defend him. putin's pin-up pictures. the russian president is a star of a new calendar aimed at showing his tough and sensitive sides. how are the kremlin's chief poses playing in moscow? we want to welcome our viewers
in the united states and around the world. i'm wolf blitzer. you're in "the situation room." ♪ this is "cnn breaking news." >> we're following breaking news on the scope of the new investigation of the supreme court nominee brett kavanaugh. a white house official tells cnn the administration has made it clear to the fbi that agents are not limited in how many witnesses they can question about allegations of past sexual assault by kavanaugh. president trump insisting he wants a comprehensive but quick investigation during a news conference on trade that veered wildly off message. mr. trump suggesting kavanaugh had, quote, difficulty with drinking in his youth, contradicting his nominee's depiction of his alcohol use. i'll get reaction from democratic senator bon menendez. our correspondents and analysts are standing by. first to our white house correspondent, kaitlan collins.
kaitlan, the president initially refused to talk about kavanaugh earlier in the day, but all of a sudden he let lose. >> reporter: that's right, wolf. he was resistant at taking any questions on kavanaugh at first, saying instead he wanted to stay focused on the topic at hand, but then the question about brett kavanaugh and the drama surrounding his nomination kept on coming and president trump's own frustration with the whole process and how it has played out also showed through. tonight a white house official saying the fbi is not limited in their background investigation of president trump's supreme court nominee brett kavanaugh. president trump making that clear in the rose garden today. >> i want them to do a very comprehensive investigation. i want it to be done quickly. >> reporter: strtrump stating h fine with kavanaugh being interviewed by the fbi. >> i think so. i think it is fine if they do. i don't know. that's up to them. >> reporter: this after democrats spent the weekend complaining that the white house is trying to limit the scope of the investigation.
>> i think the fbi should interview anybody that they want within reason. >> reporter: kavanaugh is now being accused of lying about his drinking habits by a former yale classmate who says he wasn't honest when he testified in front of congress. asked today if he will pull kavanaugh's nomination if it is proven he lied, trump said -- >> i was surprised at how vocal he was about the fact that he likes beer and he's had a little bit of difficulty. i mean he talked about things that happened when he drank. >> reporter: trump adding he was impressed by kavanaugh's candor but not answering the question. >> this is not a man that said that alcohol was -- that he was perfect with respect to alcohol. >> reporter: but kavanaugh never described difficulty with drinking, and instead attempted to down play his consumption, characterizing it as normal. >> i liked beer. i still like beer. but i the not drink beer to the
point of blacking out. >> reporter: trump, instead, turning to his own sobriety today. >> i can honestly say i never had a beer in my life, okay. it is one of my only good traits. can you imagine if i had what a mess i'd be? >> reporter: trump also suggesting that democratic senators who raised questions about kavanaugh's drinking are being hypocritical. >> i happen to know some united states senators, one who is on the other side who's pretty aggressive. i've seen that person in very bad situations. >> reporter: the white house has given the fbi a week to investigate kavanaugh, and trump says he's keeping an open mind depending on what they find. >> certainly if they find something, i'm going to take that into consideration. >> reporter: today's rose garden event was supposed to be a victory lap for the president's new trade agreement with mexico and canada, but trump initially refused to even take questions on the kavanaugh drama. >> do you have a question on trade? we're on trade.
>> want several questions -- excuse me. don't do that. do you have a question on trade? >> reporter: so, wolf, today the president saying that the fbi should interview anyone they deem necessary, but saying that the third woman who has accused brett kavanaugh of sexual misconduct isn't necessary. that would be julie swetnick who he said he just didn't see was credible enough. when the president was asked if there's a plan b for all of this if this nomination is in the end derailed, president trump didn't say no, there wasn't one, but he said he wasn't ready to talk about that yet. wolf. >> kaitlan collins at the white house. thank you. also breaking, cnn confirms the fbi has interviewed multiple witnesses in the kavanaugh investigation. we are told that the interview of mark judge has not been completed. drew griffin is joining us with new details on the fbi probe. tell our viewers what you are learning. >> reporter: cnn has learned
that the fbi has interviewed debbie ramirez along with christine blasey ford's friend leland kaiser and two of kavanaugh's high school friends, b.j. smith, and of course mark judge, the big news today. the question is if the fbi is interested in interviewing several people that dispute his claims about his drinking habits. the night they say they're not limiting fbi agents in the investigation, but the fbi is concentrating on four key witnessed, singled out by republican senators, p.j. smith, leland keyser and mark judge, who were all at the party where christine blasey ford says she was attacked, and they're investigating a second accuser, deb ee ramirez, who came forward with a second allegation from college. the most important is judge, brett kavanaugh's high school friend who put his own hard-partying exploits in a book called "wasted" and posted this
of georgetown prep. >> let me tell you something interesting. i spent a lot of time in the dean of students office. >> reporter: while judge admitted to heavy drinking in high school, he sever he never saw kavanaugh act in the manner dr. ford describes. no other witnesses have corroborated ford's story. the fbi has already interviewed debbie ramirez who claims kavanaugh in a drunker stupor flashed her at a college party. no other witnesses call recall that event either. at the center of both, allegations of excessive high school and college drinking which under oath judge kavanaugh dispute it, saying it was never out of control. >> have you ever passed out from drinking? >> i've -- passed out would be, no, but i've gone to sleep, but i've never blacked out. that's the -- that's the allegation, and that -- that's wrong. >> reporter: in addition to those who say kavanaugh drank too much are a half dozen college and high school
classmates who told cnn they never saw brett kavanaugh drinking to the point of blacking out, never aggressive. that too was contradicted this weekend by former yale classmate chad ludington who released a statement saying in part brett was a frequent drinking and a heavy drinker. i know because especially in our first two years of college i often drank with him. he he goes on to write, when brett got drunk he was often belligerent and aggressive. the yale roommates of debbie ramirez say they also saw brett kavanaugh drink heavily in college. >> he was a sloppy drunk. he was more interested in impressing the boys than the girls. i never saw him be sexually aggressive but he was definitely sloppy drunk. >> i was witness to the night he got tapped into that fraternity and he was stumbling drunk in a ridiculous costume saying really dumb things, and i can almost
guarantee that there's no way he remembers that night. >> reporter: no one cnn has contacted claims to be a witness to aggressive sexual behavior or even unwanted sexual advances. the issue for some is his drinking and whether kavanaugh told the truth to congress or tried to disguise a history of getting drunk. on cbs's "60 minutes" sunday night, arizona republican senator jeff flake who asked for the new fbi probe on friday made it clear where his critical vote stands. >> if judge kavanaugh is shown to have lied to the committee, nomination is over? >> oh, yes. >> reporter: wolf, based on the short list of witnesses, the fbi is interviewing, it does not appear kavanaugh's drinking habits and if he told the whole truth about it are even being looked at. wolf. >> drew griffin reporting for us. drew, thank you. even as the fbi investigation plays out, senate republican leader mitch mcconnell is gearing up for a final vote on brett kavanaugh's
nomination, promising it will happen this week. let's bring in our congressional phil, both parties are trying to set the stage for whatever the fbi probe does or doesn't turn up. >> reporter: yeah, that's exactly right. but, wolf, you may a key point. the senate majority leader says in matter what is coming the senate is moving forward. as you noted, mitch mcconnell saying there will be a vote this week and that's reflective of the broad base of the republican party in the senate. most of them are ready to move forward, but not all. i think that's the key point here. the three senators that essentially helped launch the fbi investigation, wolf, i'm told behind the scenes they have been in repeated contact with the white house over the course of the last couple of days and were in part responsible for the shifts on the white house's strategy in terms of the scope of the investigation. susan collins now saying she is comfortable that she was heard and the investigation is going to provide the information senators need to make up their mind. now, wolf, it is key here that this investigation is not just about republicans but it is also about the democrats as well, and
senator chuck schumer, the democratic leader, is trying to lay down guidelines of his own. both parties agreed this will be one week long, democrats agree with that as well, but they want specific witnesses called. they want specific briefings from the fbi when that investigation comes back. i think the big question now is the way senators are going to find out about this. wolf, this gets a little bit technical but it is also going to become very important in a couple of days. the way this actually works is once the fbi finishes their interview process and files their forms, it gets sent to the white house. the white house then sends it to the senate where it is added to brett kavanaugh's background investigation. then and only then can senators go look at that information. most of them with no staff. that information is not allowed to become public. so when schumer asks for a briefing, when democrats want a rundown exactly of what has been found, that will be different from the norm. one of the key questions right now is how are senators going to find out this information and will any of this information become public. those will be key components of what happens over the next
couple of days. one thing to keep in mind, wolf, while majority leader mcconnell has made clear senate republicans are moving forward, they also know for a fact at this point in time they don't have the votes. they feel like the investigation will give them the grounds to have those votes, to be able to move brett kavanaugh's nomination forward, but there is a lot of we don't know what's coming next. that, wolf, is entirely up to what the fbi finds. >> we'll find out sooner rather than later. phil mattingly, thank you very much. joining us now, one of the 100 u.s. senators set to vote on brett kavanaugh's nomination, senator bob menendez. he is a democrat, a member of the foreign relations committee. thanks for joining us. >> good to be with you, wolf. >> from your perspective, what needs to happen for you to trust the findings of this fbi investigation this week? >> well, wolf, it needs to be a full, thorough investigation. i mean, look, this investigation should have been called for before -- once the allegations were already raised by dr. ford, and anything that followed on.
so there isn't a cinderella moment here. nothing is going to happen to the supreme court. the republicans held up a seat when justice scalia passed away for nearly a year. so there is no reason to ram this through. there is every reason for the integrity of the court, for all of those who are sexual assault survivors and even for judge kavanaugh if he wants to have an opportunity to truly know what it is that transpired and he doesn't fear anything, he knows all of the truth, then the truth would set him free. that means that there should be a full investigation of all of the allegations that have been raised and whatever other witnesses follow on as a result of the discussion or the interviews of those witnesses. >> well, did your colleague, senator dianne feinstein, the ranking member on committee, make a mistake two mont ahs ago when she learned about the
allegation and decided not to go to the fbi on a confidential basis to check it out? >> no, i think she was honoring dr. ford's request at the time for privacy. you know, when someone comes forward with one of the most searing moments in their life, something that is as consequential in their lives as what dr. ford -- and i believe dr. ford. i must say, i saw her testimony, i thought she was humble, she was transparent, she was powerfully honest at the end, even trying to help where her memory wasn't totally, you know, accessible in terms of remembering exact facts, talking about how they could, in fact, if they investigated try to supplement her memory. so this is a woman who has nothing to gain by what she's done. so i believe her, and at the end of the day she's the one who asked for fbi investigations. every time brett kavanaugh was asked about fbi investigations he wouldn't embrace the concept. you got to wonder who is really telling the truth. i think she is. >> do you agree with most of the
democratic members of the judiciary committee who are calling on the fbi to interview 24 people and entities on their list? >> i do. i think there -- there is no reason this arbitrary, capricious, you know, ramming it through -- which has been the whole history of this -- >> senator, i want you to hold on for a moment. a friend of brett kavanaugh's is speaking to reporters in north carolina right now. he went to yale university with him. this is chad lumington. >> i do not believe that heavy drinking or even loudish behavior of an 18 or even 21-year old should condemn a person for the rest of his life. i would be a hypocrite to think so. however, i have direct repeated knowledge about brett's drinking and his disposition while drunk. i do believe that brett's actions as a 53-year-old federal judge mattered. if he lied about his past
actions on national television and more especially while speaking under oath in front of the united states senate, i believe those lies should have consequences. it is truth that is at stake, and i believe that the ability to speak the truth, even when it does not reflect well upon one's self, is a paramount quality we seek in our nation's most powerful judges. i can unequivocally say that in denying the possibility that he ever black out from drinking and in downplaying the degree and frequency of his drinking brett has not told the truth. i felt it was my civic duty to tell of my experience while drinking with brett, and i offer this statement to the press. i have no desire to speak further publicly and nothing more to say to the press at this time. i will, however, take my information to the fbi and on that note i contacted the fbi -- contacted me this morning, i contacted them. i have received the form.
i filled it out with the details, but i can't give those to anybody right now. thank you very much. >> -- roommate said he never saw him blackout, he was with him when he got home at night and saw him when he woke up. your response to that? >> i unfortunately believe that my -- probably now ex-friend is lying. >> could you restate your first sentence again? i'm having a problem on the microphone there. >> my first sentence? >> the first two sentences. >> i do not believe that heavy drinking or even loudish behavior of an 18 or even 21-year old should condemn a person for the rest of his life. i would be a hypocrite to think so. >> what specifically did he testify to that you believe is a lie? >> i have seen brett drunk to the point he could easily be passed out. >> but you never saw him passed out? >> no, i never saw him passed out, but i saw him quite drunk.
he saw me quite drunk. >> and he testified that he did drink and wasn't proud of everything. >> he did, but he also downplayed to a great degree the pon possibility that he could ever not know what was going on. >> so you are saying there are omissions? >> i'm saying there were omissions. there are certainly many times when he would not remember what was going on. >> has anyone at the fbi told you they want the hear from you? >> all right. so there you heard chad ludington, who knew brett kavanaugh when they were both students, freshman, sophomore year at yale university. chad ludington is now a professor at north carolina state university. you heard his statement, suggesting that brett kavanaugh during his sworn testimony before the senate judiciary committee was not telling the truth when he suggested, when he said he never black out. we're going to bring the senator back in a moment, but let me bring in evan perez and phil mudd to get their reaction.
phil mudd, you used to work at the fbi. what is your reaction to what this professor now says, that he doesn't trust -- in effect he doesn't trust the judge because he lied? >> let's make very clear about the difference between what the senators have to look at, whether they see an air gap from what they're hearing from friends, what they heard from brett kavanaugh and what the fbi is up to. one of the things i could see coming up is what were the circumstances at those parties or events, was there drinking, but i don't think the fbi is going out there trying to figure out whether brett kavanaugh was a drinker at high school or college parties unless it relates to the ongoing allegations about sexual misconduct. i think we have to keep those separate. >> what did you think, evan? >> look, i think this is a problem. i think people close to brett kavanaugh's team know that this is a problem. you have noticed in the past hour the white house put out a statement from people who are trying to back up brett kavanaugh's version of -- his account of his drinking and how far he went in that.
that tells us that they know that there's an issue here. again, this is a political process. this is not so much a legal process. what the fbi is doing is obviously trying to do a background investigation, but this -- you should not divorce it from the politics, and the politics here are very, very important. even before the judge testified, i think there were people who were uncomfortable with his categorical statement about the fact that he had ever black out. i mean, you know, witness -- when you prepare a witness, you often want them to just avoid making such categorical statements. i think people -- most of the kavanaugh team knew that that fox interview could present an issue, and i think is where it is coming back. >> let's bring in jeffrey toobin, our chief legal analyst. jeffrey, you heard chad ludington say that he doesn't think he told the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth basically before the senate judiciary committee when he said he never passed out. in his testimony he said he did get drunk, he fell asleep, but
he denied he ever, quote, passed out. >> well, the complexity of this situation is that the drinking is really relevant to the question of sexual assault. it is not an offense in and of itself. so the senators are going to have to decide is this a relevant fact to consider whether he was involved in the sexual assault or -- because the difference between having -- kavanaugh having admitted having drunk too much sometimes and what the -- and what the friend said today, i mean it is somewhat significant but that in itself i'm not sure is going to be enough to persuade any senators this was an outright lie at the hearing. >> yeah. and gloria is with us as well. what was your reaction, gloria? >> well, my reaction was that the white house put out these statements saying that basically chad ludington was wrong and that ludington came out and
said, i wasn't wrong, although he stopped just short if i'm not mistaken of saying that he had actually witnessed him blackout. >> he said he didn't. >> right. so what he's trying to prove is that kavanaugh lied to the committee basically. >> right. and keep in mind, lack of candor is an important issue. >> yes. >> it is an important issue for lawyers, certainly an important issue for a judge. and if you take a couple of steps back here, there's the former deputy fbi director, andy mccabe, who got fired from his job for lack of candor and is now -- may well be charged by the fbi. keep in mind there's a lot of other issues here that the fbi and everybody involved has to pay attention to. >> let me get senator bob menendez' reaction. senator, you are one of 100 senators that later this week if all goes according to mitch mcconnell's plan you are going to have to vote yay or nay. i know you're going to vote against confirmation. what was your reaction to what we heard from his yale university classmate? >> it made the case whey a full
thorough investigation is necessary. it goes to credibility and his honesty before the committee. if in fact he was an excessive drinker to the point he says he would fall asleep but not blackout and maybe he blacked out, maybe some of the other incidents are true. i think it goes to the razor essence of why a full and thorough investigation is necessary. but we have the republican leader in the senate ramming this through. they tried to get it through even before jeff flake finally raised the concern about having an fbi review. now before we even have the fbi review mcconnell has said he's going to have a vote. this is just simply not the way that we appoint someone for a lifetime position to the highest court in the land that will make crucial decisions that affect all of us. the supreme court deserves much better than this. >> senator menendez, thank you so much for joining us. >> thank you. sabrina is with us as well. this is a sensitive issue
because you heard jeff flake say, among others, if in fact he lied under oath before the senate judiciary committee that's the end of the game as far as he's concerned. >> absolutely. you have two different portraits of brett kavanaugh that have emerged. there's his version of his youth where he says occasionally he had a couple too many beers but he never engaged in any form of excessive drinking, but you had multiple former classmates, some of whom were friends with brett kavanaugh, say otherwise, that there were times where he really did drink to excess. i think it is important because people like senator flake as well as susan collins and lisa murkowski are looking for some of those discrepancies in kavanaugh's testimony. i think if there's anything that's going to change their mind at this stage, it is going to be that they do believe that he lied or misled the senate judiciary committee while under oath. some people say that the drinking isn't really relevant to the case, but that is very much central to the allegations, that he was inebriated at the time and perhaps it would make his account less credible if, in fact, there was reason to
believe that he's the one who may have had a memory lapse, not dr. christine blasey ford. >> but is it really fair -- >> go ahead. >> but is it really fair to judge kavanaugh that he says, i drank to excess sometimes, the friend says, well, he was really drunk sometimes. is that a meaningful distinction that shows he was lying? i mean i don't think it is. i mean, you know, it is a difference in emphasis, but i -- you know, i just think in fairness if that's the biggest discrepancy, that seems fairly minor to me. >> i think the question he was specifically asked was whether or not he drank to the point that he blarkcked out and i thi that's what he denied when he was testifying. the question is does he perhaps remember some of the alleged incidents that either dr. christine blasey ford has alleged or deborah ra mered who said he exposed himself to her while drinking. there's drinking too much and there's not remembering the
incidents. >> he said he never blacked out but he did fall asleep. >> i'm with toobin on this one, too. let's be clear about what's going on and what senator menendez said because i think he is dead wrong. the senate is trying the say this is a difficult case and we expect the fbi to come up with answers so we can make a tough decision. here's the tough decision. the judge said things in the hearing that don't accord to what the friends are saying. >> and they have to decide what it is about. is it about sexual assault or is it about, as evan was saying, lack of candor, not telling the truth to the committee. you know, the democrats, who are -- don't want the approve him anyway, are going to say, look, it is both, and the republicans -- now, we'll see what jeff flake does and we'll see what murkowski and collins do. i mean senators don't like to be lied to, and you're testifying under oath and you are going to the supreme court. so it is not a minor -- it is not a minor thing.
the question is should this stop him from getting to the supreme court, which is what i think jeffrey's question is. a sexual assault is a separate matter. >> but we have so many people that you could talk to about this issue. >> yes. >> and that's what makes this friday deadline so crazy. >> i agree. >> i mean fbi investigations in the normal course -- and this is hardly a trivial matter -- they take weeks. what's the rush here? i mean the rush here is that mitch mcconnell has a political desire to beat the midterms, but that's not a legitimate concern when you are talking about the future of the supreme court. >> i want to go to jean cazares in north carolina. she is at ludington's place. what are you hearing over there? >> a lot of questions at him. first of all, i asked him if he had ever specifically seen the judge pass out during the
college days, blackout. he said that no, he had not. i said, well, his colleague's roommate who said that he went to sleep with him and saw him when he came home and was up when he got up in the morning, that he said that he had never seen him blackout, and i see that mr. ludington is out of his house again right now. but he said that his ex-friend -- meaning dan murphy, the ex-roommate at yale of the judge -- he said he's lying, he's a liar. so then i said specifically, what did he lie -- kavanaugh -- about under oath before the senate judiciary committee? he said, well, he didn't explain the extent of his drinking, what i saw. i said, well, he admitted he drank, he admitted that everything he wasn't proud of, and he said, well, he didn't go far enough. i said, so in other words there are omissions that he made during his testimony? in other words he didn't go to the full extent? and he said yes.
so he couldn't specifically pin point an out-and-out lie, but taking an omission as not going far enough when he's under oath. wolf. >> quickly, i see he's still speaking. i don't know if he's speaking to a reporter back there. he said he's only going the make one statement, but be precise. i know he has contacted the fbi, he wants to give them some sort of statement. has he been formally questioned by fbi agents as part of this new background check? >> reporter: it doesn't look like it. he just read his statement that he had issued yesterday. he ended it with saying, this is what i would like to tell the fbi, and then it was asked, "have you given a statement to the fbi" and he just turned around and kept walking. so it doesn't appear as though he did. >> yeah. all right. well, if you get some more information, we will come back to you, jean cazares, reporting from north carolina. >> evan, you have covered the fbi for us. are they going to be able to
complete their investigation by wednesday or thursday? we know mitch mcconnell, the senate majority leader, he wants a final vote i think on friday so that all of the senators can get out of town and have a long weekend -- columbus day weekend. >> i think there's a lot that they can do in a week. now, to jeffrey's point, i mean if they come across a witness on, let's say, thursday who gives them a lot of new information for them to follow up on, that's where having a deadline like this is a difficult thing for the fbi. but i do think that they can do a lot of this work by then. i mean, look, the initial list, right, was mark judge, who has now according to his lawyer sat down for an interview with the fbi, although he says it has not been completed. there's leland keyser who says -- her lawyer says she has been interviewed, and patrick smith, who has been interviewed. those are the three people. >> and deborah ramirez. >> right, and deborah ra meremi who is another accuser, but those are the three who were at
the party. those have been interviewed and it has been since friday. so it is possible that the fbi could do a lot of this work before friday. the question is, and again to jeffrey's point, you know, when you have such a tight deadline, whether -- if you have new information, will the fbi be able to go to the white house and say, look, we need more time? that's the question. >> and then, you know, you heard mitch mcconnell, the republican leader today, saying, well, they're going to move the goalposts. this is what is going to occur. and this is what republicans will charge, if the fbi were to come back and say, you know what? we have some more leads, we're not done, we need some more time, or go in two different directions, for example, sexual assault and the question of his candor before the committee. you know, the republicans are going to charge, that wasn't -- that wasn't what we task you to do. we tasked you to do one thing. we tasked you to find out about sexual assault. >> go ahead, jeffrey. >> the other issue, you know, if the interviews are completed by
friday, aren't the senators supposed to look at what they found? >> yes. >> i mean the interviews are finished on friday and then they just vote? i mean the point of this is so that the senators can evaluate the information. the idea that they sort of finish it on friday morning and the senate votes friday, you the point of that if they can't even look at what was found and ask follow-up questions if they. i mean it is just this crazy sprint that is being done for political, not investigating reasons. >> phil, you read james comey, the fired fbi director's op-ed in "the new york times" in which he said the fbi, they have a lot of manpower, women power. they can go out there and get the job done within a week if they're determined to do so. >> sort of. i'm again with jeff, this is too fast. they can get it done if you have a very narrow scope. we're not spending five days looking at who was -- who was judge kavanaugh in high school and college. you can't do that in five days. if they're just looking at this
several allegations of assault and talking to the immediate circle, i suppose so. but, remember, to get that report over there on friday morning they have to spend some time colating it, looking at every sentence. five days is not really five days. initially they had to locate people who i assume are across the united states. the most interesting thing i'm watching in addition to the report is i bet there will be a cover letter. if i'm the fbi director, i'm very clear in the cover letter about what the fbi did not try to do in that time period. they're going to try to make sure everybody knows this was pretty limited. >> and it comes down to two or three, or maybe four u.s. senators, because everybody else basically, sabrina, has made up his or her mind. >> absolutely. this is where the clout that jeff flake, susan collins and lisa murkowski is considerable because obviously jeff flake did say he wanted a week-long investigation that was limited in scope, but at the same time he and collins and murkowski are saying that they believe investigators should be able to follow their floods, they don't want too many constraints on the
investigation and its outcome. they will want to have time to review the findings. if mitch mcconnell does push forward with a vote by the end of the week, do these senators feel like they have enough information to make an assessment as to whether or not they should confirm brett kavanaugh to what is a lifetime position on the supreme court. >> you know, to jeffrey's point and to your point, it has to be done by thursday. i mean they -- people have to read it, and this is -- you know, this is reams and reams of information. >> there's only four people who have to read it. >> well, that might be true. >> the rest have made up their mind. >> exactly, but they're going to want to read it because they will want to use it to convince others, and you have jeff flake saying, look, if he lied before the committee it is gone. they have to go in there and read it for themselves. it is not like they pass it out and xerox it and pass it around the senate. so they will have to go in, they will have to read it for themselves, and you know how these things are done. they're just kind of stream of consciousness, right? this is what this person said in this interview.
it is not as if there's a cliff notes here. this takes -- this takes time if you are taking your job seriously. >> it is called a 302, these reports, these background checks. phil used to work at if fbi. what us through what the report is going to look like? >> the 302s are the interviews. you're supposed to go into the interview and write a version of a transcript. this is a fact-based report. it is not about judging whether the judge, judge kavanaugh, was truthful in the hearing or not. it is not about judging whether testifiy witness is truthful. it is about saying this is what people said on the issues you asked us to speak about. i think the senators i'm going to guess are going to sit there and say, i didn't get everything i wanted from the fbi, didn't scratch my itch. they have to look in the mirror and say -- jeff flake, for example, is hearing this but hearing the friends who say judge kavanaugh lied. is that enough for me to say no? >> and they have different interpretations of what they're reading. >> you know, the fbi interviewers and the people who write these reports also, look, if they have a witness who tells
them in addition the their questions, that tells them specifically they believe that judge kavanaugh was not fully -- did not give full candor in that -- in his testimony, what are you going to do? are you going to ignore that? you have to put that in. it is not something you can ignore. >> you know, this is actually a controversy that's gone back for several years. the whole institution of 302s are actually somewhat controversial. >> right. >> because the fbi has long had a policy that they don't tape record interviews and that the only record is the 302. well, those are just summaries and there are often controversies about what is in a 302 and what's left out and whether the agent correctly recorded what was said. so that too could come up in all of this because 302s are not transcripts. >> no. >> right. >> they are not verbatim. they are summaries. and what is in and what is out and whether it is accurate or where it is not, all of that has been controversial in the past. >> jeffrey, you heard evan say
that the three witnesses who were supposedly at that party where he allegedly assaulted professor ford -- smith, keyser and mark judge, they've been questioned by the fbi, and according to mark judge's lawyer the fbi wants to do another round of questioning with him. if all three come back and say, we have no recollection of this allegation that professor ford has leveled, we didn't see that happen, we have no memory of that, what does that do to this investigation? >> it probably means he's confirmed. if you are a senator who wants to take a narrow look at the issue of sexual assault exclusively and -- you know, judge kavanaugh was pretty misleading in his testimony when he said, those three exonerated him and said it didn't take place. obviously mark judge certainly said it did not take place. the other two simply said -- and as i understand they're continuing to say -- they are unaware of this -- of any such
assault. but that's very different from saying that it didn't take place at all. but certainly if you are a senator looking for reasons to vote "yes" the way susan collins appears to have been looking for reasons to vote "yes," those three witnesses might be enough for you and you're not interested in drinking and you're not interested in blackouts or not blackouts. so, again, it depends on what perspective you have going into the process, what conclusions you reach. >> you know, if the fbi is asking these questions of these three people who were there at that party and they say, we don't have any recollection of that, i don't remember that, i didn't see that, what does the fbi ask next? is it just that statement and then they move on? >> heck, no. i would ask a bunch of questions. what's the environment at the party. that's where the drinking issue comes in. what's the likely hold people there would have a clear recollection of this. what's the environment that summer and through high school including incidents where judge kavanaugh was present? what did people talk about when
boys and girls were interacting at these parts. i want to ask who else do you know, getting one step away from them, who else do you know that might want to attack judge kavanaugh or protect him. >> jeffrey, you were saying what? >> i was agreeing with phil, particularly on his last point, which is who else was around in this period? who did you see hanging out with brett kavanaugh? tell us names. i mean that's how you do an investigation, is you find out people to talk to. you ask about the phone. now, obviously you are talking about pre-e-mail, precellphones, but, you know, were there any phone calls? were there any letters? was there any documenting, did anyone take photographs? there's thes are t -- these are the questions a thorough investigation pursues. >> what about the other women? they were not subject at the hearings, but they are investigating -- they are investigating at least ms. ramirez, correct? so that's a whole other can of
worms. >> just to bring it back to the politics of this, remember that the democrats have already said that no matter what happens, if they take over the house they are going to investigate how this was done. so we're going to have an investigation of the investigation because this is washington in 2018 and things never end. >> and, look, the senate republicans -- >> really? >> -- can only afford to lose one vote here. this is where it will be interesting the see if flake, call instance and murkowski feel as if they have enough information because one of the challenges that was raised when they called for planea limited investigation one week in length, that at the end of the expedited fbi investigation they could say, well, they looked into it, nothing has changed from what we heard in the hearing, therefore we feel confident in voting to affirm
kavanaugh. obviously if the fbi has follow-up interviews they want done, it becomes an open-ended question as to whether they make a unified statement. >> it has to be unified and that's the key. they've been talking to each other constantly. i think that -- i think that they will do something together if they do something. i think, however, democrats i spoke to today are sort of saying, look, flake is going to be a yes, he wants to get to yes, we know that he wants to get to yes. murkowski they're not so sure about. collins, sort of somewhere -- somewhere in the middle. so they're not quite clear how they -- how they get to unity, but they know they're trying to. they know that they're -- that they're trying to. look, i think it depends, again, on what the fbi comes up with. and when flake, murkowski and collins go look at this stuff, what do they do? what do they feel? do they feel they've beenlied to? that's what jeff flake was talking about on "60 minutes" last night, right?
that's a no-go for him. so there's a long way for this to unspool itself still and it is only monday. >> yes, this was -- this was exactly what mitch mcconnell was worried about. you give it another week, who knows what's going to happen during the course of that week. >> he's a smart man. >> everybody stand by. we're staying on top of the breaking news. much more right after this. your whole windshield. with safelite's exclusive resin, you get a strong repair that you can trust. plus, with most insurance a safelite repair is no cost to you. >> customer: really?! >> singers: safelite repair, safelite replace. you always get the lowest price on our rooms, guaranteed?m let's get someone to say it with a really low voice. carl? lowest price guaranteed. what about the world's lowest limbo stick? how low can you go? nice one, carl. hey i've got an idea. just say, badda book. badda boom. badda book. badda boom. nice. always the lowest price, guaranteed.
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about the allegations against the supreme court nominee. in just a few moments ago, you saw it live here in "the situation room", a former college classmate spoke out, describing how he saw kavanaugh, quote, quite drunk when they both were students at yale university. let's bring back our analysts as we're covering the breaking news angles of the story. i want you to listen, jeffrey toobin, the president earlier in the day saying that judge kavanaugh has been treated unfairly. >> certainly if they find something i'm going to take that into consideration, absolutely. i have a very open mind. the person that takes that position is going to be there for a long time. i have a very open mind. i just think he's an outstanding person. i think he has been treated horribly. even if you were going to bring up some of the subjects that were brought up, they didn't have to treat him so viciously and so violently as they've treated him. what his family has gone through, the trauma for a man
that's never had any accusation, any -- he's never had a bad statement about him it . it is unfair to him at this point. >> what did you think, jeffrey? >> vicious and violent? i didn't see any vicious and violence. you know, politics ain't bean bag. this is a tough situation and i certainly feel for his family, but the -- the always-present fact when donald trump talks about any sort of sexual harassment, sexual violence, is there's utterly no concern for the woman, for the victim. if you believe, as he has said, that dr. ford was a sympathetic person, what about a word of sympathy for her? never. whether it is bill o'reilly or any of these people, he's always sympathetic to the alleged harasser and never to the alleged victim. >> sabrina? >> i think that jeffrey's point is spot-on. he defended roy moore up until the very end. you know, just last week he
spoke about the fact that he's been accused of sexual assault by more than a dozen women, has really shaped how he views the kavanaugh controversy, and he went into, of course, a long tirade trying to discredit his own accusers and he was trying to do the same in tems of thorme women against kavanaugh. again, he said an open mind so there's some reports he is privately souring on kavanaugh. think a lot depends on the investigation and how it plays out. >> trump was completely off message when it came to kavanaugh. i've got an open mind, and then he said he's had a little bit of difficulty. he talked about things that happened when he drank. actually, he didn't talk about things that happen when he drank. when he was asked, did you blackout? he turned to senator klobuchar and said, no, have you ever blacked out. so he didn't actually answer those questions whereas the president said he did. >> i think the president not being on message was even more of a problem yes he said he
thought, you know, he would be fine with the fbi interviewing brett kavanaugh. let me tell you, that is not the answer that brett kavanaugh's team wants and certainly did not want from the president at that press conference at that moment. >> yeah, you heard the president also go after the democrats, mentioned several by names, but he also mentioned an unnamed democrat. he said he's got compromising information about this democrat that he's not ready to release. he didn't name the democrat. but that democrat better watch out. >> that's right. like he's got the comey tapes as well. we want see what he's talking -- is he making a suggestion somebody committed something illegal? one the senate had the easy option to say there's an open investigation. >> you mean dr. ford? >> yes. >> there's an open investigation, and we have information that should lead to reopen. now we're supposed to say coons and flake did a wonderful job piecing this back together. absolutely not. they should have nolled the process earlier so that circus
on thursday never had to happen. >> do you think that feinstein should have released this july when dr. ford asked it be kept private? >> she should have said, i would like to be interviewed by the fbi. >> what did you think of his suggestion that he's got some compromising information about a democrat who's been outspoken on this issue? he said he's not ready to release it. >> he study at the knee of roy kohn who was one of the architects of mccarthyism. and to suggest that i hold in my hand so many names of people at the state department who are disloyal was all fiction, it was all lies. and that's how roy cone made his name as a lawyer. that's who donald trump studied with, the blind accusation that some united states senator has a skeleton in his or her closet is in keeping with his mentor.
>> then he attacked people by name. he went out and did that, it's very trumpian, we heard it all during the campaign. this is his characteristic, and whether it's real or not real, we'll never know, he's probably telling people at the white house who it is. >> just ahead, more news, russians reacting to see vlad meyer putin bearing his chest and love of animals in the official russian calendar.
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tonight russians are getting an eye full of their president as a pinup model. vladimir putin's annual calendar has just been published. some pictures with animals, others without his shirt. fred. tell us more about this putin calendar and the reaction to it? >> it's usually around this time of year that the vladimir putin calendar comes out, they're always a popular item here in russia. many russians are quite interested in what sort of poses there's going to be, what sort of settings their president is going to be in. certainly, this year, like in most years, vladimir putin did not disappoint. here's what's coming out. >> the kremlin cover man is back.
brand new 2019 vladimir putin calendars fresh on the stands in russia. many russians proud of their president's posture. >> i think not many countries have a president as strong as ours. i think many people like to have a president in their countries. it's always good to see and hear from our president. his statements and appearances are always so well done. >> there's putin with a pup, putin with a cub, putin on a horse in winter, and putin taking the epiphany dip in ice water. >> if a foreigner buys this calendar, they will have a good impression of our president, they will see he can do it all. >> a nearly omnipitent president. that's is how putin is portrayed. whether it's a summit with donald trump putin is the one
leading the show leading the pack. the kremlin controls much of the media in russia. a bad economy and an unpopular pension reform. kiosk owners we spoke to say this batch will sell out fairly quickly as well. there's always a strong supply of calendars for those who miss out now. once again, giving russians and many tourists a glossy reminder of the brains, the braun, the bravado and the beef of president vladimir putin. >> apparently there's people not just in russia who want to see this all year round. the shop owners we spoke to say it's selling pretty well. their popularity ratings taking
somewhat of a dip. >> thank you very much. thanks very much for watching opinion i'm wolf blitzer. erin burnett outfront starts right now. >> outfront next, kavanaugh's college friend says the supreme court nominee is not telling the truth when it comes to alcohol. this as the president weighs in on kavanaugh's drinking. is this where the fbi investigation is headed? republican leaders vowing to go through with a vote on kavanaugh by the end of the week? is that now wishful thinking. president trump lashes out at female reporters, two of them. what happened? let's go out front. >> good evening, everyone. out front tonight, brett has not told the truth, those were the powerful words of brett