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tv   The Lead With Jake Tapper  CNN  October 4, 2018 1:00pm-2:00pm PDT

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eight women and four men. let me take you back live to d.c. now where we continue to monitor the protests happening inside and outside the capitol building. this is inside the senate office building. again, these protesters gathering after that fbi report was released but not made public. the senators who are going to be considering the vote are looking at it now. "the lead with jake tapper" is next. democrats accuse the trump white house of tying the fbi's hands. "the lead" starts right now. the senators who will decide brett kavanaugh's fate dropping signals and weighing in on the fbi report now completed, but breaking minutes ago. one key undecided senator announc announced he's a no. as protesters flood the halls of the senate office build iings, president trump suddenly taking the side of due process as he issues a new defense of his
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supreme court nominee saying brett kavanaugh is the victim here. plus, hey, look over here. vice president pence taking a strong stance over election interference but it's not against russia. welcome to "the lead," everyone. politics lead, one fbi report, two interpretations. republican leaders say there is no additional corroboration of the allegations against supreme court nominee brett kavanaugh and no hint of misconduct. democrats disagree and are taking issue with the investigation, saying it was not thorough enough and democrats are calling for the report to be made public. what really matters here are the key senators who have yet to say publicly how they're going to vote and what they think. red state democrat heidi hei heitkamp breaking news she say no on kavanaugh. republicans need two of these four senators to vote yes on
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kavanaugh. that will make it 50/50, allowing vice president to break a tie in a potentially huge consequence, two of these senators have expressed confidence in the fbi report, senator susan collins of maine, saying the investigation appears very thorough. senator jeff flake of arizona agreeing and saying we've seen no additional corroborating information. there are major protests. sunlen, what's going on there? >> reporter: this is a major, loud, very vocal group of protesters here in the senate office building that many key senators have their offices. we can see, if you see in the shot behind me, many office workers looking out of their windows, down the protest below. they are protesting against brett kavanaugh, many chanting that he has got to go. they have signs saying believe
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the survivor. dramatic moment where the protests are, in large part, colored his whole consideration up here on capitol hill. that aside, this story will end in the math. that is where republicans up here on capitol hill feel very confident tonight. their mood is very upbeat, especially after those comments by senator collins, senator flake. republicans very happy with the tone, saying it gives us a key window into their mind-set likely one day before this vote. >> the whole thing is a sham. >> reporter: with tensions on capitol hill boiling over as brett kavanaugh's fate hangs in the office. >> why don't we dunk in the water and see if he floats. >> reporter: significant reactions coming from two key senators after viewing that fbi report today? senator susan collins telling cnn it appears to be a very thorough investigation, adding, i've not yet finished going through all the materials. senator jeff flake saying the
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report showed no additional corroborating information. neither senator revealing yet how they will vote, but their words boosting the confidence among republicans today. >> there's absolutely zero corroboration. zero corroboration to any of these allegations. i think, obviously, it makes people feel really good coming out of there. >> collins and flake are two of the four senators who now hold kavanaugh's future in their hands after senator heidi heitkamp told cnn affiliate -- >> i will be voting no on judge kavanaugh. >> adding to the drama of the moment, a highly choreographed viewing of the highly guarded fbi report, with senators shuffling in and out of this secure location to view the sole copy of the fbi's findings privately, emerging afterwards and taking partisan sides. republicans saying the report shows no corroboration of the
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allegations against kavanaugh. >> when the noise fades, when the uncorroborated mud washes away, what's left is the distinguished nominee who stands before us. >> democrats taking issue with the investigation itself. >> this is wholly unacceptable, a truncated curtail norkts even halfway relevant to interview the right people. >> reporter: not extensive enough, not interviewing kavanaugh and the first accuser, christine blasey-ford. >> the most notable part of this report is what's not in it. it looks to be a product of an incomplete investigation that was limited, perhaps by the white house. i don't know. >> reporter: senators have the day on capitol hill to finish reading the report, but then it's decision time. >> it's time for women to woman
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up and men to man up and let's be senators and let's start voting. >> reporter: and i want to take you back to live pictures here outside the senate office hart building. actress amy schumer is being arrested in the midst of these protests. tomorrow will be the crucial moment for brett kavanaugh, senate majority leader mitch mcconnell has scheduled a cloture vote. that means every senator will have to say yes or no on brett kavanaugh. that means a confirmation vote on saturday. >> at the hart senate office building. our experts, senator santorum, an interesting argument this morning from andrew napolitano, the judge, on fox news. >> i was disappointed that they
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didn't interview judge kavanaugh, dr. ford and a few more people because now the people that don't want judge kavanaugh confirmed, whether they don't want him confirmed because of perception that he's ideologically against them or because they really believe the allegations against him now have more ammunition and more doubt to say why was the fbi held back? was the fbi used as a political instrument yet again? why weren't they just allowed to interview whoever they wanted, including the two principles, judge kavanaugh and dr. ford? those allegations are going to stick. >> your response? >> i think the optics would have been better had they interviewed them. i don't know for a fact, maybe you do, whether they were told they could not, but i think what the fbi did was say christine blasey-ford came forward and said this is all the information. she was asked, is there anything else you want to tell us? she said no, i told you everything. what else could they find out if
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she said she told them everything. certainly, judge kavanaugh, same thing. he has been questioned repeatedly. so i think very likely the fbi said there isn't any reason for us. let's look to see what corroboration each has for their own story and that's what you got in this report. >> kristen, you don't think that the fbi report is legit? >> it's not legit. you don't have a report where you have someone like debbie ramirez saying there are 20 people she has identified who could corroborate her story and they don't talk to any of them. people are reaching out to the fbi and they can't even get through -- sending through the website, saying they have information and they're not being responded to. the whole setup of this situation has been if you want an fbi investigation, you're smearing a good man. that literally is what it is. and that's not what's happening. basically, republicans are saying accept what he's saying and don't question it, or you're smearing him and trying to ruin
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his life versus saying there's a credible allegation. i think there are two very credible allegations against this person. let's do a real fbi investigation and find out what happened, both for the women who made the allegations and frankly for judge kavanaugh. a real investigation could clear his name. now we're left with a sham investigation that makes people feel like this was a setup, that basically you were told to not investigate people who could corroborate. >> you say there were two credible allegations. i think that's very debatable. blasey-ford's allegation had problems in that there's no corroboration. >> let's define our terms right now. there's no firsthand corroboration. >> sexual assaults don't have witnesses. >> but they can contrast it -- >> no, they don't. >> let me finish. to contrast it with the case of judge moore, when his accusers said he did this.
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here is my yearbook that he signed. here is the person i told at the time who will corroborate that, yes, at the time i told them. it doesn't mean that blasey-ford is lying. it means there's no corroboration. >> dr. ford's lawyers sent a letter that was released publicly today that they offered six people that corroborated this incident well prior to his nomination. >> but not -- >> it does not matter in sexual assault cases. >> the people she named all said it didn't happen sflchlt that's not true. >> that's not true. >> first of all, that's not true. >> they don't recall that happened. >> the people she named at the party, with the exception of kavanaugh and mark judge, that they have no memory or recollection of it happening. >> and her best friend said she never recalled meeting kavanaugh. >> you're wrong. >> i'm not wrong. that is correct. >> one is whether she's telling the truth and the people in her life who she told this story to well before there was ever a
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nomination. >> but that's not -- >> she's talking, for crying out loud. >> there was never any public assault allegations. that is very, very important in sexual assault and sexual harassment cases. whether you have corroboration, whether you told someone about this prior to it becoming public, and she has given the name of six people who she told prior to it becoming public, and the fbi chose not to use it. and the reason this matters is because senators are using this talking point. there's no corroborating evidence. but, in fact, there are corroborating witnesses who should be talked to by the fbi. >> i think they mean -- i agree they should be precise. no contemporaneous corroborating evidence. >> correct. >> nothing at the time. >> it doesn't happen that way. >> sometimes it does. >> multiple people have come out and said they remember -- >> you mentioned debbie ramirez. this is another mistake. >> i would like to finish a
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sentence without being interrupted. really, this is what's been going on the whole time. if you have such a great case, let other people make their case and stop yelling at them and stop talking over them. >> okay. can we talk about the politics of this for one second? we have four undecided senators and kavanaugh's fate is with them, lies with them. joe manchin, the one democrat on this list is up for re-election this year, susan collins of maine, jeff flake, who is retiring, and lisa murkowski of alaska. we're getting signals from collins and flake, saying this investigation, whatever other people think of it, it seems comprehensive, it seems sufficient. do you think ultimately this means that kavanaugh will be confirmed? >> i do. i think that the fbi investigation was undertaken exactly for those four senators, to satisfy them. and the idea that it should have been something that was for the whole country -- by the way, i don't have a side. i'm just evaluating the evidence
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as i see it, unlike 99% of the country, which seems to have taken sides. but the fact is that those senators now need to be able to say, yes, i saw it. it wasn't persuasive. and i think that's all they're going to need. >> ultimately, do you think this is going to pass? ultimately flake is going to vote for him. he has signaled that. ultimately it's going to come down to collins and murkowski. >> i think murkowski will be in trouble if she votes for him. >> in alaska? >> the republican lobbyist told me last night if susan collins votes against kavanaugh, her career is finished. we're putting a lot of pressure on these two women but, in fact, it's the entire gop senate who is responsible for this, and it's that leadership bullying them that's really the problem. >> we'll talk about this coming
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up. republicans see it one way, democrats see it another. will we ever really know what was in the fbi report? plus the fight may be energizing democrats right now but the big argument being made, it may also help republicans in the midterm. stay with us. made the first commercial wireless phone call. we were both working on that first network that would eventually become verizon's. that call opened the door to the billions of mobile calls that we've all made since. i'm proud i was part of that first call, and i'm proud that i'm here now as we build america's first and only 5g ultra wideband network that will transform how we all live, once again. (bob) the first call that we've made on the cellular system. ignition sequence starts. 10... 9... guidance is internal. 6... 5... 4... 3... 2... 1...
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misconduct. democrats are saying not so fast. will the american public ever be able to judge it for itself? i want to bring in josh campbell, who has experience with these investigations. the fbi did not interview judge kavanaugh or christine blasey-ford. the white house says there was no need for it, since they both testified for hours. do you agree? >> that comes down to the fbi's view. it's one of two things. either they determined there was enough in the public record, that both individuals had testified at length in front of the senate. obviously a lot there that they could then use to corroborate or ask other witnesses about. or it's about -- and this is more troubling. we've been talking to sources more familiar with the investigation. they made clear to us that just because the fbi hadn't interviewed dr. ford, for example, as of today, as of yesterday, doesn't mean that they wouldn't want to interview her at some time in the future. in these investigations it's not unusual to wait until the end of
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an investigation, after you gathered a lot of information, to sit down with the high-profile witness. there's been this one-week arbitrary deadline that's been imposed on top of this. and the report has gone over to the senate. even if the fbi wanted to sit down and talk to her today, i don't think you would have any impact on this nomination, because they're already set to vote. >> yeah, but it's not due until tomorrow. theoretically, they could have interviewed her today and handed it tomorrow but that's moot because they didn't do that. the attorney for deborah ramirez, accuser from yale says that they, the ramirez team, gave the fbi a list of 20 names to also interview. her legal team said, quote, there may be additional witnesses that can afore further corroboration, but we likely will never know given that your agents were barred from investigating. these were potential witnesses never interviewed although there weren't eyewitnesses. they were corroborating
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witnesses, people that heard about it, not people who saw it. does that matter? people are not saying yes i saw this, they were hearsay witnesses or others that deborah ramirez may have told this happened or this happened? >> i think it does matter. either you conduct a thorough investigation or you don't. we mentioned that the fbi was under a deadline here. one thing we don't yet know is what was the parameter? what parameters were set on the fbi from the white house in order to conduct this background investigation? we reported it was limited in scope. the white house was saying, no, the fbi had free rein. that's a major question, what was that scope? what were the parameters? the senate gop, from the white house, a contradictory statement was made today. senate gop indicated they did not recommend a list of people that the fbi should interview and just this morning on "new
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day" here on cnn, deputy white house press secretary raj shah said they received four names from the senate. those two things cannot both be true. there's a lot that we still don't know. i suspect we won't get to the bottom of what was in the scope of that white house mandate over to the fbi because i don't think that they necessarily want the public to know how limited it was if and when he's confirmed it's a moot point after that. that's a approximate piece of information that the public deserves to know right now and something that the fbi will be facing a lot of heat over, should the judge be confirmed. senate democrats will no doubt be holding them up in front of congress to testify, what was your mandate, what did you do? why didn't you do more? >> if i'm an fbi agent and i'm investigating this case and i'm getting a list from attorneys for deborah ramirez and others and i'm getting information from field offices and tip lines, i'm looking through it and says this guy said he heard something in 1983 and this guy said he heard
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something from professor blasey-ford in this year and this person heard something from deborah ramirez but i'm looking for eyewitnesses and we only have a week. i'm not going to waste time chasing down somebody who heard something, that is corroboration but not contemporaneous eyewitness corroboration. is that likely what's going on? >> it could be. that's certainly a fair point. as a former fbi agent i would always prefer to sit down and talk with someone rather than read through a statement and decipher. with the volume of information, they have to rely on some volume of investigative acumen of what's in the realm of what we would want to look at? you have a number of allegations and people recommending other witnesses. with ms. ramirez they mentioned 20 odd people she recommended and we think they interviewed a few of those, but it comes down to what was the fbi mandated to
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do? this is much different than a criminal investigation where the fbi have free rein, indeed. this is very limited in a background situation. they can only do what the white house tells them. >> they had that one-week deadline. josh campbell, thank you very much. senator susan collins, one of the pivotal, undecided votes, is returning to look at the fbi report again in that secure senate room. what might that mean for her decision on brett kavanaugh? stay with us. leep. the new sleep number 360 smart bed is on sale now, from $899, during sleep number's fall sale. it senses your movement, and automatically adjusts to keep you both comfortable. it even helps with this. so you wake up ready to put your pedal to the metal. and now, during our fall sale weekend special, the queen sleep number 360 c2 smart bed is only $899. plus, 24-month financing and free home delivery. ends monday. sleep number. proven, quality sleep.
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breaking news, key undecided senator susan collins of maine has returned to the secure room where the fbi report is being held. she told cnn, quote, i am not going to draw conclusions until i am finished reading. this vote may all come down to senator collins as she gives a yay or nay vote. voting with her republican party could spell trouble back home in the increasingly purple state of maine. let's talk about this all.
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what do you make of it? >> i don't think we can read anything into it, other than she's taking it seriously and she's taking the time to look at it. i don't think there's any -- i don't think we can read into the fact that she went back to look at it to tell us anything about what she's going to do. >> you've known her and worked with her in the senate. >> first of all she's extremely diligent. she's one of the ones who reads the bills. >> she's the one. >> she's the one. seriously, she's a diligent person and knows this is an important issue and she's in the middle of it. she has taken this in seriousness. she said she wouldn't make her decision until she has read everything. i'm not surprised. as far as the politics, it cuts both ways for her in her state. she would have a hard time going back home in a republican primary, having voted against kavanaugh. and this will hurt with votes she's gotten from democrats in
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the past. susan will do what she thinks is the right thing. all the bullying and protesters outside her office -- is with supposed to meet with her today and she said i don't want you to go through this, rick. we'll meet next week. i'm sure she's feeling -- >> besieged. >> and i'm not sure that's a good strategy for them. >> i know you said we're being unfair because we're putting all the pressure on collins and murkowski and flake. but it's because they're undecided and they support abortion rights and both have cast themselves as not just partisan republicans. i want you to take a listen to some people in her office in portland, maine. cnn was there today. her staffers say they've been flooded with calls and visitors who want to pressure her one way or another. >> i always thought of her as a moderate. i don't really believe that anymore, based on some of the things that she's been, you know, doing lately. i was appreciating her vote for
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the aca, but this time i'm really worried. >> susan collins actually ran on being a pro-choice republican. and if she votes for kavanaugh, i think she's going to have a major problem in maine. >> so those are liberal or moderate democrats, it sounds like. i'm guessing. who want her to vote against kavanaugh. she's getting pressure from the other side as well, as a democratic operative i'm wondering if she votes for kavanaugh, are democrats just salivating to take that seat away from her when she's up for re-election in 2020? >> the relevant voting bloc in maine are independent and susan collins has always done very well with pro-choice maine independents and so, indeed, i think she will be subject to a huge amount of influx of money. but, look, i actually generally think that senators just have to
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vote their principle on this one. and the reason why it is so distressing about susan collins, about lisa murkowski, about jeff flake -- frankly, about all of them, is that the debate, in some respects, was over on policy. this became, all of a sudden, about his judicial temperament, about really serious accusations about behavior, that he did not take seriously, that he bullied back in the senate. so, the things that are happening now, i think, are about something bigger. and i think that the piece that is so enraging women is that are we being listened to or are we being railroaded? i think susan collins or lisa murkowski standing with her leadership and women being railroaded is what is extra painful. >> i want to get your response to that. there is some news i want to report. manchin, democrat from west virginia, just left that room where he was viewing the report.
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he told cnn he still needs to finish reading the report and plans to go back tomorrow and added, quote, heidi made her decision, i'll make mine. that's a reference to heidi heitkamp who nonsed this afternoon she is a no. go ahead. >> i think it would be a healthy thing for our country if we don't see the senate going in the same direction as the house of representatives is, where it's total polarization, democrats versus republicans. the few moderates who are still holding on in the republican party are actually a sign of something positive that we should be hoping to nurture rather than brow beat this woman into voting one way or the other. there is a group that has raised a huge amount of money and is sort of holding this over her head saying if you don't vote against kavanaugh, we will give this money to your challenger. >> $1.5 million, i think.
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>> so far. >> nowhere near what the republican leadership can raise for her in five minutes. >> still -- >> grassroots effort. >> that's not a threat. >> but the point is that she is a species of politician that i think we ought to cherish in our hyperpartisan world. >> and then there's lease wra murkowski. she's an interesting case. governor of maine -- of alaska, rather, is an independent and obviously there's a native american population that is 50% in alaska, very important voting bloc and they do not like some of the decisions that brett kavanaugh has made. >> i do believe she if she supports him, she's going to be in trouble. not just because of the sexual assault allegations, but because the native indigenous alaskan people believe he is not going to treat them fairly.
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and so she's already going into it with that and then i think separately, i think lisa murkowski is a person of integrity and i think she's somebody who is bothered by this. i'm hoping she's going to vote based on her conscious. being pro-choice in alaska is not necessarily a winning issue. >> they can't feel good about this process. they can't feel good about the railroad nature of how this investigation has gone. >> this is not a railroad nature. >> let's be honest. >> everyone has given the opportunity to be heard. >> no, they weren't. >> and the fact that the accusation was brought in at the last second -- >> brett kavanaugh could have offered a polygraph test. he could have offered himself up to the fbi. >> we'll take a quick break and come back to you, senator. the kavanaugh effect on the upcoming elections, who benefits most? that's next. dependability award for its midsize car-the chevy malibu. i forgot. chevy also won a j.d. power dependability award
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president trump is using the wrangling over brett kavanaugh to score points. republicans optimistic and enthusiastic that kavanaugh will be confirmed. the president said moments ago in minneapolis that he thinks kavanaugh is doing very well. kaitlyn collins is traveling with the president. with the kavanaugh vote even closer, what do we expect to hear from president trump when it comes to his rally this evening? >> reporter: aides say it's almost guaranteed that president trump brings up kavanaugh tonight. this is his third rally and with each one we've seen him grow tougher on his attacks of christine blasey-ford. with an we're seeing the president do with brett kavanaugh is channel his anger over the delay in his confirmation hearing, jake, into what he thinks could be a winning strategy in the mid terms this fall.
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>> as the white households its breath into sexual assault allegations against supreme court nominee brett kavanaugh. raj shah confident the report doesn't back up claims made against kavanaugh. >> we believe all the senate's questions have been addressed. >> and the white house pushing back on chrisicism they limited the investigation. >> we allowed the fbi to do exactly what they do best. we haven't micromanaged this process. >> reporter: officials fully aware it will come down to crucial vote zpls we are fully confident after reviewing this information, senators will be comfortable voting yes. >> reporter: president trump started the week furious and frustrated by the delays in kavanaugh's confirmation. >> my family has been destroyed by this. >> reporter: now he believes that kavanaugh could be a rallying cry, helping republicans shore up much-needed support in the mid term elections, just weeks away. the president has hit the road
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three times this week, with a fourth trip on his schedule to stump for vulnerable republicans. but the candidate he's campaigned the most for is his embattled extreme court nominee. in tennessee he said democrats are trying to bring his nominee down. he cast doubt on christine blasey-ford's credibility. >> how did you get there? i don't remember. how did you get home? i don't remember. where is the place? i don't remember. >> reporter: after claiming on twitter today that the av gnaw drama is having incredible upward impact on voters. so, jake, president trump predicting this will have a big impact on voters. of course, the vote is still up to those key senators. swrak? >> kaitlyn collins with the president in minnesota.
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senator santorum, is this enough of an issue to get republicans to the polls? right now, snapshot right now it's a sugar high. will it still thereby in a month? >> trmp would never have won the presidency if it weren't for the scalia open seat and conservatives coming out in droves because of it. this reminded them how important it is and how bad, frankly, the other side is when it comes to these issues. i think you're seeing it in north dakota, with heidi heitkamp saying i give up. i'm going to keep my bona fides with the democrats and maybe get a cabinet appointment somewhere down the line but basically she's seeing the numbers. she can't win this race anymore. >> that's your interpretation of her remarks? >> yeah. >> let me play her remarks. she did an interview with a local north dakota tv station. we'll play that and -- lot of vigorous head shaking going on
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here. >> it's a lifetime appointment. this isn't a political decision. if this were a political decision for me, i certainly would be deciding this the other way. i can't get up in the morning and look at the life experience that i've had and say yes to judge kavanaugh. >> so you don't share the view of her saying i've lost and i'm going to do what i want to do? >> no because that's not how senators act. state polls are not the most precise polls. we don't know whether she could pull it out in the end and people in north dakota are overwhelmingly on the side of judge carve anyway. if she were going to make a purely political decision, she would go ahead and support him and try to rally people around her and try to win. i think she's a good example of what leadership looks like, that you should decide what you believe and follow that. >> she said she used to prosecute sex crimes and she
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can't vote for kavanaugh because of what he has been accused of. let's also point out that she is down significantly in the polls. showing she trails her gop opponent by 12 points, 53 to 41%. is it possible that without the cynical idea that she's just doing this to get a cabinet appointment that she has decided i don't know if i'm going to win. looks like i won't. i'm just going to do what's right. >> listen to the emotion in her voice, having faced women and help women who have gone through this. and if republicans take this issue and go state by state stomping on survivors who legitimately came forward with a claim of sexual assault as some rallying cry for victory, you will rue the day. not only will you rue the day in electoral results, you'll rue
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the day for your daughters, your families, everything. i will be more ashamed -- >> where have you seen this? >> donald trump and you and everybody else, going state to state, after he wins -- >> ridiculous argument. >> stomping on women's hearts. >> you have a shadow of a pount in this. there is one person who has behaved badly here, which is president trump who, in his rally, thinks we're zikable he mocked her and belittled -- terrible. but that is not the whole republican party. >> we showed it to those republicans. we railroaded it through much those lying women. what makes this political? >> are you interested in the conservative point of view on this, which is that this feels to them like a complete
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character assassination and railroading of a completely qualified candidate and that the court will switch 5-4 to conservative and they can't stand the idea. uniting pro trump, anti-trump, whatever. but on this they're saying we can see a hit job. >> if they can look at dr. ford and say that and go out in public and claim that, shame on them. >> you wrote a very moving op-ed for usa today in which you talked about your own assault as a child or teenager and how you remember very distinctly, very clearly parts of it and other parts, like dr. ford, you can't say where it was, this and that. but you remember who did it, and you remember the feeling of it. for people like you who have experiences, this is a personal moment where you feel like a
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party is rejecting you? >> i criticize democrats all the time. >> sure. >> if this were a democrat i would literally be saying exactly what i'm saying now. this isn't a partisan thing. you're sitting on something that is troubling about this. i listened to republicans over and over well beyond donald trump because they are saying she can't remember the date, the house, these things. if you would have had a trauma expert come in and explain how these things work, you would have found out this is extremely typical. i spoke with an fbi agent who is an expert in this and says you get tunnel vision, you remember everything that happened to you with clarity and not anything around it. so it's classic trauma victim
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behavior. i don't feel like we've done a real investigation into this, nobody is considered this and they're continuing to make it out that because she didn't know these things it didn't happen. >> this is the point. there are people out there who feel that way, suburban women who are turned off by a lot of this because they hear president trump. you two aren't saying this, but they hear people being rude about it. >> yeah. i think, as mona said, what president trump said last night hurt republicans but hurt a lot of congressional republicans. i think this is a situation where -- i hate to get down to the pure politics of this but most of the vulnerable seats that democrats have are in red states that don't have big metropolitan areas in it. will th will probably cost another ten seats or more in the house. >> russian spies indicted for
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hacking again. but the vice president is saying what they did, quote, pales in comparison to what's being done by another country. that's next. with kenmore. now get even more. get more value and get more performance when you shop kenmore at sears. hurry in to our columbus day event and get up to 50% off kenmore cooking appliances. plus, get an extra 15% off kenmore laundry. and save 44% off this kenmore laundry pair. ♪ hurry in today or visit to get more from kenmore at sears during our columbus day event.
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and in our world lead, hacking, fraud, theft, the justice department charge seven russian intelligence agents. and while the government accuses three of those with interfering in the election, mike pence is warning that russia being actio pales in comparison to china. >> yeah, that's right. on the one hand rktsz tthe vice president stepping up pressure on china for man you'reuvers th trump administration believes that china is using to weaken them. and that is a completely different kind of foreign meddling than we normally talk about. and today russia was accused by the department of justice of yet another series of cyberattacks
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not just here, but around the world. a global choreographered crackdown on vush rurussia. the department of justice charging seven agents of the russia military intelligence with cyberattacks. >> they are charged with per vase sifd campaign of hacking, stealing private and sensitive information, and publicizing that information to retaliate against russia's detractors. >> reporter: deratractors like anti-doping agencies. as were nearly 250 athletes, apparent retaliation for russia being kicked out of the 2018 winter olympics for drug doping. hours earlier, dutch intelligence revealed that four russian agents also charged by the u.s. had been caught and kicked out of the country. after trying to hack the global chemical weapons watch dog which is currently investigating the attempted murder in england of sergei skripal.
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allies are all joining in the condemnation of russia's militia cyber activity. >> it is an aggressive well funded official body of the russian state. it can no longer be allowed to acting a agrees sufferly across the world against vital international organizations with apparent immunity. >> reporter: these russian attacks announced the aim dsame the u.s. raises the temperature with china. >> what the rush shans are doing pales in comparison to what china is doing. >> reporter: vice president mike pence blaming beijing for waging a campaign against american businesses, media and the public. >> our intelligence community says that china is targeting u.s. state and local governments and officials to exploit any divisions between federal and local levels on policy. >> reporter: specifically going after areas trump won in retaliation for the administration's new tariffs.
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>> by one estimate more than 80% of u.s. counties targeted by china voted for president trump and i in 2016. now china wants to turn these voters against our administration. >> jake, this has become a common tactic for the chinese. they go after areas where our leaders are from. they targeted mitch mcconnell by putting a 25% tariff on whiskey and bourbon. and senator grassley with soybeans and pork. china can play a strong economic game and it is clear that the president is now taking it personally. >> all right. thanks so much. the vice-president accused china of trying to replace president trump. your reaction. >> you know, i hate to -- i'm not going to come to the defense of china. i think that both china and russia are acting badly for different reasons. but the idea that the trump
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white house consist eptdly tries to sort of hide the ball on russia and call out china just boggled my mind. china has economic agenda against the united states and they are very aggressive with it. and trade actions are important. russians have actually been found to have legitimately interfered with our elections. and they stay silent on it. >> well, i don't think indicting seven russians for hacking is being silent. i think that they are pretty clear on that. >> the white house has been silent. >> i would agree that the president can be and should be louder on that. but look, what china is doing is blatantly political. i don't think that you can argue that point. they are specifically targeting trump voters and republican strong holds in an attempt to try to swing this election, try to inflict misery if you will on those voters so that they will vote for the other team. and i'd love to see democrats screaming and hollering saying
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that is not right, they shouldn't be doing it that way. and many actually support what the president has put in place. so this is an area where you have folks on both sides who are opposed and for what the president is doing. and i think democrats could speak louder. >> i don't think that they should be doing about. people affected bay ty the tari should be speaking out absolutely. >> i've heard a lot of republicans, not you and not you, but a lot of republicans making fun of the idea that russia election interference had any sort of impact at all. to me it seems similar to the chinese election interference. >> to say that it pales in comparison with what happened with russia seems to be not be accurate because what the russians did was so incredible and i don't -- everyone the allegati -- even the allegations made against china aren't on the same level with the accusations against russia. and it is not something that we
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hear from the white house or frankly from he very many people in the republican base that they take seriously as a serious problem. so i just -- it boggles the mind. >> this administration on the one hand the justice department will come out with all these other countries and condemn the russians and, you know, it seems all very normal. but then there is the white house which actually isn't part of this administration when it comes to these things. and you have mike pence the vice president really basically being the pr officer for trying to get russia off the hook. well, yeah, but really what china is doing is far out strip any bad -- >> if you look at the dollar value of what china is doing economically to trump voters versus what russia spent in the last election, it is -- the chinese are much more -- having much more -- >> that is a completely different question. [ everybody talking at once ] >> they are retaliatiing about
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the tariffs. that is not trying to disrupt our election. >> and scene. follow me on facebook and twitter. you can tweet "the lead." coverage continues right now. thanks for watching. happening now, breaking new, reading the report. senators from both parties are taking turns reading the new fbi report on brett kavanaugh. but with very different takes on what the evidence shows. how will it impact the votes of key undecided senators. talking to the fbi. we're learning new details of who the fbi interviewed in an effort to corroborate allegations of sexual misconduct against kavanaugh were potentially key witnesses left out of the process. and with the domination heading toward a vote this weekend, protesters flood the streets making