Skip to main content

tv   The Rachel Maddow Show  MSNBC  October 1, 2018 6:00pm-7:00pm PDT

6:00 pm
starting with joy reid in for rachel. good evening. good evening. congratulations on the emmy win. >> thank you very much. >> the crowd went wild. thanks to you at home for joining in this hour. rachel has the night off, but she will be back tomorrow. she will be back tomorrow, i promise. if you were keeping notes on the twists and turns in the ongoing story of the supreme court nomination of brett kavanaugh, your best bet would have been to take the notes in pencil, because the story has changed directions multiple times since the dramatic testimony of christine blasey ford, who accuses kavanaugh of sexually assaulting her when they were in high school, and the angry confrontational testimony of kavanaugh himself. and that was just this past thursday. there has been a ton of breaking news since then, including today. even just in the last couple of hours. and we have a lot to get to regarding the state of play as it stands tonight, but first, let's briefly recap the whiplash that we've gone through over the past few days.
6:01 pm
on friday, at the moment that the senate judiciary committee was expected to vote quickly along party lines to advance kavanaugh's nomination, the process was suddenly thrown into disarray when republican senator jeff flake made an unexpected last-minute deal with the committee democrats to secure a one-week delay in the full senate vote during which the fbi would look into dr. ford's allegations and possibly into other allegations too. it was not really clear at the time. later that day, we learned that the white house had indeed ordered the fbi to reopen kavanaugh's background investigation. but on saturday, nbc news was first to report that the white house had sharply limited the scope of the fbi's investigation, telling the fbi it could investigate christine blasey ford's claims and those of deborah ramirez, who has publicly accused brett kavanaugh of shoving his genitalia in her face at a party when they were both college students at yale, but not the claims from julie
6:02 pm
swetnick, who has accused kavanaugh of engaging in sexual misconduct at parties when he was in high school, a high school student in the 1980s. t"the new york times" reported that day that the white house was only allowing the fbi to interview four people, mark judge, kavanaugh's friend whom dr. ford claims was an accomplice in the alleged assault, two other people whom she claims were at the gathering where the assault allegedly occurred, and deborah ramirez, the yale accuser. on saturday night, donald trump tweeted that nbc was wrong, quote, actually, i want the fbi to interview whomever they deem appropriate at their discretion. please correct your reporting, exclamation point. but on sunday nbc reported that despite those comments, the limits to the fbi's investigation remained unchanged, and that the fbi had received no new instructions from the white house. meanwhile, "the new yorker's" ronan farrow and jane mayer, who
6:03 pm
broke the story of ramirez's allegation were reporting yesterday that several potential witnesses were attempting to contact the fbi to pass on what they thought might be useful information but were having no luck. for instance, one yale classmate attempting to corroborate ramirez's claim, quote, had hoped to convey this to fbi, but when he reached out the a bureau official in washington, d.c., he was told to contact the fbi field office nearest his home. when he tried that, he was referred to a recording. after several attempts to reach a live person at the field office, he finally reached an official who said he had no idea what he was talking about. at this point, he went back to the official at the fbi's d.c. headquarters who then referred him to an 800 number tip line. he eventually left a tip through an online portal. last night senate judiciary committee ranking democrat dianne feinstein asked the white house and the fbi to hand over
6:04 pm
whatever directive the white house had given the fbi outlining the scope of the investigation. by this morning, she and eight of her democratic colleagues on the committee had signed on to a letter demanding a full investigation and specifically asking that the fbi look into the claims of julie swetnick as well. and at a press conference in the rose garden this morning, the president seemed to agree. >> i think the fbi should do what they have to do to get to the answer. >> just for clarity, will you instruct the white house counsel don mcgahn to give the fbi free rein to interview whomever they feel is necessary? >> well, i have so instructed him, and i did it again over the weekend. >> so just to be clear, should the fbi interview all three of brett kavanaugh's accusers? >> it wouldn't bother me at all. >> and at that point, it still seemed to be this strange case of donald trump saying one thing and his white house continuing
6:05 pm
to instruct the fbi to do something else. until finally a couple of hours later, "the times" reported that a new directive had come down from the white house walking back the restrictions and telling the fbi to interview anyone necessary for their investigation. got all that? now this would all be confusing enough if everyone involved wasn't racing against an artificial clock that runs out this friday. the latest the republicans have agreed to postpone the vote on kavanaugh's nomination. and by the way, as for that timeline, senate republican leader mitch mcconnell took to the senate floor today to make it clear that there be no delay in that timeline, that the senate will vote on brett kavanaugh's nomination by the end of the week, come hell or high water, and also prescolding democrats for what he insists will be a cynical, disingenuous arguments a the end of the week. >> so soon i'll expect we'll hear that the conclusions of the
6:06 pm
expert prosecutor who questioned both witnesses at last week's hearing aren't reliable or that the fbi's investigation was not infinite or endless enough for their liking. maybe we'll hear the real issue is not these uncorroborated allegations of misconduct after all but rather the fact that judge kavanaugh -- now listen to this -- drank beer in high school. and in college. >> well, now that you mention it, the drinking is in fact a major sticking point for a lot of people, and not just senate democrats. several of kavanaugh's college classmates have come forward to allege that he was a heavy, sloppy drinker in college. and no, the issue is not whether or not kavanaugh drank a lot in his youth, something that pretty much everyone including the senate democrats appear willing to forgive. it's they claim he has repeatedly blatantly lied about
6:07 pm
it. most recently a class made it of kavanaugh's named chad luddingtluddinington ludington, in recent days have become deeply troubled by what has been a blatant mischaracterization by brett himself of his drinking at yale. quote, brett was a frequent drinker and a heavy drinker. i know because especially in our first two years of college i often drank with him. on many occasions i heard brett slur his words and saw him staggering from alcohol consumption, not all of which was beer. when brett got drunk, he was often belligerent and aggressive. on one of the last occasions i purposely socialized with brett i witnessed him respond to a semi hostile remark not by diffusing the situation, but by throwing his beer in the man's face and starting a fight that ended with one of our mutual friends in jail. i do not believe that the heavy drinking or even loutish behavior of an 18 or even a
6:08 pm
21-year-old should condemn a person for the rest of his life, but, quote, i can unequivocally say that denying the possibility that he ever blacked out from drinking and in downplaying the degree and frequency of his drinking, brett has not told the truth. chad luddington ended his statement by saying he would, quote, take my information to the fbi. and that brings us to the first bit of late-breaking news tonight, something that may give us a bit of the window into the scope of the fbi information now that restrictions have been taken off by the white house that altercation that mr. luddington described in which brett kavanaugh allegedly threw a beer at someone and started a fight, well, tonight "the new york times" reports that there is indeed a police report documenting that incident and judge kavanaugh's involvement. quote, the incident which occurred in september 1985 during mr. kavanaugh's junior year resulted in mr. kavanaugh and four other men being questioned by the new haven
6:09 pm
police department. mr. kavanaugh was not arrested, but the police report stated that a 21-year-old man accused mr. kavanaugh of throwing ice on him for some unknown reason. a witness to the fight said that chris dudley, a yale basketball player who is friends with mr. kavanaugh then threw a glass that hit the 21-year-old man in the ear, according to the police report. the report said that the victim was bleeding from the right ear and was later treated at a local hospital. mr. dudley denied the allegation, according to the report, but for his part, speaking to the officers, mr. kavanaugh did not want to say if he threw the ice or not. the police report said. the police report referred to the altercation, which occurred at a ball called demery's as an assault. it did not say whether anyone was arrested, and there is no indication that charges were filed. "the times" also reporting tonight that chad luddington, who first described this incident said he has been in touch with the fbi.
6:10 pm
and the other thing worth noting about this story tonight, chris dudley, the kavanaugh friend and classmate who was accused bay witness of throwing a glass and injuring another bar patron in this fight, an accusation he denies, chris dudley is one of two people who issued statements distributed by the white house today attesting to brett kavanaugh's character. in a statement today, chris dudley said that he and kavanaugh, quote, drank in college. i was with brett frequently in college, whether it be in the gym, in class or socializing. i never saw brett black out, not one time. and in all the years i've known him, i've never seen him to be disrespectful or inappropriate with women. i would also like to point out that going out never came before working hard and maintaining our focus on our goals. the person sometimes being described in the press is not the brett kavanaugh that i have known as a good friend for 35 years. all of which may be true. even if the two of them were involved in an ill-advised bar fight. but as you can see, new
6:11 pm
information coming out fast and furious. so that's one piece of breaking news. and here's another. earlier this evening, senator susan collins, one of the key republican votes kavanaugh needs to be confirmed, joined democrats in calling for the fbi to investigate. not just the claims of christine blasey ford and deborah ramirez, but also julie swetnick, the woman who alleges that she was at parties in the early 1980s where she saw brett kavanaugh engage in sexual misconduct and claimed that she herself was gang raped at such a party, though she does not accuse kavanaugh of being one of her attackers. we still don't know at this point whether the fbi is looking into those claims, but julie swetnick has given her first sit-down interview to nbc news's kate snow. and let's show you a little clip of that. >> can you describe to me what you saw him do? >> he was very aggressive, very sloppy drunk, very mean drunk. i saw him go up to girls and paw
6:12 pm
on them, try to get a little too handsy touching them in private parts. i saw him try to shift clothing. >> are there people alive today? >> yes, yes. >> who would say i went to that party with you? >> yes, there are people who know about those parties. >> i would tell you as of tonight nbc news has not been able to independently corroborate swetnick's attorneys. when nbc news asked swetnick's attorney, michael avenatti for any witnesses who could back up swetnick's account, he provided four names of friends who went to parties with her. one says he does not recall anyone named julie swetnick. another is deceased. nbc news has reached out to the other two and has not yet heard back. swetnick's mother's name was also provide but she too is deceased. that's where that part of the story stands tonight. we have one more bit of breaking news for you, another scoop from nbc news. the headline, quote, text
6:13 pm
messages suggest kavanaugh wanted to refute accuser's claim before it became public. this is from nbc's heidi przybilla. in the days leading up to a allegation that supreme court nominee brett kavanaugh exposed himself to a college classmate, the judge and his team were communicating behind the scenes with friends to refute the claim. according to text messages obtained by nbc news. carrie bircham who was at yale has tried to get the messages to the fbi for its newly reopened investigation into the matter but says she has yet to be contacted by the bureau. the texts show kavanaugh may need to be questioned about how far back he anticipated that ramirez would air allegations against him. berchem says in her memo that kavanaugh and/or his friends may have anticipated an anticipatory narrative as early as july to
6:14 pm
conceal or discredit ramirez. kavanaugh told the judiciary committee under oath that the first time he heard about ramirez's allegation was in the september 23 article in "the new yorker." and joining us now is nbc news political reporter leigh ann caldwell, one of the recorders on this brand-new story. leigh ann, thank you so much for join us. >> thank you, joy. >> how early do the text messages go back? do they go back to july? >> sure, joy. so what we've seen we have not seen all of the text messages. we've only seen the text messages that were outlined in this memo that kerry bercham wants to submit to the fbi. and this is again one more instance of someone who wants to talk to the fbi but hasn't been able to. she is part of a group of friends who went to yale undergrad with kavanaugh and ramirez. they're in the same group of people, and she says that she has reached out to the fbi three times an has not heard back. now that the fbi says that they're going to expand this
6:15 pm
investigation, she's more hopeful that they will reach out, but as of a couple of hours ago, they have not yet. so what she wants to do, she wants to present up to 51 text messages that she has had -- that she has between her and her friend karen yersavich. so karen and kerry, they both went to yale with kavanaugh, and these text messages ranged from july to september. and what they do show around september when this new yorker story was coming out that karen saying that brett and/or brett's guy has reached out anticipating that the ramirez allegations would come out. and we talked to an expert on this, someone brett bauer, in the former counsel it is very
6:16 pm
strange they would allow brett to reach out on their own. normally when there is nomination likes this they have a team of people do it. they say it's bad pr and they don't let the nominee himself do the bidding. bercham wants to talk to the fbi and is hoping to be able to do that before the investigation closes by the end of this week. >> and do we have any way of knowing whether this was brett kavanaugh going back through his life and saying hmm, this might be something that happened that i need to clean up. let me have my friends reach out. or was this the result of him maybe being reached out to by comment by "the new yorker" and responding to that. is there any way he sort of knew this story might be coming? >> yeah, what we have we don't know. we don't know which it is. it could be either or. but what we do know is that ramirez and kavanaugh, they knew each other more than what was previously reported. we did publish a photo of kavanaugh and ramirez from -- they were in the same wedding party in 1997, ten years after
6:17 pm
they graduated. and berchem said that in her text messages when she was talking to her friend karen saying that it now makes a lot of sense why ramirez was acting so strange at that wedding. she seemed like she was kind of the fish out of water, and that she was trying to stay as far away from kavanaugh as possible. and so, again, i want to bring this back as something that she wants to tell the fbi and she is hoping the fbi does its due diligence and is talking to everyone that should be talked to in this scenario, joychlt. >> indeed. well, leigh ann caldwell, great reporting. really celebrate you tonight. thank you. joining us is ken dilanian, reporter for the nbc news investigative unit which has really been leading the way on reporting ing oing o ing oing fbi investigation and the restrictions put on it. ken, great to talk to you tonight. >> good to be here, joy. >> we now have this new reporting from nbc news that
6:18 pm
brett kavanaugh or brett and others around him may have been trying to reach out to try to get people to maybe buck up his side of the story or become sort of character witnesses in advance of the story that "the new yorker" was going to put out about ms. ramirez. do we know whether the fbi has now actually contacted those would-be witnesses or do we have any reporting on why it seems to be so difficult for witnesses who want to be in touch to actually get through to the fbi? >> we have nothing to suggest yet that the fbi has contacted those witnesses, but today's announcement, or today's reporting that the white house is going to allow the fbi to slightly expand its inquiry suggests that they may well contact those witnesses. but that's a far cry from where we started here joy which i think on friday when this fbi investigation was announced, a lot of people had this idea that hundreds of agents were going to be fanning out across the country, interviewing every witness they could to get to the bottom of not only these sexual assault allegations, but also the allegations that kavanaugh had misrepresented his drinking
6:19 pm
in testimony before the senate judiciary committee and that he had lied about entries in his yearbook. and that just wasn't the case. and what we reported on saturday was that there was a very limited witness list. there were severe constraints on the fbi's investigative steps that they would take. and experts told us that's unprecedented. it is normal that the white house sets the parameters of a background check because the white house is the client here. the fbi is working on their behalf. it's not a normal criminal investigation. but former agents and former prosecutors told us they had never seen before the white house dictating which witnesses people could talk to. and we learned there is a witness list of four people, as you said before, three of whom would have been at the party that dr. ford alleges where the sexual assault happened and the fourth would be deborah ramirez, the accuser. but it wasn't clear they could talk to anyone else that for example deborah said could corroborate her story. and that really -- that started to stick in the craw, we understand, of some of these key
6:20 pm
senators, including jeff flake and susan collins who were looking at this and wanting to believe that there was a serious fbi investigation, as flake said today, not just a fig leaf, not just a cover so we can vote for this guy. and i think that's led us to where we are today which is a slightly expanded inquiry. >> and just to be clear, just for the audience to be clear, at the time that donald trump sent and then tweeted that no, the fbi could do whatever they want and said verbally that that was the case, was that the case? >> no, that was total disinformation, and senior administration officials have confirmed that to nbc news. at the time he tweeted that, there were severe restrictions on the fbi investigation. it's not clear to me that when he made his remarks today at the news conference where he said i want the fbi to interview everyone, whether the decision had already been made and transmitted to the fbi that they were going let the fbi slightly expand the inquiry. but just to be clear here, joy, we're talking about slightly. as far as i understand it, the fbi is still not going to be able to examine this question of did kavanaugh lie about his drinking. and so these people who have come forward to say that and say
6:21 pm
they want to talk to the fbi, the white house cannot stop that from happening, but it's not clear what's going to happen with that information other than that the fbi agent who takes the interview will bring wry it up in a report and send it up the chain. as far as i understand, that is not really the subject of their inquiry right now, even though many democrats would like it to be because they think it goes to kavanaugh's creditability. >> indeed. ken dilanian, intelligence and national security reporter for nbc, thank you very much. really appreciate it. >> thanks. all right. our next guest spent 25 years inside the fbi. you are going to want to hear what he has to say about this new investigation into brett kavanaugh. stay with us. brett kavanaugh. stay with us five hundred years, right? fact is, there have been twenty-six in the last decade. allstate is adapting. with drones to assess home damage sooner. and if a flying object damages your car, you can snap a photo and get your claim processed in hours, not days. plus, allstate can pay your claim in minutes.
6:22 pm
now that you know the truth... are you in good hands? ito take care of anyct messy situations.. and put irritation in its place. and if i can get comfortable keeping this tookus safe and protected... you can get comfortable doing the same with yours. preparation h. get comfortable with it.
6:23 pm
opportunlike here.rywhere. and here. see? opportunity. hi! cinturones por favor. gracias. ev-er-y-where. about to be parents. it's doing a lot of kicking down there. meeting the parents. it's gonna be fine. and this driver, logging out to watch his kid hit one out of the... go dani, go! opportunity is everywhere.
6:24 pm
all you have to do to find it is get out... here. ♪ tap one little bumper and up go your rates. what good is your insurance if you get punished for using it? news flash: nobody's perfect. for drivers with accident forgiveness, liberty mutual won't raise your rates due to your first accident. switch and you could save $782 on home and auto insurance. call for a free quote today. liberty mutual insurance. ♪ liberty. liberty. liberty. liberty. ♪
6:25 pm
we continue to say you'll vote no in the fbi investigation is not to your liking? >> well, we'll most certainly in the next couple of days be having dialogue with the white house counsel's office making sure it is up to standard. it does no good to have an investigation that just gives us more cover, for example. we actually need to find out what we can find out.
6:26 pm
>> this weekend, there were only four people on the list of witnesses the -- the fbi was allowed to interview, kavanaugh's friend mark judge, christine blasey ford's friend, pj smith and the second named kavanaugh accuser deborah ramirez that was it. those were the parameters that were set out by the white house. that is until today when the white house widened the scope a bit after news reports, starting with nbc about those strict limitations and donald trump freestyling on television that the fbi can investigate whatever they want. according to "the new york times," the administration is now allowing the fbi to interview, quote, anyone it deems necessary, as long as the review is finished by the end of the week. so far the fbi has contacted mark judge, leland keyser, deborah ramirez and the latest is that chad ludington has been in contact with the fbi as well. they've got four more days to go. and joining us now is a former
6:27 pm
fbi assistant director for counterintelligence. frank, it's great to have you on tonight. >> thanks, joy. glad to be here. >> so i have really been transfixed by your commentary on this case. i listened to you this morning talking about the restrictions that the fbi was under and the unprecedented nature of them. just to clarify, when the fbi gets these parameters of what they're allowed to do, is it a presidential directive is that is verbal from the president or from don mcgahn, the white house counsel, or is it actually written down guidelines that they can read? >> in almost every case, there is a written follow-up to a verbal discussion where collegially, the white house works out with an fbi official where they want to go, what's logical. the fbi has great input into what's logical. they are the professional investigators. but then there is follow-up in writing. so there is clarity and no confusion. >> so if the president were to say no, no, no, no, they can do whatever they want, would that then change what an fbi agent was able to do?
6:28 pm
>> let me assure you, the fbi doesn't operate by presidential tweet or presidential press conference announcing a candidate trade deal. they need a directive from the white house, and they need something in writing. and, joy, right now we are not seeing evidence that that's happened. there are three ways we can tell that something's happening that is different. first, most reliably, the fbi would come out and confirm, we've received new instructions. that's unlikely to happen. the fbi never wants to get in the middle or become the story in a background investigation. secondly, we see evidence that new people, new people we didn't think would be interview ready having their doors knocked on by fbi agents. and we're not really seeing that and then lastly, we would see evidence of people coming forward saying i was interviewed, and we wouldn't think they would have been interviewed. they weren't on the original list. none of those three things has happened tonight yet, joy. >> you kind of hit on the point i wanted to make with you, because i think the concern for
6:29 pm
a lot of people is if this is just an investigation that leads to a forgone conclusion, not only does that taint the nominee, it actually taints the fbi, which is kind of a problem when the fbi is also involved in investigating the president. >> yeah, look, i would not be surprised if part of the plan here is to be able to finger-point. we've already seen the president point to the senate, right, and say well, whatever they want. they're coming up with the instructions. i'm just passing it on to the fbi. now the next step logically would be to say well, i gave the fbi a week and they've not come up with anything new. it's important for the public to understand they might not come up with anything new if they're not allowed to do what they do best, which is to thoroughly investigate this. >> and is a week enough time, four more days enough time to do that? >> so the fbi does amazing things in one week. i can name case of after case where they surged hundreds of agents and their resources are phenomenal, but they have to be allowed to do that. there is trouble things they can
6:30 pm
do. they can reconstruct scenes. they can find the house in bethesda, maryland. they can pull all the dorm records at yale. >> right. >> but none of that will happen until they're told they're allowed to do that. >> former fbi director for counterintelligence, just the man i wanted to talk to about this tonight, thank you very much. >> you're welcome. >> and if you're wondering what happened to the arizona prosecutor who republican senators hired to be their proxy during last week's hearing, you know, the one who seemed all but vanished during judge kavanaugh's questioning, we have answer for you, and that is next. that is next you won't find that on a map. i'll take you there. take this left. if you listen real hard you can hear the whales. oop. you hear that? (vo) our subaru outback lets us see the world. sometimes in ways we never imagined. you might or joints.hing for your heart...
6:31 pm
but do you take something for your brain. with an ingredient originally discovered in jellyfish, prevagen has been shown in clinical trials to improve short-term memory. prevagen. healthier brain. better life. so, howell...going? we had a vacation early in our marriage that kinda put us in a hole. go someplace exotic? yeah, bermuda. a hospital in bermuda. a hospital in bermuda. what? what happened? i got a little over-confident on a moped. even with insurance, we had to dip into our 401(k) so it set us back a little bit.
6:32 pm
sometimes you don't have a choice. but it doesn't mean you can't get back on track. great. yeah, great. i'd like to go back to bermuda. i hear it's nice. yeah, i'd like to see it. no judgment. just guidance. td ameritrade. oscar mayer deli fresh ham has no added nitrates, nitrites or artificial preservatives. now deli fresh flavor is for everyone. like those who like... sweet. those who prefer heat. and those who just love meat. oscar mayer deli fresh. a fresh way to deli. oscar mayer deli fresh.
6:33 pm
leave the structure, call 911, keep people away, and call pg&e right after so we can both respond out and keep the public safe. traffic and roads... a mess, honestlyrents going up,le. friends and family moving out of state, millions of californians live near or below the poverty line. politicians like gavin newsom talk about change, but they've done nothing. sky-high gas and food prices. homelessness. gavin newsom, it happened on your watch. so, yeah. it is time for a change. time for someone new. pg&e wants you to plan ahead by mapping out escape routes and preparing a go kit, in case you need to get out quickly. for more information on how to be prepared and keep your family safe, visit
6:34 pm
last week, we saw republicans on the senate judiciary committee outsource their question time to a woman, arizona prosecutor rachel mitchell, according to the groundrules, she would interview both dr. christine blasey ford, the professor accusing donald trump's supreme court nominee of sexual assault when the two were in high school, and she would also interview brett kavanaugh. the republicans on the committee would listen and i don't know, maybe take notes. and ms. mitchell did indeed interview dr. ford, taking each senator's time and q&aing her in five-minute increments. but the prosecutor was benched by republicans abruptly in the middle of judge kavanaugh's part of the hearing so we would wind up hearing less from her than expect. but now we are hearing from her again in a report obtained by nbc news, ms. mitchell told republicans she has in fact reached a conclusion. quote, analysis of dr. christine blasey ford's allegations, the
6:35 pm
prosecutor writes that, quote, in the legal context, here senior my bottom line. a he said/she said case is incredibly difficult to prove, but this case is even weaker than that. i do not think that a reasonable prosecutor would bring this case based on the evidence before the committee. ms. mitchell sets out various reasons for why in her view this is not a prosecutable case. she takes issue with dr. ford's timeline, with her memory and with her assertions she has suffered psychological after effects from the assault. but in setting out all of that, ms. mitchell spends zero time in this memo on what brett kavanaugh said in thursday's hearing, which is a little curious considering she did ask him about one specific date on his calendar shortly before republicans took over the questioning that date, thursday, july 1, 1982. the entry for that date in brett kavanaugh's calendar, which he claims helped to prove that he did not assault christine blasey ford. that calendar includes two of the people who dr. ford says
6:36 pm
were at the party in question on that day, july 1st, 1982. reporters have homed in on that day as possibly supporting dr. ford's timeline for the assault, and it seemed prosecutor rachel mitchell was at least somewhat interested, at least on thursday. >> judge, do you still have your calendar -- calendars there? >> i do. >> i would like you to look at the july 1st entry. >> yes. >> the entry says, and i quote, go to timmy's for skis with judge, tom, pj, bernie and squi? >> squi. it's a nickname. >> did you in your calendar routinely document social gatherings like house parties or gatherings of friends in your calendar? >> yes. it certainly appears that way
6:37 pm
that's what i was doing in the summer of 1982. and you can see that reflected on several of the -- several of the entries. >> if a gathering like dr. ford has described had occurred, would you have documented that? >> yes, because i documented everything, those kinds of events, even small get toss. >> so on thursday, rachel mitchell was moving in on that july 1st timeline, and then judge kavanaugh steered away toward another date, and the prosecutor never got another turn. for some reason she was sidelined for the rest of the hearing. and in her assessment of dr. ford's allegations against kavanaugh, july 1st, 1982 does not get brought up at all. we have reached out to the office of judiciary committee chairman chuck grassley to ask if there is some other memo that rachel wrote specifically
6:38 pm
concerning her questioning of brett kavanaugh. that this is a hopeless matter of he said/she said. that the only reasonable conclusion? might other prosecutors see it differently? and would a more thorough investigation possibly reach a different conclusion? joining us now is joyce vance, former u.s. attorney in alabama. great to have you here, joyce. >> hey, joy. >> let's go through a couple of things. thing number one, ms. mitchell says this is a hopeless case of he said/she said, and that a reasonable prosecutor would not have moved forward with a case based on what she saw at that hearing. do you as a former prosecutor agree? >> well, two things. first, this is not a he said/she said, at least as dr. ford teased this up. there are two he's in the room and of course dr. ford. so the first thing i would do before making a prosecutive decision or a decision about whether to charge the case is i would want to go and talk to the third person in the room. and the fact that that had not yet happened here would seem to
6:39 pm
indicate that it would be premature to is say that the case couldn't be prosecuted. and then there is this entire idea that any prosecutor would have an intake interview with the victim, which is essentially what this hearing was getting a first look at the victim's story and then make a decision not to prosecute the case before doing any sort of investigation. and there's a lot of investigation that could be done here, key among that would be the fact that dr. ford had shared her story with people before judge kavanaugh had been nominated at a bare minimum as a prosecutor i would want to hear what those folks had to say. but there is a lot of other information here too that would need to be pursued before a reasonable prosecutor could reach a reasonable decision about whether or not the case was a go. >> and wouldn't the prosecutor have had to talk to the accused? in this case, ms. mitchell talked to him for maybe two of
6:40 pm
her five-minute increments. she didn't really talk to him. so is it odd to you, as it is to many who are looking at this that she reached a conclusion without ever having delved into that july 1st, 1982 entry which seems to corroborate that there was a party that at least merited looking into whether that was the party? >> you know, prosecutors in criminal cases don't always get to talk to defendants before they make a charging decision. of course, we know that this is not a criminal case, but mitchell in her memo says i'm a prosecutor, this is what i know best. so i'll talk about criminal standards. so you and i both know that that's never before been the standard for whether or not a nominee should be confirmed, but let's just take it at face value for a minute. this is a prosecutor who did have access to a quote/unquote defendant. she could have heard a lot more of kavanaugh's story. and the fact that she didn't would at least seem to indicate that she might have had some caution that she would have
6:41 pm
inserted into this memo saying i simply don't have enough information yet to form a judgment about whether or not this is a case that can be prosecuted. >> yeah, not to mention that the prosecutor is usually not hired by the jury who already wants to acquit the defendant, if we want to take that analogy. >> that is unusual. >> thank you very much joyce vance, former u.s. attorney in alabama. >> thanks. >> appreciate your time. coming up, remarks from the president's press conference today that you might not have noticed, and this one is a thinker. stay with us. moving? that's harder now because of psoriatic arthritis.
6:42 pm
but you're still moved by moments like this. don't let psoriatic arthritis take them away. taltz reduces joint pain and stiffness and helps stop the progression of joint damage. for people with moderate to severe psoriasis, 90% saw significant improvement. taltz even gives you a chance at completely clear skin. don't use if you're allergic to taltz. before starting, you should be checked for tuberculosis. taltz may increase risk of infections and lower your ability to fight them. tell your doctor if you have an infection, symptoms, or received a vaccine or plan to. inflammatory bowel disease can happen with taltz, including worsening of symptoms. serious allergic reactions can occur. for all the things that move you. ask your doctor about taltz.
6:43 pm
6:44 pm
ahoy! gotcha! nooooo... noooooo... quick, the quicker picker upper! bounty picks up messes quicker and is 2x more absorbent. bounty, the quicker picker upper. so the brett kavanaugh nomination has clearly not gone as planned for the trump white house, and donald trump presumably has thoughts about that, which he has struggled to keep to himself, particularly when a certain kind of reporter asks him about it. this is how last week's trump presser went. >> if i could just actually ask any question, mr. trump. >> go ahead, please. >> you didn't let me ask the question. >> you've been asking the question for ten minutes. please sit down.
6:45 pm
go ahead. >> how did those impact your opinions on the allegations -- >> well, it does impact my opinion. and you know what? >> that was an exchange last week with cbs white house correspondent weijia jiang. and here is how today's presser went. >> yeah, go ahead. sure. she's shocked that i picked her. she is in a state of shock. >> i'm not. thank you, mr. president. >> i know. you're not. you never do. >> i'm sorry? >> no, go ahead, go ahead. >> hmm. that was abc's white house correspondent cecilia vega. i know you're not thinking. you never do, says the president, as a group of men snicker and smirk behind him. now i know this is not surprising. i mean, this is donald trump, right? but given what we're going through as a country right now where the senate judiciary committee had to bring in an outside woman to question dr. christine blasey ford last week so the all-male republican
6:46 pm
senate judiciary committee members didn't have to do it themselves, you would think that maybe, maybe the president would avoid these unforced errors. well, let's just say i can't imagine why the republican party is having so many problems with women. >> that's okay. i know you're not thinking. you never do. ver do sometimes bipolar i disorder can really get you going. but mania, such as unusual changes in your mood, ver do activity or energy levels, can leave you on shaky ground.
6:47 pm
help take control by asking your healthcare provider about vraylar. vraylar treats acute mania of bipolar i disorder. vraylar significantly reduces overall manic symptoms,... and was proven in adults with mixed episodes who have both mania and depression. vraylar should not be used in elderly patients with dementia, due to increased risk of death or stroke. call your doctor about fever, stiff muscles, or confusion, which may mean a life-threatening reaction or uncontrollable muscle movements, which may be permanent. side effects may not appear for several weeks. high cholesterol and weight gain; high blood sugar, which can lead to coma or death decreased white blood cells, which can be fatal; dizziness upon standing; falls; seizures; impaired judgement; heat sensitivity; and trouble swallowing may occur. you're more than just your bipolar i. ask about vraylar.
6:48 pm
at&t provides edge-to-edge intelligence, covering virtually every part of your retail business. so that if your customer needs shoes, & he's got wide feet. & with edge-to-edge intelligence you've got near real time inventory updates. & he'll find the same shoes in your store that he found online he'll be one happy, very forgetful wide footed customer. at&t provides edge to edge intelligence. it can do so much for your business, the list goes on and on. that's the power of &. & if your customer also forgets socks! & you could send him a coupon for that item.
6:49 pm
6:50 pm
mr. president, i am grateful beyond measure for the confidence you have placed in me, and i will strive with all that i have to live up to have expectations in making this appointment. >> when ruth bader ginsberg was nomina nominated for the supreme court it was 1993. bill clinton was six months into his presidency. the country was just two months past from the highly contentious n nomination for clarence thomas. and the choice of ginsberg was super popular with the public. she would go onto be confirmed by the senate 96-3. and to this day justice ginsberg, the only justice with a nickname, the notorious rbg, not to mention her own "saturday night live" character, holds the record for highest approval rating for supreme court nominees. at the other end of the spectrum, one brett kavanaugh of
6:51 pm
georgetown prep and yale who republicans are determined to rush onto the court as soon as possible, despite the fact his historically low polling numbers continue to get worse and worse. a new poll today finds him dropping even further after last week's senate hearing. now 48% of voters say he should not be confirmed. a rise of 6 points from that last poll. joining me now author of the new book "the red and the blue, the 1990s and the birth of political tribalism." congratulations on the new book. and this is ten years of work. >> it's almost a decade. the 1990s it feels like when i started it. >> and you think about that 96-3 for ruth bader ginsberg, it's hard to imagine any senate, whoever was in charge of it, democrat or republican voting
6:52 pm
for any 96-3. >> that was the very brief lull between there was a storm between robert bork and clarence thomas, late '80s, early '90s, but then there was a partisan war. it's called red america, blue america, those concepts were born, and think about what ends the decade, which starts the new century. the near perfect tied presidential election of 2000, the protracted 36-day recount in florida. and what settles that election finally, that highly disputed election? the supreme court in what looked like a very ideological decision. and i think the court wars -- you don't have 96-3 votes anymore. to sail through now is to have 40 or no votes.
6:53 pm
>> i wonder if going back to this era, to the clinton era, was it borke before or was it gingrich during the 1990s, during the clinton presidency who kind of kick started this hyper-partisan world. >> the name borke, you ask conservatives to this day about the court wars and about the rise of partisanship to washington, robert borke offense 1997 is something they go back to. they say that guy was qualified and they took him down with unfair attacks. and when i talk about the rise of red america in this book, that's the newt gingrich take over of the republican party. the creation of a republican party -- he has that vision he calls definition in contrast, but it's really partisan. you're going to win by drawing a deep and bright line between
6:54 pm
your party and the democratic party. you don't compromise with them. you don't take 5% of what they're offering you. and newt gingrich takes republicans in 1994, to the republican revolution. but when republican get some power under the new speaker of the house, there's a backlash to that. and then you have red and blue and polarization and really i think tribalism has come from that. >> is it a product of geography the republicans were now becoming the product of the south, or was it literally newt gingrich had this vision, we're doing annihilation -- >> i remember when newt gingrich was looking at the republicans themselves believed they were a permanent minority party in congress. they could win the house but thought the congress. so gingrich's thing was this is because we're compromised, we're not creating these contrasts.
6:55 pm
he picked fights, took down the speaker of the house in 1994, and had them believing this guy's a genius. it starts with gold water in 64, and what happens now is gingrich as the face of the republican party that emerged from 1994 it was more southern, more strident. that caused a backlash. the government shutdown in the fall of 1995, and gingrich resigned this is where we finish off bill clinton in the modern democratic party. instead that was where bill clinton and the modern democratic party made their stand, got re-elected in '96 in large part of that. we've been fighting that war ever since. >> it is a fascinating topic, a fascinating story. the origin story of
6:56 pm
hyper-partisanship, the man to write it is steve kornacki. thank you very much. i can't wait to watch you on election night. we'll be right back. u on election night we'll be right back. of good start packaging. we distribute environmentally-friendly packaging for restaurants. and we've grown substantially. so i switched to the spark cash card from capital one. i earn unlimited 2% cash back on everything i buy. and last year, i earned $36,000 in cash back. that's right, $36,000. which i used to offer health insurance to my employees. my unlimited 2% cash back is more than just a perk, it's our healthcare. can i say it? what's in your wallet? ♪ ok here we go guys, you ready? hi! cinturones por favor. gracias. opportunity is everywhere. ♪ it's gonna be fine. it's a door... ♪ it's doing a lot of kicking down there. waiting to be opened. ♪
6:57 pm
whatever your ambition... ♪ whatever your drive... ♪ whatever you're chasing... driver, are we almost there? we're gonna have a baby! ♪ daddy! daddy! opportunity is everywhere. ♪ all you have to do to find it is get out... here. ♪
6:58 pm
on friday, september 14th, special counsel robert mueller got a new recruit, paul manafort. donald trump's campaign chair. manafort was convicted of eight felony charges in august in a federal court in virginia. his second felony trial was about to get under way in
6:59 pm
federal court in washington, d.c. and that's when paul manafort blinked. on september 14th donald trump's campaign chair paul manafort agreed to cooperate fully with special counsel mueller. manafort agreed to be fully debriefed and agreed to hand over, quote, all documents and other materials that may be relevant to the investigation. he agreed to go under cover. although, i have to believe there are better candidates to go under cover than paul manafort. he agreed to testify at trial in front of grand juries. so manafort agreed to be grilled by mueller and his team in that plea deal from september and today. and then an eagle eye reporter from politico spotted these three guys. on the left that's andrew wiseman wb one of mueller's top prosecutors and on the left one of paul manafort's lawyers. he was inside meeting bob
7:00 pm
mueller. their lawyers were later seen grabbing lunch and heading back in. maybe it was just lunch break, but i would have loved to be a fly on that wall. that does it for us tonight. rachel will be back in the chair tomorrow. don't tweet me. now it's time for the l"last word" with lawrence o'donnell. >> i'm just trying to picture paul manafort under cover. is that a beard? what is that? thank you, joy. the fbi investigation of brett kacvanaugh has more to wok with tonight including this statement by kavanaugh's yale roommate. >> the other 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 in. >> i unfortunately believe