tv Cuomo Primetime CNN September 27, 2018 10:00pm-11:00pm PDT
hello, everyone, i'm chris cuomo, welcome to primetime live from our nation's capitol on this riveting and regrettable day. in american history. regrettable. why? it was everything it should not have been. we heard from ford, we heard from kavanaugh. they were both credible, they were both put through the ringer, they're both wounded. but for what, politics at its worst, how to compare the two? as the new york times put it, he litigated, she persuaded. righties are going to say, well, something happened to her, but it wasn't him. that means they can't believe
christine ford because she is 100% sure it was him. and kavanaugh painted a picture of himself as perfect. in that powder puff interview on fox, and by doing so, he painted himself into a corner, and he spent today fighting himself out of it. i saw it as a he said, three said. because he had three women against him but only one was allowed to speak. you saw a battle of stereotypes, she was even, fairly shall, you know why? women have to be. otherwise they're called high strong and emotive. he was attacking, as men are allowed to be. especially defending their perceived honor. and the senators especially on the right, shows why this country agrees on almost nothing except the belief that our elected officials let us down too often. the big question is kavanaugh going to be confirmed. you have to believe the odds
are, if anything, he's closer to that goal after today. but for all the wrong reasons. our job tonight show you the highs and the lows, test those who have a vote and see how those who support each side can make their case to you. and we have it all covered. let's get after if. women haven't comfort, come forward. sources haven't been tracked down. there are those that say they can corroborate both sides and they're not going to be able to. the vote is 12 hours away, that has not changed. nine hours of testimony today, lots of emotions. plenty of poll tix politics. new information, not so much. we heard from christine blasey ford and judge brett kavanaugh. now it's in the hands of senators, like delaware democrat chris coons. thank you for hustling over here. what was it like to be in that room? >> it was remarkable. i thought dr. ford came forward this morning and gave powerful and compelling testimony.
judge kavanaugh appeared before us this afternoon and was forceful, angry at times, engaging in an unprecedented back and forth with members of the committee. as you said in your introduction, defending his honor. and i think we get to the end of this day having a hearing that wasn't what the american people deserved. if this was really designed to get to the bottom of the truth, we would have had several other individuals in front of us. folks investigated or questioned by the fbi. we certainly would have had mark judge in front of us. as a sworn witness. we get to the end of this with dr. ford giving compelling testimony. and judge kavanaugh defending himself. it is not possible to believe both. >> what's your vote? >> if we're going to vote tomorrow morning, i'm going to vote against kavanaugh's appointment. we should be hitting pause and take a week to have the fbi to do an investigation into the allegations. they won't reach a conclusion, i
was upset that the chairman misquoted senator biden several times today. the fbi asks questions. develops witnesses and leads and presents evidence. we on the committee reach the conclusion. but while -- >> at least you have a clear record. >> you would have a clear record, of all the different players, different various levels, interviewed by the same set of professionals, and here it is, now what do you want to do with it, it's on you. fair enough. >> do you think you can convince your brothers and sisters on the gop side. you think flake, it was remarkable today he gave a speech. he didn't ask a single question of kavanaugh. do you think any of the republicans who are supposedly in play are actually in play? >> i do. although after their caucus meeting this evening, a number of them have come out and said -- >> did manchin go to that meet something. >> i do believe he's been having direct conversations with a number of undecideds. >> here's what concerned me near
the end of our hearing today. he said with humility, we all need to recognize there will always be doubt. why would you move ahead with a lifetime confirmation to the supreme court if you have any serious or significant doubt about judge kavanaugh's credibility and truthfulness in his testimony today. >> we should be talking about all of what was learned today and how that's going to help you guys make a decision that benefits the rest of us. it's worth taking a step outside the room for both of us, we had a similar experience, and it's not a partisan one. whether it's on my radio show. in my personal life, how many women have come up to you during the last week or so in anticipation of this hearing, and today saying, you know, this happened to me, chris. both of our names are chris, this happened to me. i had something like this, i would have never come forward, i didn't come forward, you need to understand this, you don't get it as a man. how often did that happen to you? >> several times in recent days.
a male friend of mine from high school, a female friend of mine from high school. a female friend of mine from delaware who i've known as an adult. reached out and texted me during the hearing today, with just striking stories of surviving sexual assault and rape. and that's -- you know, if nothing else comes out of today's hearing, the fact that dr. ford came forward bravely, was heard, gave her full testimony and that inspired survivors around the country to also come forward, i think that's an important contribution. the senate seems to have made some progress since professor anita hill came forward and was put on trial. >> how so? >> in recognizing -- well, the majority structured the hearing in a way that only allowed her to be heard. but didn't respect her story. we didn't have the folks in front of us today. if they confirm kavanaugh, they
will have done so without getting the rest of the information. i think that prevents him from clearing his name. >> what i'm worried about most as a father and as a spouse is, the women who watched that today and saw ford get taken on by a prosecutor. mitchell, who i thought did a fine job, but then watched kavanaugh not get mitchell and get the republicans putting their arms around him and apologizing for what happened many what message does that send about them being believed, senator. that's something that we're going to live for long after today. i don't envy your job, it's the one you were elected to do. >> yes. >> senator coons. good luck, we're always here as an outlet. all right. here's one of the big things that happened today. like i said, this wasn't a he said she said, this is a he said three said.
you have other women who weren't given a chance today, but there was another dynamic, there was a risk for kavanaugh today. that fox interview, it's not about fox, it's about a decision to go on with a friendly face and paint a perfect picture of himself. drink to excess? no, no, no. any of this conduct partying? >> no, no, no. church. by painting that perfect picture he painted himself in a corner, if you watched today, you saw him trying to punch his way out of it. here's the problem, the senators don't know what people in his life do. and one of his yale classmates says that he exposed himself to her at a party. lynn brooks was that woman's roommate. she knew kavanaugh in school too. she says the person he portrayed himself to be today does not match the person she knew at yale. remember, this isn't a criminal trial about whether or not he is guilty of assault.
it's a credibility contest about whether or not someone should be elevated to the highest position of integrity in our society. lynn joins me now by phone. lynn, can you hear me? >> i can, chris. thanks. >> lynn, full disclosure, we've spoken before, i wanted you to come on. you said you didn't want to. weren't comfortable with it, too much pressure, but then you watched today and you changed your mind. why? >> i'll tell you, chris, i watched the whole hearing. and a number of my yale colleagues and i were extremely disappointed in brett kavanaugh's characterization of himself and the way that he evaded his excessive drinking questions. there is no doubt in my mind that while at yale, he was a big partier, often drank to excess. and there had to be a number of nights where he does not remember.
in fact, i was witness to the night that he got tapped into that fraternity, and he was stumbling drunk in a ridiculous costume saying really dumb things. and i can almost guarantee that there's no way that he remembers that night. and it's unfair that he kept flipping the questions to, but i studied real hard, but i played sports. all of us in that circle played sports. in fact, some of us played two sports, we were on varsity in both sports and were starters, and drinking to excess was the big thing on saturday night. so it wasn't every night, it was one night. and it's just really disappointing. there were a lot of e-mails and a lot of texts flying around about how he was lying to the senate judiciary committee today. >> let's give him the benefit of all possible doubt, right? let's take the lowest minimum standard of what he has to own.
what if he says, i was only talking about high school, in college it was different. then i blacked out all the time. in high school, never. would you believe that? you weren't with him in high school. >> no, but the ralph club, the 100 k. those are -- and a weak stomach, that's not a weak stomach question, those are -- look, i don't have anything in my yearbook. but if i had stuff in my yearbook, it would be about partying. >> so when you heard that today, you felt that the picture that he painted of himself is false? >> i thought when i saw his fox news interview, that picture was false. he then took that testimony and submitted it as is in the record to the judiciary committee, and i thought today that he evaded questions, and he kept trying to turn the question around to, but i studied really hard.
well, you know what, i studied hard too. i want to wharton business school. i did very well at yale, i also drank to excess many nights with brett kavanaugh. the two things are not mutually exclusive. >> now, chris dudley of yale and nba name -- or certainly he's known for playing in the nba, he painted a different picture of kavanaugh he was a high integrity character, judge for judge kavanaugh. what do you make of his assessment, why so different from yours? >> well, i can tell you, i didn't go to as many parties with chris dudley, but i do remember one party in particular where both brett and chris dudley were very drunk. and they thought it would be really funny to barge into a room where a guy and girl had gone off together and embarrass that woman. chris dudley was the one that went in under the egging on of brett kavanaugh, and they thought it was funny.
the girl was mortified and i was furious. i'm not sure he's the best character witness. >> now, look, not that this matters, it's about the truth of what he says about himself, this is not a trial about guilt or innocence. it's a job interview. it's a credibility measurement for the highest integrity position we have. i don't believe it's disqualifying to have partied in high school or college. but him telling the truth about himself is a more relevant standard. was brett kavanaugh known at yale as a virgin? >> i have no idea. >> i just want to know, that's something he points out about himself that i know having gone to the same school. it's not so big a school, it's got a big name. it's the kind of thing that would have been known. so at the end of the day, when you heard christine ford and what she accused brett kavanaugh of -- you have never said to me or anything i've read from you, that you saw him as being that kind of person.
so what do you want people to know about the range of assessment that's being made about him? >> well, here's what i would say. that i agree with you, i don't think a person should go on trial for drinking in either high school or college. and i did both. but i will say, it is about the truth. and i will say this about lying. lying is never good. it is never appropriate. and it always comes with consequences. while i can't speak to brett. i will tell my two boys that lying is never good. and also as their coach, i will tell them that wing isn't everything. it should be about how you play the game. and that's i think when many athletes at yale were incredibly disappointed with the performance today.
and quite frankly the blatant lying. >> also important to note. you're a republican, yes? >> i am a republican. >> and brett kavanaugh is someone that you regard in terms of his intellectual success, his intellectual capacity and what he's done on the bench, you see those as meritorious things in his pedigree, yes? >> yes. >> i just wanted to be clear about the balance of your assessment, lynne brookes, i told you not to wait when i spoke to you before. the longer you wait, the harder it is to make an impact on this process. i appreciate you coming in to speak this evening. lynne brookes thank you very much. now, that's relevant, that's what happens when you paint a picture of yourself. these senators weren't going to be able to poke holes in it, why? no time, no depth.
for some of them, no inclination, but how many lynne brookes are out there. you make a decision. wait a minute, i now the we were talking about attempted assault, drinking. i'm talking about the truth. i'm in the staying it's wrong he drank. i'm saying, if he's going to be the ultimate judge of truth in our society, a supreme court justice, and at 53 years old, he's going to lie about what he did when he was 15, what else will he lie about? that's why it's a relative assessment. that's why watching a man today who is a very skilled litigator, litigating your way through a question is different than an answering a question about it. take my word for it, i'm an arguer and litigator by trade. we're going to take you through what was heard today, all right? presenting both sides. both had painful and powerful cases. what were the highs and the lows? what will make a difference? we have it all laid out for you next. ♪ it is such a good time to kiss ♪
nine hours of testimony. lots of questions, lots of responses, lots to unpacked. we put together the high points and low points for each side. let's start with the highs. okay? kavanaugh sharing this very personal moment about his daughter. >> the other night ashley and my daughter iliza said their prayers and iliza all of ten years old said to ashley, we should pray for the woman. that's a lot of wisdom from a 10-year-old. i swear today under oath before the senate and the nation, before my family and god, i am
innocent of this charge. >> i'm a family man, i'm god fearing, i can be emotional, and i love my kids. those are all powerful points in a political process. for professor ford, her big hit, she knows who attacked her. >> with what degree of certainty do you believe brett kavanaugh assaulted you? >> 100%. >> 100%. another high point for ford, this exchange that brings home the depth of the wrong that was done to her. >> can you tell us what you don't forget about that night? >> as you walk into the room there was a bed to the right. the bathroom in close proximity. the laughter, the uproarious laughter, and the multiple attempts to escape, and the final ability to do so.
>> now, why? because the damage is palpable that she says she feels an experience that day. and that picture, that image of a woman being powerless and a male mocking her being powerless is very powerful. now, the low points? plenty of those. let's start with this from judge kavanaugh. he was in attack mode. he was a litigator out there today. more than there to tell the truth, he was there to fight the questions, political operative that is deep in him on full display. >> this confirmation process has become a national disgrace. you have replaced advice and consent with search and destroy. fear that has been unfairly stoked about my judicial record, revenge on behalf of the clintons, and millions of dollars in money from outside left wing opposition groups. >> you're not used to hearing judges who are nominees talking
like that, they're not usually as profound a political operative in their past as he was. he was play i.g. hardball politics. it encountered somewhat of a notion that he was sympathetic for professor ford, because he was there fighting her as an opponent. there's also this problematic moment for kavanaugh. take a listen. >> he references a part, bombing someone's car during beach week and then passing out. is that you, he's talking about? >> well -- >> i'm trying to get a straight answer from you under oath. are you the bart kavanaugh he's referring to yes or no? >> you'd have to ask him. >> well, i agree with you there. >> this was a twofer. bart o' kavanaugh or brett kavanaugh. written in a book by his friend. you don't have to be a genius to see the similarity, he didn't want to go there. was this about the truth or avoiding zs closing the clothe. he said, you have to ask mark judge.
yeah, no kidding, your buddies in the gop won't let it happen, no other witnesses, no record made by the fbi. this was the minimum standard, this is by definition a rush to judgment. and kavanaugh for all his wordy answers never said he would be okay with any expansion of efforts. so now to professor ford, a low point for her came in full view when she was asked about how she came to retain her lawyers. take a listen. >> did anyone besides friends and family refer you to any attorneys? >> i think that the staff of dianne feinstein's office suggested the possibility of some attorneys. >> why does this matter? because the republicans are going to cast her as a political pawn. they delayed the process, they hatched it when they wanted to for maximum effect. they lawyered her up, they got her ready, they paid for her polygraph. judge kavanaugh didn't say today he would even take a polygraph, but that's going to be weaponized.
then there was the use of rachel mitchell, the woman you just saw asking the questions, a prosecutor brought in to interrogate ford, but she's the alleged victim so they were going to use a prosecutor on her, but not that much with judge kavanaugh, the alleged perpetrator. take a listen. >> would you believe me if i told you that there's no study that says that this setting in five minute increments is the best way to do that? >> i'll stipulate to that. >> you know why i played that for you? >> i know it has nothing to do with the questioning and the truth, it was the truth of the moment. that prosecutor who's in the business of getting to the bottom line on sexual assaults. she said, this is not how you get to the truth. and that was the truth. today was everything i feared it would be. we don't really know much more. we could never decide on the merits of these allegations. and it was clear the senators aren't looking for the truth,
just advantage. lots of pain for ford, and in fairness for kavanaugh. no gain for the truth or the people. and we do deserve answers. now, this has been a difficult hearing for many americans to watch, but especially hard for the friends and loved ones of the judge and the professor. we're going to get reaction from people close to both about why they believe you should believe their friend. next. how do you top mac & cheese? start with 100% clean ingredients. like vermont white cheddar. then... add bacon, bbq chicken, or baja blend. catering and delivery now available. panera. food as it should be. if you're waiting patiently for a liver transplant, it could cost you your life. it's time to get out of line with upmc. at upmc, living-donor transplants put you first.
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tough day anyway you look at it, but especially to those of the friends and relatives of both parties. two people who know both of them well are joining me tonight to give us their insight on whom they believe and who you should believe. we're going to hear from drins fords friend in a moment. we're going to start with a friend of judge kavanaugh. we're all on set, that's because we're not enemies at this point. he's a former indiana congressman and a co-founder of the federalist society.
i'm not here to grill you. why do you believe that brett kavanaugh should be believed about what he said? >> yeah, i've known brett for over 20 years. what he presented today is who he is, he's not a perfect person. as he said, and -- but he's very credible, very much a gentleman, and i believe he was totally sincere in saying i never did this. i also think if you look at it, the way this whole thing was structured, i agree with you, it was a circus and it was terrible. could have been prevented by dianne feinstein and her staff. they had the letter back in early july, they could have gone to the republicans and said, we have to deal with this, take it to the fbi. >> she said she was respecting anonymity, i take your point on process. i don't care about it enough, the politics of how we got here, it's about the truth of the matter asserted. you say the judge should be believed. here's my pushback, painting
himself in a picture of perfection as he did on fox. he wound up painting himself into a corner and he was fighting out of it today, you heard that yale -- you didn't know him at yale -- >> i was there ahead of him. >> so one of his classmates who knew him well says, i don't know what happened with christine ford, but i know he's not telling the truth when he talks about his drinking. if he lied under oath about the excess of his drinking, and how he was, is that okay? >> everybody -- when i was at yale, everybody drank. he said he drank, i believe him in that. >> never to excess, he said. never too much, never so he wouldn't remember. >> so he wouldn't black out. >> she says otherwise. >> i doubt anyone's seen him black out. i just question that, because he doesn't -- >> i don't think -- >> he doesn't go to that excess. that's irrelevant, what the question was, is whether or not he sexually assaulted dr. ford, he was very credible in emphatically saying that, i was a virgin then and for several years, i was embarrassed about
that. i remember when i was his age i was too, and i embellished with my friends. he was believable because it were real and human. >> if it were real and human, it's not a trial. it's not about whether you can make the case about him -- >> it's about him presenting himself who he is, and whether -- >> he was being truthful. >> he was angry at the way the process has worked. you're taking someone who has a wonder. reputation. everyone who's known him unprofessionally says he would wouldn't do that, in a matter of two weeks, smearing him in this campaign when he could have had a chance to fully refute it. he did a good job with the calendar that shows here's where i was. every other witness at the time says he didn't do it. when you have a he said she said, that's the standard anybody guys by, what does everyone else say. >> they all said brett kavanaugh
didn't do it. >> if it were a trial. >> this is an integrity measure of him. >> when we're listening to people, any time you listen to people, they'll have different interpretations about what happened. when everyone says, i saw what brett said. >> no, they say, i don't know. i don't remember. i don't remember that. >> he didn't do it, it didn't happen. >> one does, there's a varied kind of, let's call it -- >> nobody says -- >> nobody says he did do it, except christine ford. i appreciate you giving your take. >> thank you. >> that's david mcintosh. now i want to turn to cheryl amatae. she was inside the hearing today. she's a friend, a former high school classmate of christine ford. thank you very much. >> nice to meet you. >> we heard professor ford say a lot today, the most important thing was, i am 100% sure that this was brett kavanaugh who did this. >> yes. >> do you believe that? >> oh, absolutely. >> why?
>> she was vintage chrissy today, she was carefully considering in answering the questions, she was not avoiding them. it was interesting the way she answered questions and responded, i felt was in stark contrast to the judge who almost seemed defensive and petulant and sort of angry. she wanted the most information possibly to get out. when they said do you want to speak with mark judge, it wasn't about him per injuring himself, perjurying himself. him coming before -- it was about getting more information. it was purely about, i want to know when he worked at safeway, so i can give you better information. >> what's the chance? because she said that a lot, relatively, i'd like to know more, i'd like to see this so i could give you more information. i don't know, i can't help you. that may be honest, but it also has an impact on people who are trying to figure out what you're talking about. what is the chance she's right
about what happened to her and wrong about who did it. >> absolutely none. >> but he swears to god that it wasn't him, he didn't do it, and the people who she says were at the party, can't make the same point that she does. >> well -- >> exactly. >> exactly. i would think another person, who was at the party chose not to address the issue more than -- >> mark judge. >> no, actually leyland, due to her own health problems and issues, and chrissy understood this, she did not want to -- >> what do you think she could provide? >> well, she apologized to chrissy by text after she came out with her statement, i think she could have provided that brett was there. and brett was there, and she was there as well. >> and that's something that obviously the senators should look at. the fbi could have cultivated for them. we don't know if that's ever
going to happen. >> the other knock was, not the facts, but the friend group, who got you here? >> right. >> the democrats, feinstein, they found you the lawyer, they helped you pay for the polygraph. they are cultivating you as a source. you are their political pawn? fair characterization? >> absolutely not. this was a very unwitting hero in my opinion. witness in others opinion. she did not want to be in this situation. that was part of the delay in this coming out. which is unfortunate in the timing, because she wrestled with it, so much. she had absolutely nothing to gain. absolutely nothing to gain by doing this. >> listen, i appreciate it, not an easy day for you. not an easy day for you. not an easy day for any of us, but you know what, justus sitting at this table here doing this, this is better than what we got today. they wouldn't be in the same room at the same time, because of the ugliness of the allegations, and certainly the two sides didn't come together on any common ground. thanks to the two of them for
making the case to you. we're going to have more on this confirmation fight for the ages. remember, if republicans win this battle, what will it mean? a generation of juris prudence, but could it cost them in the midterms and beyond? that is a great premise for a great debate, next. - at afor the financialt's time world to stop acting the same old way. you need a partner that is willing to break free from conventional thinking.
what is the right thing to happen next? let's start there for our great debate? it's good to have you both, angela rye, do you think brett kavanaugh is confirmed and do you think he should be confirmed? >> chris, you know, i have to start with hope. i hope he's not confirmed. for all of the reasons that were put on display for the world to see today. and i just have to believe that there are senators of good
conscience who are willing to take a risk. i hate that i have to call it a risk today. and stand up on the side of survivors of sexual assault. before we came on air, i was reading a note i received in my instagram dm's from someone, every now and then i check. just to see -- there's a pulse for what's going on. this young man sent me a dm saying he appreciated me speaking out for survivors. he himself had been the victim of sexual assault by an upstanding man in high school. he had never had the courage to come forward. all i can say to you is that the senate has the opportunity to correct its wrongs from 20 something years ago. finally let survivors of sexual assault, not having their day in court. they're not on trial. having an open audience, with people who at least give them the benefit of the doubt and
really hear them out. there were other people that didn't get that chance. the other accusers. >> what do you think was made clear today that shows that kavanaugh should be elevated to the supreme court? >> first, chris, i'd like to stipulate that i also like beer, and i drank a lot of it when i was in the united states army. at the same time, i watched this hearing today, and dr. ford really got me, i thought she was authentic, i thought she was courageous i thought her education came through uniquely, and her answers to her questions. >> you believe her? >> just like i did -- i got to tell you, just like you said at the top of the show, i believe that something happened to her, and i was really worried at the end of that, that we would lose our supreme court nominee. then i watched justice kavanaugh, and the way he really showed some spine, really in my
mind really let the audience and the senators know he was offended by what he -- he used to call it advise and consent. he called it search and destroy. a national disgrace. i happen to agree with all those assessments. i came away from this today believing the same thing when i went in, i got a lot more color in it, and a better look at judge kavanaugh and dr. ford. it's not a trial. it's not about guilt or innocence. >> they were supposed to be there trying to get to the truth of the matter as certificated by dr. ford. we all knew that wasn't possible let alone their inclination, let me put it to you this way. let's say you don't know after today whether or not dr. ford was right, and it was brett kavanaugh. maybe it was something in between. he's lying about not being at the party, he was there, something happened but he didn't see it that way, maybe he doesn't remember, because he was lying about how much he drinks. he doesn't just like beer, he likes it more than most people,
he partied profoundly, he was seen drunk by people in high school a lot, in college a lot. he's not telling the truth about himself. he didn't do what she says. then what, angela? >> so chris, i would love to answer that, but i have to go back to the stipulation of your other guest. what's so unfortunate about your remarks, is it's clear you didn't learn from the dragging that kristen gave you last night, i cannot believe you would come back on a program and talk about the stipulation of beer, there by undermining every sexual assault survivor in this country. this is not about liking beer, this is about liking beer enough to throw yourself on top of someone and the only way you get off of that person is by another person who's now in hiding in delaware throwing himself on top of you, so you tumble off the top of the victim. i think that your remarks are exactly the problem with how the republicans are talking about this. your remarks are in line with
lindsey graham's lovefest with kavanaugh. his refusal to answer ka ma la harris and dick durbin on whether he would allow an fbi investigation to go forward, and support said fbi investigation from the white house. >> all right. >> that is in fact the problem, you all need to correct your message. >> get to the question. >> let's get to the response. >> you're not the moderator. >> what's your response? >> let's just have a good discussion. there's no need. >> let's try not to get personal here. this show doesn't get personal. >> look, it's an intensely personal subject. >> it is. >> it's a personal subject but let's make good points, what is your response to what angela said? >> well, i mean, first of all, i'm not going to bite on, i'm not here to argue, last night it got a little heated. >> it's called the great debate. >> can i continue? >> go ahead, go ahead. go ahead.
>> last night i got a little heated because kirstin got a little personal. i'm not going to bite on temptation. i appreciate it though. i know that's what you need to make your point. >> i'm a temptress now, you're walking right in. >> you're unreasonable. i hear you -- >> look, here's the -- >> can i answer a question. let me get to the point of this matter here, okay, chris? i didn't see any more evidence of this assault at the end of the day today. than i -- than we saw before, and i think that the visceral nature and the partisan nature just like angela is right now, you know, making -- forcing us all to consider this lack of evidence even though, you know -- lack of evidentiary proof this happens, still we're looking at something that may have happened. it's really visceral, partisan and tearing the country apart. the one thing i know is, i spent my evening tonight at a republican party -- a county committee event in wyoming
county, part of new york 27, that seat is now up for grabs because chris collins got indicted. nobody there is believing any of this, they're all very upset, and they're going to come out and vote, and that's what needs to happen in the midterms for the republican standpoint. the base has got to come out and vote. they're coming out. >> i think both sides will end up coming out because of this. it seems like such a wrong? >> i think what's so interesting here is, we can't stay on the topic of this hearing today. and the challenges that exist nor brett kavanaugh. if we talk to any person who's accused of sexual assault, and they had the opportunity to clear their name, if they were in fact accused and they're saying they absolutely unequivocally never happened, why would they not allow an fbi investigation to go forward? why would they not encourage that to clear their name. >> answer that. >> michael. >> why won't he encourage fbi? why won't he take a polygraph? why not.
>> i think this thing needs to get a vote. i think judge kavanaugh thinks so too. i was proud of the way he talked today, i was very proud by the way, of senator lindsey graham too. we're all kind of sick of this delay tactics, let's get this done. let's get judge kavanaugh on the court. at the same time, we understand that dr. ford and judge kavanaugh didn't need to be here today doing this, it should have happened six weeks ago, if it wasn't for the democrats, especially the ranking member, senator feinstein keeping this thing a secret, and three weeks ago, when they were interviewing judge kavanaugh about personal issues, they didn't bring it up then. >> i guess the thing about this, chris, is just like we saw brett kavanaugh do today, people continue to skirt the issue, the question is simple, why would you not encourage an fbi investigation to clear your name? instead we blame dianne feinstein. >> the answer is easy. >> you had an opportunity to give an answer, you skirted it.
you can't continue to blame other people. you should just go ahead and let the investigation go forward. >> angela, michael, thank you very much. appreciate you making the arguments on the show. who won today? nobody. nobody. i know the shows are filled with people with opinions about who looked good and who looked bad and what they made, look, you're right with the criticism. and a lot of that is just tv, i don't know who won, but i can tell you who has the most to lose. and that's the closing argument next.
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he said, she said. some of the highest stakes imaginable. a seat on the supreme court supposedly reserved for people of highest integrity. the accuser cried. the nominee cried more. both were compelling. but the moment of the day goes to a senator, republican lindsey graham of south carolina. watch this. >> this is the most unethical sham since i've been in politics. and if you really wanted to know the truth, you sure as hell wouldn't have done what you've done to this guy. >> what the hell is he so angry about? what is going on with lindsey graham? i keep inviting him on the show to make the case. he should be angry at the people to his left and right from his own party. if he wanted to get red in the face, it should be with shame. that you should own, senator. and the people in your party who put it this point. this isn't just about the delay of the democrats. and you know it. reality of our life. facts, no.
fury? yes. politics of punishment. he knows that he doesn't know a damn thing about what happened that night. certainly he didn't learn anything today. he's just saying what matters most. and that's what he wants most. the court to go his way. what was the point of it all? optics? change the tone and tenor of the hearing? he succeeded. but we all lost. the gop brought in a career prosecutor, experienced in handling sex crimes, to question both witnesses. senator grassley said it would help depoliticize the process and get to the truth. they ditched her halfway through the hearing. so was the goal really to get to the truth, to ditch anything other than this being a fulsome process? political punches maybe while they had the chance? what's clear, we lost today. all of us. we're in a bad place. our politicians can't work together. they don't even want to. as a society we don't know how to assess noncriminal claims of
wrongdoing. we don't have a system of finding facts or accountability for our culture. and today we tried it in the most poisoned palace we could find. we have a power struggle that is not a fair fight in this confirmation. this is about the gop. is there enough doubt in any of the republicans' minds after today? now, i sound like everybody else, right? on tv who's saying what's obvious and obviously useless. here's the real deal. they don't know any more than they did before because they're not digging in for the facts because that's not what this is about. this is about figuring out the politics. and let me help you because i've grown up in it. collins, murkowski, flake, any goper, they're thinking this, what are the women going to do to me if i vote for him? what will the party do to me if i vote against? and if i still do, if i say i can't do this, this is about integrity, this guy is at a minimum lying about who he is and what he's about, maybe not about what happened with ford, i don't really know about that. these other women, i don't have time to assess.
but i know he's not telling the truth. and it was under the oath. so if they feel that in the extreme, right? i'm giving you an extreme position. well, i can only vote him down if i think we're going to win the senate because i have to make sure we get the court or i'm in really deep trouble. that's the political calculus. now, what should the real question be? do i believe that this man represents our best? that he is a paragon of integrity, because i'm going to put him in a position as a young and healthy man for the rest of his life, probably 35 years, and he is going to decide what matters most about who we are and what we're about as a people. and if the answers don't ring true, not just about the sexual assault, this is not a trial, this is a job interview. this is an assessment of character. it's about how he handles it as much as the truth of the matters asserted. and on balance do i think if i'm one of these senators that i
should reward him after everything that i've learned? that's the question for them. what is the answer? we're going to see. thank you very much for joining us tonight. that's it for us. don lemon is going to pick up the coverage. there's so much to talk about. stay with cnn right after this break. little things can be a big deal. that's why there's otezla. otezla is not a cream. it's a pill that treats moderate to severe plaque psoriasis differently. with otezla, 75% clearer skin is achievable. don't use if you're allergic to otezla . it may cause severe diarrhea, nausea, or vomiting. otezla is associated with... ...an increased risk of depression. tell your doctor if you have a history of depression or suicidal thoughts,... ...or if these feelings develop. some people taking otezla reported weight loss. your doctor should monitor your weight and may stop treatment. upper respiratory tract infection and headache may occur. tell your doctor about your medicines and if you're pregnant or planning to be.
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ask how to get $300 back when you sign up for xfinity mobile, and purchase a new samsung phone. visit your local xfinity store today. this is "cnn tonight." i'm don lemon. thanks for joining us. live in washington tonight. here's what a source is telling cnn. that president trump told a room full of republican donors the senate judiciary committee hearing today was "brutal and tough to watch." well, mr. president, i agree with you. i've seen a lot of crazy things in this town. but this, this incredible hearing that went on for hours and hours and hours, was not like anything any of us has ever seen before. i was on the edge of my seat. you probably were too. christine blasey ford and judge brett kavanaugh telling their stories in their own words.