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tv   This Week With George Stephanopoulos  ABC  September 23, 2018 8:00am-9:00am PDT

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ullest. "this week" with george stephanopoulos, starts right now. supreme court showdown. >> brett kavanaugh. fantastic man. fantastic. >> i believe her. because she's telling the truth. >> dr. christine blasey ford wants to testify on thursday. judge kavanaugh's nomination hangs in the balance. >> somebody's mixed up. >> i think she's mistaken. >> don't get rattled by all of this. we'll plow right through it. >> there are plenty of reasons to disbelieve judge kavanaugh. >> i just want to say to the men of this country, just shut up and step up. >> will the hearing take place? under what conditions. the most consequential yet for the me too movement. the supreme court, the senate, the trump presidency all at stake. and -- >> there's a lingering stench
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and we're going to get rid of that, too. >> trump targets the doj after "the new york times" reports that rod rosenstein suggested secretly recording president trump. and recruiting cabinet members to remove him from office. >> look what is now being exposed in our department of justice and the fbi. >> rosenstein is pushing back against the latest report that shows top administration officials questioning trump's fitness for office. will this force the president to fire rosenstein and try to shut down the investigation? we'll analyze it all on our powerhouse "roundtable." and nikki haley previews the special assembly at the u.n. politics, smoke out the spin. the facts that matter. this week. >> announcer: from abc news, it's "this week." here now, george stephanopoulos. >> good morning and welcome to "this week." as we come on the air this morning, the stage appears to be set for what could be the most
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consequential hearing in decades. dr. christine blasey ford has tentatively agreed to appear before the committee on thursday to detail her allegation that brett kavanaugh sexually awe salted h-- assaulted her ata party 36 years ago. underscore the word tentatively. both sides still negotiating. new information could come to light. the deal could fall apart. either way, what happens in the next few days will determine whether brett kavanaugh cements the supreme court or has a big impact on the trump presidency. our first guest, the senior member of the judiciary committee, senator dick durbin. thank you for joining us. let's begin, you are senior democrat on the committee. somewhat the latest in the negotiations right now? where do things stand? >> i think your reporting is accurate, george.
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there appears to be an agreement near. it is not finalized. it will be wednesday or thursday this week, at least that's what i heard in a conference call last night. >> there seem to be a few sticking points. democrats and dr. ford want outside witnesses. she wants to be questioned by senators. senator grassley wants the questioning to be done by a staff aide. are those live-or-die points for the democrats? >> i don't know, george. i will tell you. i think her requests have been reasonable. remember kellyanne conway. her first reaction was a good one. we cannot ignore and we cannot insult dr. ford. in the week that's followed, a lot of that has occurred. what dr. ford has asked for, think, is a credible request. a credible investigation by the fbi. the bush white house ordered an investigation in the anita hill case years ago. it happened immediately. the trump white house have refused from the start for any type of investigation.
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dr. ford said, i want to come before the committee. to be able to testify and tell what happened. what they've said was, well, why don't we do this with a conference call by a staff conference call instead? i do believe she's not been treated well during the course of this. and the republicans, many of them, even my colleagues, feel uneasy with the way this has been handled. >> as you know, republicans feel uneasy with the way the democrats are handling this, as well. the president has criticized senator feinstein for holding the leert in secret until the hearings were over. vice president pence had this to say yesterday. >> his record and career deserves the respect of every member of the united states senate. the way some democrats have conducted themselves during this process is a disgrace. and a disservice to the senate. and the american people. >> your response? >> well, i can just tell you
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that i think dr. ford has come forward understanding what she was going to face. i think it really speaks to her credibility at this moment. what in the hell did she have to gain by doing this? at this point, she's faced death threats. her family is moved out of their home. they're worried about the safety of their children. concerned about safety at the hearing. you look at this in honest terms, i believe not only judge kavanaugh but dr. ford deserve a fair hearing. to say no investigation will do this by phone, at night, with staff attorneys. i think this was disrespectful of the claim made by a credible witness. >> you'll be part of the questioning if the hearing takes place. is there any way to really know the truth of what happened in that suburban house more than three decades ago? >> in terms of direct evidence? probably not. the only alleged underline alleged eyewitness this mark
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judge has said he quote has no recollection closed quote, of what occurred that evening. on tne lt so wcan he was key to dr. ford's presentation. they won't let him near the capital when we have sworn witnesses sharing testimony. i think the republicans have shown their uneasiness with their own defense by refusing to allow mark judge to testify. >> not just mark judge. apparently dr. ford has identified two other people, including judge kavanaugh, who were there at the party. now the fourth one came forward and says she has no memory of being at a party with judge kavanaugh. doesn't know him. so of the four people dr. ford says attended the party, none of them can corroborate her story. >> apparently that's true, based on what you just said. it speaks to another thing, dr. ford said let's have the investigation.
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let's find all the people who might have some knowledge of it. she's opened it to the investigation. it's judge kavanaugh, the department of justice, the president, that says, no, there will be no investigation. that, to me, speaks to her efforts, to try to get to the bottom of this. it's no surprise. if another person was in the room or not in the room but in the house that night and had no occurrence of the one that was stated by dr. ford, there's no reason they would remember that party scene 36 years ago. >> this is not a court of law, as you know. what is the fair standard of proof? >> that is a great question. and it's a question i've thought about asking judge kavanaugh. what is the standard of proof? is it probable cause? as we use in criminal proceedings. is it beyond a reasonable doubt? is it a certain percentage of accuracy? i don't know what it is. we're trying to come up with a reasonable standard here. but i think we understand the gravity of the situation. when someone steps forward and accuses another person of this kind of sexual assault, it needs
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to be taken seriously. we need to treat that person with respect and look at the allegations that have been made. >> sounds like what you are saying might be the definition of obscenity by judge potter stewart. you know it when you see it. >> i'll tell you, george, it may be the case. to have categorical denial and an assertion by dr. ford that is extremely serious, as far as i'm concerned, even though it was 36 years ago. to have that situation, committee on both sides want to be fair, at least i hope they do, want to be fair to both. i have republican senators who have reached out to democratic senators who have assured them that they're looking to this as to kind of a determination of how they're final vote would be cast. >> you say that now. there's a lot of evidence that both sides have already made up their mind. >> i don't think that's true. i really don't. just remember, this senate
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judiciary committee, the composition is 11 republicans, 10 democrats. if one republican senator should decide that dr. ford's allegations, assertions, are true, and that they are serious, it could make a big difference in the nomination of brett kavanaugh. >> we have seen reports this week alleging heavy drinking by brett kavanaugh in high school. will democrats press for more on that? >> it's relevant to the whole conversation. dr. ford said they were stumbling drunk at the time this occurred. and there have been a lot of things said about the alcohol that was consumed by the judge, as well as by others in his school. that has to be part of any relevant questioning. >> you and other democrats have had a lot of questions about judge kavanaugh before the allegations came to light. prepared to vote against him. some questions also about whether he was being fully honest over the course of these hearings, which has led some to
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raise the prospect if this nomination goes through of impeachment of justice kavanaugh. i want to show this. >> if the republicans rush through a nominee where you have unanswered sexual assault allegations, i can promise you that democratic senators will be interested in going and looking at those allegations. and if judge kavanaugh lied under oath, you should see a judicial impeachment. >> do you think that prospect should be on the table? >> no, i don't. not at this point. we have an important job to do. and it's a hearing. a hearing of judge kavanaugh. along with dr. ford's testimony. let's focus on that. this speculation of what might occur in the future, it makes a good news story. it doesn't address what we're dealing with right now. this is a lifetime appointment to the highest court in the land. we have had background information on j
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at been concealed in ways we have never seen before the committee. his 35 months as staff secretary to president bush have really been hidden to us. we can't see any documents from that period. and they created this thing, committee confidential. i've been on this committee for 20 years. i have never seen this applied as a way to keep the documents away from the public. all of this concealing and hiding is coming back to haunt them now. as allegations have been made, by dr. ford. serious allegations have been to be investigated. >> senator durbin, thank you for your time. >> thank you, george. we reached out to every republican member of the senate judiciary committee. none of them agreed to appear. we're joined now by republican strategist sara fagen. a long-time friend and colleague of judge kavanaugh. this week, she led a group of over 75 women who have known kavanaugh throughout his life and vouched for his character.
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thank you for joining us. you have been at the forefront of the i stand for brett movement. what is his mind set? has he ever considered dropping out? >> i have not spoken with him in a couple of weeks since the galgss, this allegation was made. but i know brett. i know his character. and, he's a person of strong faith. and he's obviously being tested right now in a way that has been incredibly unfair to him, his family, to the entire process. but i have no doubt that -- he will testify, assuming this hearing goes forward. and he'll have a chance to tell his story. think it's important for people to hear that. >> i talked to senator durbin. dr. ford wants to be questioned by senators, not by a staff aide.
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wants testimony by other witnesses. are those reasonable requests? >> she needs to testify under oath. one of the things we know about this -- set of circumstances is there are supposedly five people at the party. four of them, including judge cavanaugh, they have come forward under criminal penalty of lying to the senate have said, not only did this not happen, they were not there. i think i would like to correct something senator durbin said. he implied mark judge said there was a party and a lot of drinking. no, i think actually mark judge said there was no party. this never happened. all the other witnesses have said this did not happen. >> he said a couple of different things about it. i think the -- leland said she wasn't at the party. she says she also believes dr. ford. you said categorically the allegations against judge kavanaugh is false. how do you know that? >> i know it because i know his character. i worked with him in grueling situations in the white house. hours, stress. i have socialized with him. i have been in large groups with him. small groups with him. it's not just me. it's 85 other women who stood up there and 100 who have known him in every
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aspect of his life. law school classmates. people who dated him in high school. young lawyers in washington. staff in the white house. young women who were clerking for him. every one of them says this does not add up to the brett kavanaugh we know. nothing about what has been described about him is in line with anything -- any behavior we have ever seen. i know him to be a respectful, quiet, thoughtful, prudent person. and this just doesn't add up. >> so you don't believe it's true though you weren't there. if you believe it's false, you believe dr. ford is lying. as senator durbin just said, what incentive would she have to lie? and if someone was lying, why would they invite an fbi investigation? >> i don't know the series of events that led her to make this statement she's made. what i do know is -- his character. and that the other people who were supposed to be at the party, allegedly at the party,
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say the party didn't happen. and that they have never seen brett act in a way, including the woman, as you just described, who came out last evening, who is a close friend of dr. ford's. she says she doesn't even know brett. she has never been at any party with brett, whether dr. ford was there or not. there's no evidence, at this point, to suggest that any shred of this is true. and, you know, look. i take the point that, you know, first of all, nobody should ever feel unsafe. she made an allegation. she should be heard. republicans are trying to make that happen on the senate judiciary committee. actu senatorra bent over backwards to try to accommodate her. she should be questioned by an attorney. this is a serious allegations. she's alleging a serious crime by a person. and in doing so, you know, really questioning his reputation and potentially putting him in a terrible position for the rest of his
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life. >> but doesn't that then lead to -- you say senator grassley boempbt backwards. but everything you're saying about the import of this leads to the conclusion that maybe you should do what happened with clarence thomas. have the fbi investigation first. >> the senate judiciary committee has invest garrets. they have terrific lawyers. they have bipartisan lawyers. when they do interviews with these individuals, these witnesses, which, by the way they have gotten statements from all of these people. it's not as if the other people who were allegedly at the party, haven't given statements. >> they haven't been cross-examined under oath. >> well, they haven't been cross-examined under oath. the committee could do that. i don't believe -- when someone comes forward and says, it didn't happen. i don't have any recollection of it. i wasn't there. the party didn't happen. you know, i'm not certain what questioning will be of value. she's the one who needs to be heard from.
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she's the one who has made the allegation. she needs to put forward destroys a man's professional life and reputation. >> you just heard senator durbin say the questions about brett kavanaugh's heavy drinking in high school are going to be on the table. they are relevant. according to "the washington post" in practice sessions this week, he seemed to bristle at those questions. are they fair? >> well, he's going to get asked a lot of questions. that will be one of them. i can tell you from my experience having been a young professional in washington and run in the same social circles as brett kavanaugh. i never saw him drink excessively. he was always a responsible person. and so you know, unfortunately, he'll get asked a whole bunch of unpleasant questions because this is now the situation we t i have no doubt he'll be able to handle those questions. >> president trump weighed in on twitter. he said i have no doubt if the
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attack on dr. ford was as bad as she said, charges would have been immediately filed. i ask that she bring those filings forward so we can learn date, time, and place. got a lot of criticism from that including from senator collins. was it appropriate for the president to step in in that way? >> there's been a lot written of the psychology of people who experience some type of trauma like that. the president is not a psychologist. i can't speak to the events that led her to make the allegations she made at the time in which she made it. there's a lot of theories about that. but what i do know and what i can speak about is that judge kavanaugh is somebody who, over the course of his life, the people who know him best, over every phase of his life, say nothing about what she has said comporting with the way he's conducted his life. unfortunately, he'll now have to defend himself against an allegation he says never
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and as you pointed out in your earlier conversation, it's going to be very hard to prove this. because she said it did. he's going to have to deal with that for the rest of his life. that is a very -- difficult thing to put forward. and, i cannot imagine what he's having to deal with, having to now read that, having his daughters read that in the paper, hear about it on the news. it's a sad state of affairs we . >> all the way around. sara fagen, thank you very much. "roundtable" is up next. we'll be right back. (vo) this is not a video game. this is not a screensaver. this is the destruction of a cancer cell by the body's own immune system, thanks to medicine that didn't exist until now. and today can save your life.
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the allegations she's raised are serious. and they deserve to be treated with respect. and i hope that she comes and has a full opportunity to tell her story in a way that is respectful. but i also think judge kavanaugh deserves a full opportunity to defend himself and let the american people make an assessment of what happened. >> dr. ford's allegations should be investigated by the fbi. full style. there's precedent for that. that's the right thing to do given the gravity of the scsed on theampan ail. we're by cokie roberts. er gay stolberg.ris christie je.
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and patrick gaspard, president of the open society foundations. former political director in the owe what white house. cokie, we haven't been here since 1991 anita hill, clarence thomas. hard to overstate what is at stake in the hearings. >> unbelievable what's at stake. and in a very different time from anita hill and clarence thomas. we're in the me too moment. there's a tremendous amount of pressure on the committee. because of that. and a tremendous amount of support for dr. ford without ever having heard her. i think that will be something in committee has to deal with and something that the supreme court has to deal with. >> and sheryl, you cover this every day for "the new york times" in congress. this is something that senate republicans did not want to have to deal with. i think they were kind of hoping she wouldn't testify. >> they were. but they can't a first off, there are republican senators like jeff flake who say they want to hear from her. >> he's on the judiciary committee. >> he's on the committee.
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he's not comfortable voting until he hears from her. republicans also know that this is very delicate for them, right? in anita hill there were all men on the judiciary committee. today, four women. all of them are democrats. we still have the optics of 11 republican men questioning a woman and they're very, very nervous about that. they're handling it delicately. one reason they want an outside questioner to ask her. >> and you might get a compromise on that, having both sides. so chris, if one of those republican senators called you up and said, how do we handle it? what's your answer? >> let outside counsel ask the questions. insist upon that. there's no way you should let a witness decide who questions them. secondly, do what i've said for the better part of a week now. the doctor has a right to have her allegations heard. if she's willing to do that in
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public, which it sounds like she may be. it should be preferably done in the public. from the beginning, judge kavanaugh has been pretty consistent on this. i have heard some people say, he shouldn't have made a full-throated denial. he should have done something different. what is that is the truth? what if that is the way he recollects it? do we want him to be hedging like a politician? or do we want him to tell the truth as he sees it? everything i have been told by leopp kho cavanaugh -- judge kavanaugh well, and i don't, they say this is him. and he's saying what he believes. this is absolutely the truth, as he recalls it. i think that is to his credit, not his detriment. >> how do the democrats handle it? >> we're in an incredibly important era. cokie said we're in the me too
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era. a few days ago, mcdonald's workers stepped off the job. to demand redress. of allegations. we're more than 40 days away from national election that will determine the course of congress. we have to appreciate that democrats and republicans are looking at the clock as they think about this questioning and the testimony. i think democrats have to in this moment, appreciate that everyone has the right to be heard. no one has the right to be believed in the first instance. it's a tough, tough, tough matter. but -- think voters, americans are going look to see what both parties have allowed transparent conversations. >> one of the big questions, then, matthew dowd, is it possible for voters to look through this in any prism but partisan politics? uses their voice, we don't listen to them if they're not saying what we want them to say.
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i think this is really, really important cultural moment. it's been brewing for decades it's a moment where, yes, presumption of innocence is important. we presume in most cases that the woman is lying. instead of saying, let's presume she is telling the truth and we have a presumption of innocence, what do we do? women have dealt with this for many, many years. not until the '80s that we told women that you can be raped in marriage. most cases of rape are not reported. most cases are not investigated. most of these things, women are not believed. in the extremely rare cases that someone gives false witness and doesn't tell the truth is compared to the extremely common cases where women are not believed. when we get to a he said, she said, almost every single time in a he said, she said case, the default position is he wins. >> people are changing their minds. that is something didn't expect. "the wall street journal" poll
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out on friday, women over 50 have gone from being plus three on cavanaugh in august to minus seven now. and seniors -- this is fascinating. were plus nine on kavanaugh and are now minus ten. senior women. >> the difficulty for the republican senators is how do they vote for kavanaugh without calling dr. ford a liar. >> i think that's exactly right. cokie said, we're in the me too era. you have to take this in the context we're in. women are given a presumption of telling the truth right now. she's presumed to be credible. very few republican senators say, oh, i think she's lying. i was struck -- i wrote a profile of anita hill a few ertiocate told me that time, oh, i think she was just making it up. you're not hearing that today from conservatives. >> one of the things you were hearing this week, maybe she's not -- maybe she's misidentifying. maybe she's misremembering.
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>> we have a mechanism to address that. governor christie and i have been vetted by the fbi. it's exhaustive. they talk to everybody who has known you for 30-plus years. that's occurred for judge kavanaugh. >> six times. >> and now, it would make sense for the fbi to go back and quickly interview the witnesses that dr. ford has -- >> you could interview those four people in day. >> easily. >> you could. but they have all submitted letters to the senate where they know they're subject to prosecution under 18 u.s. c. 1001. >> it's not the same. >> but you're running the risk of going to jail if you send a letter that turns out to be false. to get back to your question about how can a republican senator vote for kavanaugh and not be calling the professor a liar? i think it's that you can't determine it.
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i think a republican senator could say, listen. i think there's credibility on both sides of this. i can't determine which one makes sense here. therefore, as a -- therefore -- >> a tough spot. >> we'll all judge credibility. >> if you can't make a determination in your mind that he committed this act, then i think you have to then make the judgment on his confirmation or not based on the other factor. >> that gets to the question i want to bring to matt. this is not a court of law. not whether he'll have liberties taken away. it's whether he'll have the privilege of a seat on the supreme court. >> that's part of the problem here. this is not a prosecution in a trial. this is a promotion. he already has a lifetime appointment. he'll be on a court whether or not this goes forward or not. if therened inhi ate' err t he'sund lling thtrh think that the default position is -- don't give somebody a lifetime appointment to the highest court
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in the land, one of the most powerful positions in the world. at the point you're doing it, it's no takeback. >> the alternative, if that happens this guy, for better or worse, the whole country is going to think he was guilty. >> right. >> absolutely right. >> half the country thinks that right now. >> that may be unfortunate. but as matt suggested, the pendulum is swinging. women have credibility for the first time in this. that really matters. just on the politics of the vote this has all taken considerable pressure off red state democrats. like claire mccaskill. both corker and flake are not up for re-election and they're profoundly critical of this president, republicans have to worry. >> the president has to be so careful. his tweeting. >> the president? careful? we're past that. >> he may have started a whole
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movement, really, of why i didn't report. and that has become a huge thing, as well. tomorrow, a big rally of women. this is tougher and tougher when you talk about the women's vote. it's a huge vote. >> it's also undermining a key reason that republicans are arguing that you should re-elect them to the senate. why should you re-elect them? they'll keep the supreme court with the republican president. now all it's doing is energizing the base. this is earn -- energizing democrats. >> and republican voters. >> i want to get to that question. >> eric salwell, who you had on. i would raise money for a pact, put him on television for days. >> durbin didn't want to touch that. >> durbin looked stricken when you played that for him. the other thing is, you're not taking away his liberty. you're right. no matter what happens, judge kavanaugh, after these proceedings, is not going to jail. but you're taking his career. the idea that this guy could, in fact, go back to the court of
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appeals and continue to serve if he's not confirmed, i think is really unlikely. he'll have his career stolen from him. >> respectfully, women have had much worse taken away. >> two wrongs don't make a right. >> women are looking at this as if their finally voice is going to be heard and if they're going to be believed. for 5,000 years, women have been treated as property. for centuries, including the catholic church, which i'm the member of, they have been treated as second class citizens. women didn't get the right to vote until 1920, though they were told years before that all people are created equal. women have dealt with this for hundreds and hundreds of years. will they be believed when they actively accuse a powerful man? >> and why would she do it otherwise? that's the other thing. the question many women are asking. just in conversation. why would she come forward? >> she's a very sympathetic
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figure in that way. she didn't want this to be public. i'm told by folks close to her this is one reason she wanted to keep this private. not only for her privacy, but for his privacy. she simply felt duty bound as a citizen to share the information with the committee before he was nominated, back when he was on the short list. she wanted to share this. >> what senator feinstein did is reprehensible. because she and her staff leaked this information. >> we don't know that. >> i absolutely. >> that's an allegation without evidence. >> and i don't think we're going solve it right now. we have to take a break. we'll be right back. this is a tomato you can track from farm, to pot, to jar, to table. and serve with confidence that it's safe. this is a diamond you can follow from mine to finger,
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you shouldn't fire rosenstein lls unless you believe he's lying. there's a coup being uncovered here. before the election, the people in question tried to taint the election. tip to it clinton's favor. after the election, they're trying to undermine the president. >> the subject of rod rosenstein back on the baseball because of "the new york times" report that ggested in overseeing he suggested that someone put a wish oornd the president. wire on around the president. sheryl gay stolberg. not your story. but where is this coming from? from people who want the president to fire rod rosenstein. >> i don't know who the sources are.
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but i can tell you that my colleagues are very, very confident that the story was meticulously reported. it took a long time to report. i know there have been people saying rosenstein was only kidding. >> sarcastic. >> that is not what our sources are telling us. and our colleagues are confident that this is an accurate report. >> so far, chris christie, the president has held his fire. >> listen. i think i'm the only one at the table that worked with rod rosenstein for four years. i was u.s. attorney in new jersey when he was u.s. attorney in maryland. under the bush 43 administration. i know rod really well. i find it hard to believe rod would suggest these things. put aside his denial and the meticulous reporting. they could have reported it meticulously even if people were not telling the truth. this is not a cowboy prosecutor.
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this is a careful, cautious prosecutor. i have hard time to think he could say these things to fbi agents who, as we all know are not fonts of -- >> but there's a report of -- >> who we know has perjured himself. about denying he's leaked things when, he, in fact, did. >> kind of extraordinary this is happening. >> it's a reason to talk about wearing a wire on the president. we know a lot of recordings have come out in this administration. so not unprecedented. it's not astounding there would be conversation about the 25th amendment. given some of the behavior we have seen from the white house. from the president. the behavior recorded in woodward's book. and in other accounts. and the mercurial nature of his communications as recently as a few days ago. he seemed under control in the kavanaugh matter and then spilled out. >> and the denial was not a full-throated denial. >> it was not. >> if you parse those words, it
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was -- i did not advocate for -- >> i did not pursue. >> i did not try to pursue. >> and he said, based on my experience with this presidenti. that seems after the fact, right? >> it was kind of like, now. >> one of the other things this leads to, matthew dowd, this was all happening in the days after james comey was fired. as head of the fbi. after robert mueller was appointed as special counsel. one more reminder that robert mueller knows so much more what about any of us know about what on inside that administration. >> yeah, if this is a tom clancy novel. robert mueller knows the final three or four chapters. he's extricating all the information. there's a ton of palace intrigue. we'll keep seeing palace intrigue. there are key points coming up. the next one is the midterm elections. e midterm elections.
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>> that's assuming no more mueller activity before. >> i assume there is not because of who bob mueller is. we're going to have midterm -- could be -- very -- >> i think the midterm elections and the mueller report are the two inflection points in time that determine where the president goes. >> let's recognize that the midterm elections are already occurring. we talk about this as if it's in the future. november 6th. states like minnesota started voting on friday. your state, new jersey, begins voting just a few days. >> yep. >> 37 states have some kind of no excuse early voting. and so, every single tweet, every little leak that comes out of these reports is only coloring outcomes. >> and, chris, you were at the justice department. we all talk about the 60-day rule. we know that roger stone is being investigated. he's not on the ballot. what would prevent robert mueller from indicting him? >> nerve the recent history of the justice department,
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for jim comey, has followed the 60-day rule. >> but that's for candidates? >> no, no yo don't do anything that can impact on the voting. you don't do anything that could have an impact on the voting. anything that bob mueller does he knows will have an impact. he's too smart. too careful. >> you think he does nothing. >> there's no chance. >> i agree. >> i'm willing to guarantee you he won't do anything. it puts a bright light on the awful stuff that happened to hillary clinton under comey. because, imagine, the storm we feel right now was more in 2016. and that's why they have this rule. by the way the stuff comey said you to about this being a guideline. let me tell you something, when john ashcroft was attorney general, that guideline was a rod that he said to all of us, you do not do this. he won't do it. bob mueller won't do this. >> the outcome of these midterms decides a huge amount. if the democrats take -- >> i agree. he can't fire him. >> a slew of
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investigations. >> there would be an obstruction of justice. >> right now, it seems clear democrats are headed to majority in the house. and even the senate. >> six weeks to go. be right back. nikki haley joins us live, next.
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we're making tremendous progress. with respect to north korea. remember this. prior to my coming into office, a lot of people thought we were going. it was inevitable we were going to war in north korea. now we're -- the relationships, i have to tell you at least on a personal basis, they're very good. it's very much calmed down. >> north korea, one of the big subjects on the table at the u.n. general assembly. we're joined by the ambassador, nikki haley. thank you for joining us. i want to get to that. first, i want to ask you. we had the discussion about the rod rosenstein story in
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"the new york times" have you ever been involved in a discussion on pursuing the 25th amendment? >> i have not. i don't think that is a reality among the cabinet members. i have never heard that. that's absurd. >> let's look at this week. the president talking great progress in the situation with north korea. what is that progress exactly? what have the north koreans promised that they haven't promised and reneged on before? >> i think progress is the fact that in 2017, it felt like every other weekend there was a ballistic missile test. south korea and japan felt under great threat. he was threatening america. since then, you have the two korean leaders now shaking hands saying they want peace. we have not had one single ballistic missile test. in the big 70th anniversary parade, no nukes shown. more a ceremonial situation. a lot of really good things have come out of it. we have a long way to go. we have to do denuclearization with verification. >> they do seem in that meeting
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between the two korean leaders, they seem to be demanding reciprocal steps of some kind from the united states. is the united states prepared to do anything more now based on what we have seen? >> make no mistake. the reason they came to the table is because the sanctions are suffocating them. and they want out. and so, we're not going to do anything to loosen those sanctions until we make sure there is no more threat from north korea. we have conversations yet to have. things we have to do. but no one is relaxing those sanctions at that point. >> will the president meet with north koreans in new york? >> i think secretary pompeo has the next meeting. when the president meets, that's in itself a bonus. we have to get to give. and so until we find out more, the president won't be meeting with them. >> there's been talk about a second summit with him. you're saying you need more concrete steps first. >> i think secretary pompeo has to have a couple more conversations before the
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president meets with kim again. >> let's talk about iran. we just heard from the iranian president this morning saying iran is prepared to confront america. america is acting like a bully. they think they can act on brute force. the government is ready to confront america. >> they can confront us all they want. the problem is they don't like the fact that we have called them out. we have called them out for ballistic missile testing. for their support of terrorism. for the arms sales. we stopped the hundreds of billions of dollars that were going them and allowing them to do these violations. and so their economy is plummeting. the deals that they have are falling apart. they're getting desperate. >> you say the deals are falling apart. most allies want the deal, the iran nuclear deal, to stay in place. the president meets at the security council this week.
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does he think he can get them to reopen the deal and assess new sanctions on iran? >> i think if you look at the activity of the europeans, the deals are falling apart. they're pulling deals back. not following through with them. because they see what is happening. i think what you'll see is he'll talk about the threat that iran has on the rest of the world. but he's also going to talk about the threat of chemical weapons in syria. what the situation is in north korea. we still have some work to do. going as far as the poisoning in the united kingdom with the skipal incident. so it's going to be a lot about proliferation and what our role as the security council and the flaersd the world need to do about it. >> you talk about the difference we have seen in the relationship with north korea since the meeting with kim jong-un. since 2017. did that seem to bear fruit with north korea why not meet with the iranian president? >> i don't think the president is opposed to that. the iranian president hasn't asked. if he asked, i think the
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president would strongly consider it. at this point, i think what you can see is, when the president gets in front of any leader, things do come together. but both leaders have to be willing to have the political will to do that. and so, rouhani hasn't asked. so the president hasn't had deal with that. >> he won't invite him to a meeting? >> no, he has to stop his bad behavior before the president talks about speaking to him. >> somewhat t-- what is the overall message this week? >> the overall message is the success stories of the united states. we have almost defeated isis. we're looking at north korea at table talking. attaining that, whether it's been the movement of the embassy in jerusalem or if you look at syria and the progress that's starting to be made there. think there's just a lot of success stories. in, w weotecti erica. how we're focused on our sovereignty. we're looking at aid. this will be a big part of it. we're looking at aid.
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we're not going to give money to countries that say they hate america or work against us. we'll start taking care of the countries that have the same values as us. >> you say there's been no discussion of the 25th amendment inside the cabinet. the reports we saw in bob woodward's book, "fear," seem to indicate a fractious relationship between the president and his national security team. even to suggest that he has no respect for many members of that team. how do you respond to that? >> i'm there once a week. i don't see it. i'm telling you. and the other thing is when you've got people that won't go on the record and say it, you have to question whether it's true. if that's the case, say it. if that's the case, leave. i'm there almost every other week. i can tell you, never has anyone talked about the 25th amendment. never has anyone questioned the president's mental stability or anything. and look at the success stories. i mean, the job market didn't happen on its own.
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the stock market's going up. you're seeing that he's taking -- the american stance foreign policy-wise is very strong. all the things he's been doing have been successful. if anything, what you feele ai having to deal with in the process. whether it's the mueller case. the extra gossip of the day. that's the frustration. it's never about the president. >> ambassador haley, thank you for your time. >> good to see you. that is all for us today. thank you for sharing part of your sunday with us. check out "world news" tonight. i'll see you tomorrow on "gma."
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up next, a tentative deal in place for christine blasey ford sexual assault to testify before the senate judiciary committee later this morning. we'll have a guest in studio with her thoughts. a first day of fall. serving up some low clouds and fog. but already clearing at the coast. i'll let you know what's in store for the
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