tv MSNBC Live MSNBC October 6, 2018 11:00am-12:00pm PDT
i'm ready to crush ap english. i'm ready to do what no one on my block has done before. forget that. what no one in the world has done before. all i need access, tools, connections. high-speed connections. is the world ready for me? through internet essentials, comcast has connected more than six-million low-income people to low-cost, high-speed internet at home. i'm trying to do some homework here. so they're ready for anything. we've hit the top of the hour. it's 2:00 p.m. eastern. i'm out of time. thanks for joining me. now to steve kornacki taking it over from here. >> thank you, alex. hello, everybody. we are continuing, of course, with our breaking news coverage live here on msnbc. it is a moment for the history
books playing out right now on capitol hill. just hours away, probably less than that right now. senators we expect will confirm by a very narrow margin brett kavanaugh to the supreme court unless, of course, there was some last-minute unforeseen surprise. if kavanaugh is confirmed, it would potentially shift the balance of the high court to the conservative side again. potentially for years to come. at the same time as we await that vote in the senate, thousands of protesters now swarming the capitol making their voices of dissent heard. we are beginning with raw emotions spilling over on capitol hill. minutes ago dozens of anti-kavanaugh protesters were arrested on the front steps of the capitol. this as senate democrats continue to blast away on that impending -- it seems likely now -- confirmation of kavanaugh to the supreme court. to set this up, it is exactly
one month from today that the midterm elections, the pivotal midterm elections will take place as the president and republicans prepare to celebrate their political victory here placing another justice on the nation's high court. hoping it will boost them with their base at the ballot box. we're covering this vote with our reporters. they are spanned across washington, d.c. analysis right here as well. i'm joined now by kristen welker, nbc news white house correspondent. on capitol hill, kasie hunt. and kevin sirilli for bloomberg news. kasie hunt on capitol hill, let me start with you. where the action is. this vote, when do we expect it and does it still look like it is a kavanaugh confirmation by the slimmest of margins? >> it does, steve. we do not expect a change in the outcome here. forgive me. i'm going to. this ear piece out because i'm
hearing myself in my ear. basically they moved the timing of the vote up a little bit a couple of hours. we're now expecting it around 3:00, maybe 3:45. so there have been 30 hours of debate overnight from the sort of start -- in the wake of the original procedural vote that you saw. and you are going to see a couple things here on the floor that are going to look different but aren't actually going to make a substantive difference here. you're going to see mike pence presiding over the senate. normally you see mike pence when it's going to be a 50/50 vote and you need to break the tie. that's not going to be the case here. he just wanted to come for the momentous occasion. he has a role in the senate. you'll also see lisa murkowski voting present. she's still opposed to kavanaugh, however she's using a pairing in the senate. it's this sort of arcane procedure by which somebody who can't be there is able to cast a
vote if somebody decides to cancel that out. so the voting margin required to move forward remains the same. that is of course because steve danes of montana is walking his daughter down the aisle at her wedding in montana. so those are a couple things to look for. but at this hour, we really don't expect that this is going to be anything but smooth sailing for kavanaugh. >> kasie hunt there on capitol hill where we expect the vote within the next two hours. going to go to mike vikara now. mike, to set you up here, i just want to show what the president is saying on twitter. president trump saying this afternoon, women for kavanaugh and many others who support this very good man are gathering all over capitol hill in preparation for a 3:00 to 5:00 p.m. vote. it is a kbufl thing to see and they are not paid protesters handed expensive signs. big day for america. so those protests you are in the
middle of right there, they seem to be getting under the president's skin a little bit there, it looks like. >> reporter: well, i mean, you talk about raw emotions, steve. this was an action they called a civic action. we were over on the east lawn a few hours ago. they were training people on essentially what to do when you're arrested. so this was to a certain extent premeditated, but it's been going on for weeks. it's really symptomatic of what's been going down. to a likely confirmation. i'm going to get ut of the way for a second here. you see people getting processed here. they are trained, many of these protesters, and edadviced what do when arrested. the u.s. capitol police for better or worse at this point, this is something that is -- you don't want to say routine, but it's happened quite frequently over the course of the last several days. if we could pan back around and
show you the capitol steps, they took a couple of hundred people off the capitol steps there. steve, it was a remarkable moment when these protesters marched across. and ran up those steps. the police were taken by surprise. police on motorcycles zoomed in front of them. police on bicycles. trying to restrain the crowd. they were unable to do so. the protesters went around them and occupied the east front steps of the capitol. i don't recall ever seeing that in many years of walking the halls up here. so these protesters are obviously fired up. they are not concerned that perhaps this is futile in terms of the vote today. many of them i have spoken to today are talking about what happens over the course of the long-term. so i anticipate that they're going to be occupying the east front here, steve, until this vote happens and well after. we'll be here to see whether there are any more civic actions on the part of these protesters,
steve. >> all right. we're going to continue to monitor that, show folks some of the scenes there. i'm sure we'll be checking back with you soon. meanwhile, let's go to the white house. that's where this process all started when the president chose to nominate brett kavanaugh for the supreme court. kristen welker is standing by there. we saw the run-up to this vote, a change in public tone from the president as the allegations first surfaced he was noticeably at least by his standards reserved and restrained. in the last couple of days, though, he really stepped up into a more aggressive posture. how is the administration, how is the white house feeling about this as what looks like a confirmation now looms in the next 90 minutes or so? and how are they thinking of this in terms of those midterm elections a couple weeks from now? >> really important points, steve. no doubt about that. the white house senior administration officials saying that essentially after susan collins spoke yesterday, it was an outstanding development. i was in the west wing with a number of senior officials who started cheering, clapping when
susan collins finished her remarks. look, this is an unmitigated victory for president trump. he campaigned on a promise to make the court more conservative. this will in a matter of hours be his second supreme court nominee who we anticipate will be confirmed and he will be able to say, look, this is a promise made and a promise kept. it is significant. it's legacy building. if you are president trump. you talked about his tone, steve. we spent so much time thinking about that and really analyzing it over the past several days because it's been remarkable. he did start off very restrained in his public comments about dr. ford saying that he wanted to hear from her. and then calling her a credible witness. then out on the campaign trail this week, that changed. he openly mocked her at one campaign event noting she couldn't remember some of the details of the story. and that played well with his
base. it was met with loud cheers, applause by the audience there. i was at a number of campaign events with him this week, steve. at each one, he talked about judge kavanaugh. he told us he sees this as a rallying cry for republicans. and if you look at the polls, you've actually seen the enthusiasm gap narrow. the democrats had it. it was at ten points this summer. now it's just at two points. this is something that energized republicans. but the question now becomes will there be a backlash among some women voters to some of the president's very sharp remarks? and will that enthusiasm be able to be maintained? that's something we'll be looking for. in terms of president trump, we heard from him on twitter. you heard about that tweet he put out today, steve. we haven't heard remarks, though, from the president trump. he's going to be leaving in less than an hour from now heading to kansas for a big campaign rally there. going to be there shouting questions at him.
you can bet if he doesn't have the questions today, we will hear from him tonight when he takes the stage at this campaign rally. he's going to be really fired up about this, steve. >> and again, just to reset for folks, we got a lot going on on your screen right there in the upper left. you see the action now on the senate floor. you did a second ago there. continuing and wrapping up now 30 hours of debate that was kicked off by that vote late yesterday morning. 30 hours of debate that will culminate in the final confirmation vote which again we expect at about 3:30 eastern. on the right side of your screen there, you see the protests that are taking place outside. anti-kavanaugh demonstrators making their voices heard as the confirmation of kavanaugh looms. josh, it strikes me looking at the polls on this. you can read it one way and see this is the least popular with the nomination going down on the senate. another way of looking at it
when i looked inside these numbers, it's almost this is a proxy for trump at this point. looks like the approval rating for trump. the gender gap looks like the trump gender gap. if you can get trump-typo larization, then you can get him confirmed. >> right. and the question is also what that means for november. if you get trump's help, obviously the president is unpopular. so you probably don't want to polarize on his approval rating. that might be better than some of the alternatives available to them than you would polarize around where they are more than republicans are. so you've seen where kavanaugh is this unpopular nominee. it's part of a long trend if you exclude bork where they used to be less and less over time. so he's unpopular. yet we have some indications that republicans' polling position has gone on. but it's sort of -- even if the
republicans are not likely to win the popular vote for the house, but they don't quite need to win it in order to hold onto the house. so even if this puts them behind, it might put them behind by less than other things that the vote could be about. >> republicans, if you were able to tell them right now you're going to lose 16 house seats and pick up one or two in the senate, they would be ecstatic. kasie hunt there on capitol hill, that is one of the questions now heading to the midterms. we've been talking about what looked like a pretty good enthusiasm gap. their voters seem to be at, like, an 11 since donald trump became inaugurated. and you had republicans who were scrambling to find some kind of a way if not to match that energy twob get it close enough that they could not get wiped out in the elections. it seems in the last ten days, they think they might be getting that. which raises the question. is this going to sustain itself or three weeks from now is it going to feel like a completely different world with all sorts of new controversies and this is
all forgotten? >> well, steve, one of the most telling quotes to come out of the last 24 hours in my view came from senator mitch mcconnell. he said the mob referring to the protesters has managed to do what i couldn't, what we couldn't figure out. and that was how to get republicans excited about this election. and if anything, he said he is thanking them for that. so i do think your question is the right one. does it sustain? does it last? do people decide that, you know, this is something that's still going to be important to them even though they won the fight? and my sort of sense going into this was always that whoever actually won the fight over kavanaugh was probably going to be not necessarily the loser in the midterm elections, but that it was going to potentially affect them in the opposite way. so i think the fact that this appears to be going for kavanaugh, you are going to see democrats even more excited. women, female voters, that gender gap you mentioned is going to be sharper. it's not going to be smaller
because of the way that this went whereas democrats might have been able to celebrate and think, okay. maybe it's not as important if i go to the ballot box because the senate is already doing what i want. stopping president trump's nominees. so i do think it's going to be interesting to watch how this plays out in individual races. because, you know, the house map as you know better than anybody is very different than the senate map. and while this may have the effect of exacerbating what is already going on in the house, the suburban district swinging more away from the moderate republicans and towards the democrats running against them, the senate map is one where the base of the republican party being, you know, disinterested was potentially going to save the skins of several senators sitting in red states. claire mccaskill, joe manchin, joe donnelly among them. and i think this really does potentially shift the ground for them. and there's been some increasing angst among democrats in the
senate that i'm hearing from sources who are feeling like, we were on pretty good footing and now not necessarily. joe manchin's vote is pretty interesting to me, steve. because i've talked to him about this all the way through the process. and when kavanaugh was first nominated, the joe manchin i was talking to was the one who would say, well, this guy might vote against pre-existing conditions. my constituents care a lot about their health care. they all have pre-existing conditions. he seemed to be leaning towards not wanting to anger members of his caucus. he likes to be liked. that was the way he was trending. once kavanaugh became the litmus test and everyone was paying attention, suddenly the game really changed for him. you know, he's had a six or so point lead over his opponent who republicans don't necessarily think is the best possible opponent for joe manchin. clearly he feels if he voted no on kavanaugh, he was sort of sealing his political fate the other way. >> we continue to follow that scene in washington.
let me bring kevin from bloomberg in. another element of this if kavanaugh is confirmed in the next hour or so, what the political fallout is going to be even among the midterms. we have democrat from new york who is poised to be the chairman of the house judiciary committee if democrats pick up control of the house in this november's elections. he is promising a kavanaugh investigation if he becomes chairman of that committee. obviously if democrats took control of the senate as well, maybe if they did there would be implications there as well. in terms of the democratic party going forward, if it controls the house, if it controls the senate. in terms of what the presidential candidates are talking about in 2020. how much is this nomination, this confirmation if it happens of kavanaugh going to be a major staple for the next couple of years? >> it's going to be huge. you're already seeing that particularly when top republican surrogates just moments after it became clear yesterday on
capitol hill that kavanaugh would have the votes already trying to make this a midterm issue. in states like he was talking about, particularly red state democrat who is are up for re-election. will they be in line for someone like congressman nadler who would argue to investigate the judge as well as to potentially even have him recuse himself from cases that go before the supreme court. you mentioned what would happen in the house. but it could also have the scenario in the senate where you have someone like lindsey graham take control of the judiciary committee. graham has remarkably pivoted towards the administration quite aggressively in the past week. so i think that the fallout from this is going to definitely reverberate well beyond just what we're watching in erm thes of the -- terms of the anticipated vote in the next 90 minutes or so. i would also note the npr vote with that enthusiasm gap. and look to see whether or not
that margin that has evaporated amongst republicans and democrats having the edge. look to see whether or not that holds. right now it's a bit too early to tell. but some time within the next week or so, we should be able to see just whether or not this is going to have staying power for the republican base. tonight you can bet on it. president trump going to hit the campaign trail aggressively to declare victory on this supreme court justice. >> all right. kevin were thank you for that. kristen welker as well. josh, stick around. mike, we're also going to be checking back with you in the midst of the protests you see on the screen. as that vote approaches a little more than an hour now. we expect it at 3:30 eastern. we expect brett kavanaugh to be confirmed. they're still making their final speeches on the senate floor. we're going to continue to monitor that. stay on top of this. much more on this historic vote about to get underway. also, the first lady taking her
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again we are continuing that confirmation vote for cavanaugh. we expect it now in about 67 minutes. we expect the senators to be at their desks for that roll call to be called. that is bob casey on the floor making his remarks. making his remarks right now. he's one of those running for re-election in a state carried by donald trump. a small margin there in pennsylvania. he will of course be against this nomination. he's been talking on the floor about his concerns about what kavanaugh's confirmation would mean for the affordable care act. and there now is john cornyn, republican from texas taking the floor as well. in fact, we can dip in there. let's get a taste of what they're hearing on the senate floor. >> thanked him for his willingness to go through this and his families. i think he's going to be outstanding. i told him -- i've had a pretty full life, but i was kind of
envious of him in having so many friends that have been supportive of him and obviously that he stayed in touch with through the years. but he sounded upbeat. i know he's been probably feeling not that way for several days. but i'm happy for our country. and i think we're coming to the right conclusion. i've talked to so many survivors who've been heart felt. many of them have. and look. i think this has been decades of injustices, no doubt, that have happened to women. but i think to project that onto someone who's had nothing to do with that -- >> all right. again, i said john cornyn. you were seeing shots of cornyn on the floor. that's where i thought we were going. that was bob corker of tennessee. now you're seeing shots of john cornyn on the floor. corker, a republican from tennessee not seeking re-election. there had been some talk at the very beginning of this process that his vote might be up for
grabs. but corker will be voting to confirm brett stevens -- excuse me. brett kavanaugh to the supreme court. brett stevens is a reporter for "the new york times." i have "the new york times" on my mind because i have a reporter from them here. and nancy cook is a reporter for politico still with us is josh barrow. adam, let me start with you. we've seen -- it's been a long-term story going back at least 30 years. partisanship of washington intersecting with the supreme court nominations. it looks like the vote count on this in about an hour is going to be the closest we've had, even closer than clarence thomas in 1991. this nomination, if it is successful this afternoon and brett kavanaugh joins the court, talk to me about the atmosphere of that court that he's joining. what will his addition to it mean? >> this will be the culmination of a long-term project that
began in the reagan administration to put a solid conservative majority on the court. it's a huge move for president trump and the republicans. but it's going to come at a cost to the authority and legitimacy of the court. because the court likes to say it's engaged in law. and applying neutral principles without regard to politics. yet everything we saw in the preceding months and? particular from judge kavanaugh's second round of statements sent a different message suggesting the court is a partisan institution divided upon partisan lines like the rest of the country. >> and that -- those concerns that adam is speaking to there, danny, seem to be on brett kavanaugh's mind with this last-minute "wall street journal" op-ed that went up online two nights ago where he talked about sort of defending his presentation apologizing. it seemed a little opaquely for some aspects of it. he said i testified with people
in mind. my mom, my wife, my dad, and my daughters. you can count on me to be the same judge i've been for my entire 20-year legal career. hard working, even keeled and dedicated to the constitution and the public good. danny, it seemed that if there were any wavering republicans there like susan collins, brett carver gnaw through that op-ed there was trying to reassure him about those questions of temperament and fairness that adam was just speaking to. >> brett kavanaugh with his testimony, his fire-breathing testimony that harkened back to clarence thomas' testimony to me sought to appeal to the republican base. and then his subsequent op-ed was backing off and trying to get back some of the moderate. in other words, that the first run he came out angry at the second run with that op-ed, he did something unprecedented by even writing the op-ed and trying to back off some of his anger from before.
and i can't help but be reminded of clarence thomas who did something i think very different. that is, he came out. he came out angry. but he kept his composure. and one of the major differences between clarence thomas and brett kavanaugh today is thomas said in so many words, you can take this job and do whatever you want with it. i'm happy at the d.c. court of appeals. it's not worth going through this. when you look at brett kavanaugh by contrast, from the very beginning, he's wavered in his demeanor, his anger. but one thing has remained constant. all his life, he has always wanted this job. and really, really wanted it. maybe that is one major difference between then and now. and maybe that is what saved clarence thomas. was ultimately that his view was i will come, testify, tell the truth, but i will not engage. and you can -- if you make that
the price of going on the supreme court, it is simply not worth it. >> well, nancy cook, yeah, that's an interesting comparison. a lot of people have been looking at those parallels from 1991 clarence thomas and anita hill to today. the theme there was clarence thomas was successful in rallying political support from the people he needed to rally it from to rescue his nomination. in thomas' case in '91 politically what seemed to save him was the support from black vote ners in polls. when they looked at those polls. looking at this one politically, what i'm struck by is after that presentation that you saw from brett kavanaugh just over a week ago there, he seemed to rally support at least in the polls from republican voters. and that may be what has kept republicans in line and maybe erased some of this partisan motivation gap. in terms of the white house, did
they expect that at all? did they think -- they're not looking at this as politically something that may help the get their base out. were they look k at this ten days ago? >> i don't think they necessarily were. i think they were trying to double down on their supreme court pick. who you know mitch mcconnell, this was not everyone his first choice. but at that point they felt like they really had to get a pick through before the midterms. they had to make it work. i think what has been a huge surprise to them is the amount of polling. the polling that shows the close and the enthusiasm gap and just the level of excitement among republican voters. including conservative women who are very fired up about this. the president on wednesday night met with some top political aides and former house speaker gingrich to go over some of this polling that shows this. i think we have seen trump public pli on tweeter call out the rise in polls for them.
i think they see it as a huge boom. the question is whether or not that enthusiasm will carry over over the next few weeks. or if it's just a temporary bump that will last a week or two. >> and the other question here, just the breakdown of these nominations in the senate. this process. you've seen just a series of escalations. you can go back to bork, but even more recently it was in 2013. then there was the whole situation with the scalia seat and republicans holding that open through the elections. then republicans did away with the filibuster on supreme court nominations last year. and it's reaching the point, get beyond this election. if you've got a situation next year or at some point in the future, let's say next year where there happened to be a democratic senate and there's another vacancy, will a senate of one party ever again confirm a nominee from another party? >> not any time soon, i don't think. in some sense it was weird it wasn't like this before. this was a recognition that the
supreme court is a policy-making body and its decisions are c consequenti consequential. both parties are using whatever power they have to get them on the court or block them from getting on the court based on the policies they're going to implement. yeah. to your point, we're not where we were before. but why were we where we were before? we had a couple of weird phenomena. one of them was republicans accidentally appointed people that weren't that conservative. but for decades. i mean, dwight eisenhower complained two of his biggest mistakes were putting earl warren and brennan to this court. it took literally several decades. up until the bush administration to have a reliable method on the court. adam mentions this is an effort that goes back to the reagan administration. but reagan put sandra day o'connor on the court. they're not as conservative as brett kavanaugh probably. so when you had that set of
nominees being put up, it made sense to get votes for them. in one sbainstance because they were able to kill the bork nomination and get anthony kennedy. it makes sense we are where we are now. why would democrats help donald trump put another conservative on the court if they don't have to? they complained about garland. why would they have put him on the court when they didn't have to? >> really was a year, the vacancy after scalia's passing. if there's a vacancy next year, it could be two years. we're inside of an hour now we expect from that vote. confirmation of kavanaugh for the supreme court. the activity continues on the senate floor. cornyn from texas speaking now. the protests continue outside. we're going to slide in a quick break. i want to thank danny cevallos, adam liptek for being with us.
it is a quick break but when we come back, we're going to pick things right back up. following the scene there, you see the protests earlier. you see the activity on the senate floor. the clock is ticking. we'll be right back after this. the clock is ticking we'll be right back after this so a tree falls on your brand new car and totals it. and as if that wasn't bad enough, now your insurance won't replace it outright because of depreciation. if your insurance won't replace your car, what good is it? you'd be better off just taking your money and throwing it right into the harbor. i'm gonna regret that. with new car replacement, if your brand new car gets totaled, liberty mutual will pay the entire value plus depreciation. liberty mutual insurance. ♪ liberty. liberty. liberty. liberty. ♪
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republican john cornyn from texas, he is making his take for the confirmation of brett kavanaugh to the supreme court. outside you see the scenes we have been monitoring as well. protests this afternoon all day today against the looming confirmation of brett kavanaugh. the countdown clock there in the lower right-hand corner of your screen now at 252 minutes and counting. we expect the final vote to take place then. we expect brett kavanaugh to be confirmed and we expect the margin, perhaps, to be the narrowest we've ever seen. 20 years ago in 1991 clarence thomas was confirmed by a vote of 52-48. that was the largest number of no votes we'd ever seen. there could be more today. there could be fewer yeses today. again, less than an hour from now, we expect that final vote. there is dick durbin, democrat from illinois. a member of the judiciary committee against this nomination. he is taking the floor now. we are getting down to the final
speeches. we'll continue to keep an eye on that. we'll dip in here and there. let's bring in reporter katie benner for "the new york times," mary ellen o'toole, and elliot williams. thanks to all of you. katie, the issue of the fbi investigation. i don't know, do you call it an investigation? was it a series of background checks? how do -- because this is the criticism republicans were saying before it was kicked over to the fbi last week. saying there's no point going to the fbi with this. they're just going to interview people, not do a real investigation. they're just going to spit back a couple of reports. is that what happened? >> it is what happened, but let's be fair to the fbi. their job is to do a background check. this was a job interview for brett kavanaugh. they're not doing a criminal investigation of him. they interview people related to some of the claims we heard dr.
blasey ford bring up. they focused narrowly on those claims and the allegations of one other woman. they did not look at his credibility in other ways, whether or not he lied under oath when he was testifying before the senate. it was a narrowly focused investigation that they were then to give the reports back to the white house. they didn't have subpoena power and they weren't, again, criminally investigating the judge. >> i guess that's the question. from the standpoint of if you look at primarily democrats here who were calling for this, calling for further investigation, was this the right venue to appeal to? just given the sort of the power power the role they normally play and not full fledged investigations. was this where democrats should have gone? should they have been pushing more for let's call witnesses in front of our committee? >> i think there was a strong argument to be made that maybe they should have called more witnesses before the committee. of course they don't control the committee, so that's difficult.
but yeah. the background check is not going to be what democrats want ultimately. because it's not a criminal -- it's not a criminal investigation. and i think there is a valid question as to whether or not a criminal investigation is what everybody wants here. everybody is so narrowly focused on ford's allegations that we haven't pulled the camera back and said what did judge cavanaugh say when he spoke to the committee when he testified? what was his demeanor like, how did he behave, and should those factors be what -- you know, what influences people like senator murkowski and senator collins rather than allowing republicans to narrowly focus on these fbi summaries which don't show -- which don't move the needle in terms of what happened with dr. blasey ford and step back and say, listen. we should be focusing on his overall demeanor. >> when you're saying overall demeanor, you're getting away from the investigation. that's just saying politically
that's not confirming. >> the investigation gave him an out. it gave the republicans something narrow to focus on that they could use to justify the nomination of this candidate and allow them to escape the larger question of does this person have a judicial temperament, does this person deserve to be on the supreme court? >> so mary ellen o'toole, your background you have in the fbi, take us through mechanically what played out over the last week. given in terms of a mandate, in terms of a task, what went into the work they did. what was the last week like for the agents who were tasked with this? >> well, it's hard to say specifically and i'll tell you why. because we don't know what, if any, restrictions were put on that suitability background check. but i can say this because there was a short deadline, the interviews would have been assigned to multiple agents and they would have been required to conduct them immediately and make contact with the people.
if they couldn't find them, they would have had to do whatever they could to track them down and then conduct the interviews. and then to write up those interviews quickly and provide everything to -- basically to one agent who would compile a document and then submit it. they would have seen this as a high priority within the bureau. and they would have made sure that they made that deadline. >> elliot williams, what do you make of -- it looks like the decisive moment here and again, that vote about 45 minutes away now. we'll see if there's some unforeseen surprise. it looks like the decisive moment in this confirmation battle is going to be that speech that susan collins delivered. she made the point that she listened to dr. blasey ford and she said, you know, she believed that something had happened to her, but she said she had not been presented with any evidence that whatever had happened had been done by brett kavanaugh.
and therefore, she felt the benefit of the doubt in that sense was essentially owed to him procedurally. that seems to be the argument that push her over the top. >> that is such a problematic line of reasoning for her to engage in. what she and a number of her colleagues have done and let's not put this all on susan collins. more than half of the united states senate is endorsing either this behavior or as was discussed just a moment ago, this conduct, this partisanship from judge kavanaugh. and so on. and so -- but senator collins and her colleagues want to visit both ways. they want to say we believe victims, we believe dr. blasey ford. however, we just don't believe her enough to believe that her testimony was credible. and if you notice in collins' speech, she used every adjective under the book. compelling, sincere, painful, whatever. but she did not use the word credible. we were not -- the country or the senate was not trying to
convict judge kavanaugh beyond a reasonable doubt. we were just determining whether this is a job interview, whether he's entitled to a lifetime seat on the supreme court. but you can't say i believe her and then say, but, in spite of the fact i believe her, i'm going to discredit what she says. it doesn't sit right. im i'm sorry. >> she was making a point, though, similar to what you were saying right now. this was not the standard that of a criminal trial. that it was this preponderance of evidence. she was saying that the evidence that she had seen, you know, for instance dr. blasey ford's friend who said she didn't remember even meeting brett kavanaugh. the lack of that kind of corroboration led her to say, she errs on the more likely it wasn't kavanaugh side of it. >> yeah. i mean, it's calling for a reasonable doubt standard but not using the term reasonable doubt. this is the problem. it's she and frankly senator manchin and others used some
variation of the words that they believe her. that they believe that something happened to her. and then making this kooky argument that well, we think, perhaps she's mixed up in her head and something bad happened to her but it wasn't judge kavanau kavanaugh. it's discrediting the testimony of an individual who said she was sexually assaulted. at a minimum, at a minimum, they have doubts. all these vinls must have doubts as to whether judge kavanaugh committed this act. that should be sufficient to keep you off the supreme court. it's not sufficient enough to convict you, and i stick to that. but they are at least crediting the belief it happened but stepping away from it because they went into this process wishing to confirm this judge. and it just gets back to whose voices get validated in public life, in the senate, and courts across the country and so on. her voice and the voices of victims just were not vol dated here. and this is something we're used to hearing and seeing. we're used to seeing across the
criminal justice system. now it played out in front of tens of millions of people on the screen right now many of whom are protesting this very point. >> all right. thank you for joining us. and again, continuing the countdown here to that final vote. you see the clock in the lower right-hand corner of your screen. 43 minutes now. we expect the roll will be called then. we expect the senators -- this does not always happen in the senate for votes, but apparently it will today. we expect all of the senators to be in their seats at their desks. you saw one of those desks behind senator durbin there right now. also on your screen, we've been monitoring tho p monitoring those protests going on outside the capitol. the folks trying maybe somehow to convince a senator or two to change their minds. but just trying to make their opposition noted as loudly and as visibly as they can. there were some arrests earlier. the scene looks a little calmer now than some of the pictures we were seeing before. but those protests have been going on all day. so you've got those twin things
happening there. that's dick durbin, democrat from illinois. he is speaking on the senate floor right now. we expect, you know, there aren't too many left. this process was kicked off just before noon yesterday. the rules in the senate, of course, they have what they call a cloture vote. that was basically 29, 30 hours ago yesterday. they have this cloture vote to cut off debate and move to a vote. that opens up a 30-hour window. in the old days, that cloture vote would have required 60 votes to proceed. that was the filibuster. but of course now we live in a post-filibuster era. the democrats did away with most of the filibusters on these judicial nominations in 2013 and 2017 the republicans did away with the last final one on supreme court nominations. so republicans got those 51 votes they needed to move forward yesterday. that started the clock ticking. here we are, the clock now winding down. and again just about 40 minutes from now we expect every senator's name to be called. we expect just about all of them to go on the record.
maybe one absent. and we expect brett kavanaugh to be confirmed. joining us right now as we continue this coverage, tim carney. he is from the washington examiner. cynthia ouskny. checking with the folks in the control room -- that's what we got. okay. just making sure on that. these are the perils of live rolling coverage here. tim, let me start with you. we were talking about this earlier. republicans have seen in the last ten days or so what they think are signs of their base coming to life. they've been talking about a surge in grassroots donations and of course the question it raises. if that is happening, is that energy going to dissipate as soon as brett kavanaugh is confirmed about an hour from now? >> i do think there's a lack of symmetry here. the liberal anger has been there since inauguration day, since we saw the women's march. it can ebb and flow.
this conservative anger was at the thought of kavanaugh getting railroaded. if they get what they want, which, again, it looks like they'll get in about 40 minutes. then there is a good chance that will drop off between now and election day. election day. there still is this perception that the whole game is ringed against republicans, rigged against conservatives looking at a lot of people think the media handle this had unfairly, democrats were lying. that anger that the game was rigged this is a reminder of it for the conservative base. >> cynthia, let me bring new, as well. in terms of the evidence that was before the senate on this one, it was striking to watch each side. we just had susan collins yesterday saying the evidence that was presented to her left her saying when it comes to the question of what is more likely, cav na did or didn't do this. she said it's more likely he didn't do it. elliott williams says he sees it
completely differently. tell us about the level. how did you look at the effectively of evidence before everybody in this? >> i thought she just made a decision as a republican she was going to vote for him. my biggest concern about her speech, from a legal perspective as somebody who's been a sex crimes prosecutor, i feel like she wiped away 40 years of precedent on sex crimes cases. in the '70s, in the late '70s and before, if you were a sex crimes victim, you had to prove corroboration. essentially it was the law saying we don't really believe you, we don't really believe women unliz there's corroboration. that wasn't true for burglary or robbery or something else. there were feminist battles to get the corroboration requirement removed. then there is a woman standing in front of all the world with so many eyeballs on because this is such an important speech she's giving saying there had to
be corroboration. that will to me as a prosecutor is a long-term problem. and it was like a knife to the gut that a woman would do that. because jurors listened to that and think let's think about this case and the kavanaugh case that senator collins said there had to be corroboration. it seeps into the consciousness. that was the most outrageous part for me. she obviously just decided she was going to vote for kavanaugh because you can't say i believed her but i'm going to vote for this guy. if you believe her, then he's lying. there's no middle ground in this argument. so if you believe her, he's lying and shouldn't be on the supreme court. the truth of the matter she didn't have the guts to say she didn't believe her or didn't care. >> again the scene on the floor. you see chuck grassley, familiar face from the last couple of weeks, the republican chairman of the judiciary committee. he presided over both rounds of
the confirmation hearings. he is now taking the floor again. one of the final speakers right there. we'll add to the mix, presidential historian, professor of history at american university, alan lick man. if you could, just put this in some, maybe if you could, a larger context for us. one of the things we've been talking about here is this explosion in the judicial wars over the last generation or so in american politics. is this a new levelable that this takes us to right now? what does it mean for the future? >> i'd like to highlight three precedent shattering aspects of this nomination and confirmation process that have profound implications for the future of our country. first, you're absolutely right. the supreme court has been infected bipartisan politics far more than at any time in the past. there is the partisan rancor in
the debates. far more so than even in 1991 during the clarence thomas confirmation. we're about to see the closest confirmation vote putting someone on the supreme court since the 1th century and a vote that almost perfectly aligns along party lines. gone are the days where antonin scalia is confirmed without a dissent or ruth bader ginsberg with only three dissents. we see for the first time in modern history an avowed partisan warrior going on the court. of course, i can understand judge kavanaugh's anger if he believed that he was falsely accused. that need not translate into a bitter zealous attack on democrats, the left and the clintons and to threaten that what goes around comes around. secondly, we are seeing now the cementing of a more conservative supreme court than at any time since the early 20th century.
gron so-called swing votes like andra day o'connor or even anthony kennedy who was a very minimal swing vote since he usually swung to the right. swing votes are gone. there's a solid five justice conservative majority. finally, we are witnessing the utter moral collapse of evangelical christianity in the united states. i can't overemphasize that. for decades, evangelical christianss were an important moral force in this country. upholding personal morality and personal responsibility. now we've seen a shattering poll showing that about half of evangelical women would still want to put judge kavanaugh on the court even if he had actually committed sexual assault and lied about it. of this shows that evangelical
christians have now become nothing more than just another self-interested group and have lost really all moral authority and that's very, very sad for this country. >> all right. alan lichtman will, cynthia alksne and tim carney thank you for joining us. you see the scene, chuck grassley chair of the judiciary committee is in the middle of his closing remarks, one of the final senators we're going to hear from before the roll is called. we expect that will be about a half an hour from now. every senator will be seated at their desk. the protests continue outside. they are keeping an eye on what is going on inside that senate chamber waiting for what we all expect at this point will be a very, very narrow confirmation for brett kavanaugh to the supreme court. please stay with us. t kavanaughe supreme court. please stay with us. ...for that, and
just a second, we also have the mendez mediation. brian is going to take the lead just follow his- hello. uh, no i need it right now. yeah... success is a numbers game. and you're not going to win if you keep telling yourself to wait. the more often that you choose courage, the more likely you'll succeed. the most inspiring minds. the most compelling stories. download audible. and listen for a change.
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one of the areas where judge kavanaugh has had a particular impact is in our live coverage continues, it is day for the history books on capitol hill. the senate a half an hour from now expected to hold its final vote on the confirmation of brett kavanaugh to the supreme court. chuck grassley republican everyone iowa, chair of the judiciary committee is addressing the senate right now. outside those protests continue. they've been going on all day. there were some arrests