Show: ALL IN with CHRIS HAYES Date: September 26, 2018 Guest: Mazie Hirono, Sheryl Gay Stolberg, Jim Manley, Leah Wright Rigeur, Lisa Green, Michelle Goldberg, Cecile Richards, David Brock
CHRIS MATTHEWS, MSNBC HOST: What a night. And that`s HARDBALL for now. Thanks for being with us. Tune in right here tomorrow 10:00 a.m. at MSNBC for live coverage of the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing. It`s a big one. "ALL IN" with Chris Hayes starts right now.
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CHRIS HAYES, MSNBC HOST: Tonight on ALL IN.
MICHAEL AVENATTI, LAWYER: The allegations in the declaration are shocking. They are also detailed. And my client stands behind them 100 percent.
HAYES: Bombshell new accusations against Brett Kavanaugh just hours before he faces his first accuser.
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: You have this other con artist. Avenatti come out with another beauty today.
HAYES: Tonight, with his nomination in serious trouble, what we know about the allegations from the third accuser and the late-breaking news of a fourth accuser. Plus what we know about the hearing that just hours away with Senator Mazie Hirono. What to make of this moment with Cecile Richards and David Brock on how Republicans plan to save Brett Kavanaugh.
TRUMP: They know it`s a big fat con job.
HAYES: When ALL IN starts right now.
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HAYES: Good evening from New York, I`m Chris Hayes. Tonight, after a third woman just came forward with explosive new sexual misconduct allegations against Brett Kavanaugh, somehow Republicans are still as of this hour planning to hold a hearing tomorrow and then vote to give Kavanaugh a lifetime appointment to the U.S. Supreme Court. The claims by Julie Swetnick outlined in a sworn affidavit released today by her lawyer Michael Avenatti are hammering. We`ll get to the details in a moment. A warning to our viewers those details are graphic, some may find them disturbing. Kavanaugh we should say denies Swetnick`s account and denies even knowing her.
And now, 14 hours till the Senate Judiciary Committee set to hear testimony from both Kavanaugh and Christine Blasey Ford, the first woman to publicly accuse him of sexual misconduct, Democrats on the committee are calling for Kavanaugh`s nomination to be withdrawn. In a rambling press conference this evening, the President while professing to be receptive to Blasey Ford`s testimony tomorrow, voiced his strong support for the nominee.
TRUMP: I`m going to see what happens tomorrow. I`m going to be watching. You know, believe it or not, I`m going to see what said. It was possible that they will be convincing. Now, with all of that being said, Judge Brett Kavanaugh has been for many years one of the most respected people in Washington. Every single person knows him. A lot of people know him well and those people don`t believe what`s going on.
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HAYES: The President also referring multiple times to the accusations as a con job. Michael Avenatti`s client Julie Swetnick claims to have attended multiple parties in the 1980`s with Kavanaugh and his friend Mark Judge who was also said to have witnessed Kavanaugh`s alleged assault of Christine Blasey Ford. Kavanaugh and Judge both deny Ford`s story. And Swetnick`s account of their conduct, that is Kavanaugh and Judge, as teenagers is deeply troubling.
She alleges again in her sworn statement under penalty of perjury that she observed Kavanaugh engaged in abusive and physically aggressive behavior towards girls including pressing girls against him what without their consent, grinding against girls, and attempting to remove or shift girl`s clothing to expose private body parts. She says she became aware of efforts by Mark Judge, Brett Kavanaugh and others to spike the punch at house party she attended with drugs and/or grain alcohol, so as to cause girls to lose their inhibitions and their ability to say no.
According to Swetnick again, she witnesses efforts by Judge and Kavanaugh and others to cause girls to become inebriated and disoriented so they could then be gang-raped in a side room or bedroom by a train of numerous boys. Swetnick says she has a firm recollection of seeing boys lined up outside rooms at many of these parties waiting for their turn with a girl inside the room. These boys included Mark Judge and Brett Kavanaugh. Finally, Swetnick says that in approximately 1982 she became the victim of one of these gang train rapes where Judge and Kavanaugh were present.
Now, we should be clear she does not allege that Kavanaugh participated in her sexual assault and none of her claims have been independently verified by NBC News. Kavanaugh and Judge again both denied the allegations. Kavanaugh staying in a statement, "This is ridiculous and from the Twilight Zone. I don`t know who this is and this never happened."
Here to talk about tomorrow Senate Judiciary Committee hearing is one of the senat0rs on that committee Democratic Senator Mazie Hirono of Hawaii. All right, Senator, first of all, is this hearing going to really happen tomorrow?
SEN. MAZIE HIRONO (D), HAWAII: Apparently so. So the Republicans drive to push this through no matter what. We already have three credible reports of sexual misconduct by Judge Kavanaugh and they don`t want to hear any of it. And now -- in fact they went so far as to hire a prosecutor for one day, a female prosecutor so that the Senate -- the Republican Senators on the committee it can hide behind her skirt literally and they don`t have to reveal themselves to the American public. That is how far they`re going. It is totally appalling. I have already called on the President along with the rest of the Democrats and the Judiciary Committee to have the President withdraw this nomination.
HAYES: There are -- there`s testimony or transcripts released recently of Judge Kavanaugh`s interview with counsel from the Judiciary Committee asking him about a number of allegations. There are two more anonymous allegations that are included there. There`s reporting tonight about a fourth allegation contained in an anonymous letter, an anonymous letter we should be clear, NBC News reporting that.
He is asked in the anonymous letter that in 1998 he pushed a woman up against the wall, was sort of sexually aggressive with her as he pushed her against the wall. There are witnesses. He is asked about that in the Judiciary Committee transcript and he denies it. What do you make of that?
HIRONO: He denies everything and this is why yet another reason that at the minimum an FBI investigation should occur. So everyone should wonder why is it that the only people who are willing to have the FBI investigate are the three credible reports about not him and not the Republicans on the committee when we should ask why is that happening?
And by the way, I want to emphasize that this is a job interview for Judge Kavanaugh. This is not some right that he has to get on the Supreme Court. And so in a job interview, one`s character credibility and candor are on the line, and before all of this came to pass, I already has serious questions about his credibility and was not going to vote for him. But it is just totally appalling.
I know that the people in America are watching how we`re going to deal with these credible reports and we`re not dealing with it very well. And I think the Republicans are fooling themselves if they can hire a person for one day to hide behind because they`re too afraid to question Dr. Ford themselves. I think it`s just appalling.
HAYES: Do you believe that -- there are three women who have made on the record accusations against Kavanaugh. One in high school -- or two in high school and one in college. Do you believe Ms. Swetnick and Ms. Ramirez, the other two aside from Dr. Blasey Ford should be giving some kind of testimony or sworn interview with some investigators in your committee or the FBI?
HIRONO: Of course they should speak to the FBI and all three of them said that they want an FBI investigation. They want to be questioned by the FBI. The only people who don`t want this are Judge Kavanaugh and the Republicans on the committee. So it`s very telling to me that they`re going to push forward with this nomination come hell or high water because they need him to be on that court so that there will not be -- no four to four ties. There are a lot of very conservative groups with lots of money that want Judge Kavanaugh to be their fifth vote on the court.
So there is this huge rush to get him on the court before October. But it is totally untoward and how many more people have to come forward before the Republicans will say enough. Apparently three and plus one anonymous, very specific kinds of reporting. That`s not enough for the Republicans. I hope that the American people who are watching, all of us have heard from so many people who have said I never told my story but this kind of event, this kind of trauma happened to #MeToo. The women particularly all across the country are watching and the enlightened men as I put it, they`re also watching.
HAYES: All right, Senator Mazie Hirono of Hawaii, we`ll see you tomorrow morning in that hearing room where you will be asking your own questions as I understand it.
HAYES: Here with me now NBC News National Correspondent Heidi Przybyla and New York Times Congressional Correspondent Sheryl Gay Stolberg. So Heidi, let`s start on the NBC News about this allegation, this anonymous allegation. I just think it`s important for folks to understand this is -- Dr. Christine Blasey Ford wrote a letter with her name attached to it and said she did not want to come forward. This is not in that category. This is an entirely anonymous letter that was written to Senator Cory Gardner?
HEIDI PRZYBYLA, NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT, NBC NEWS: Correct. It`s an anonymous letter that received -- they received within the past week but that they found concerning enough that at least one congressional office referred to both the Senate Judiciary Committee for further investigation and the FBI. And we confirm that the Senate Judiciary Committee is actively investigating it.
The letter is now being released by Senator Grassley`s office just within the past few moments and the story is as follows. That this is the mother of a daughter who was allegedly one of four witnesses to this event that took place in 1998 outside a D.C. bar in which one of the women was allegedly aggressively pushed in a sexual way up against a wall.
Brett Kavanaugh vehemently denies this as he does all other charges, but I think this is an important part of the reporting tonight, Chris, is that the reason why that this is -- has peaked such interest on the Hill is because it takes place when Brett Kavanaugh is fully grown, in 1998 as an adult, OK.
And I interviewed Senator Hirono earlier today when she said -- she suggested that this would be one of her lines of questioning whether he had perjured himself when she asked him whether he had ever engaged in any sexual misconduct "as an adult." And so that is why this is significant today in addition to the fact that it`s actively being investigated right now by the committee.
HAYES: And we should say that`s something that Senator Hirono asks all nominees that come before her in the Senate, those questions. Sarah -- Sheryl Gay Stolberg, let`s now talk about the -- before we talk about tomorrow hearing -- the third allegation today which was really explosive for a number of reasons. It was attached to Michael Avenatti who is representing a Ms. Swetnick, the woman in question. Obviously, he has spent a lot of time on television, and the contents therein. How has that reverberated through the system today?
SHERYL GAY STOLBERG, CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT, NEW YORK TIMES: Well, it`s been a bombshell as you might imagine. Republicans really seem kind of frantic and nervous about this. You can tell that by their very vehement statements that this woman is not to be believed. Senator Lindsey Graham said earlier how could she go to ten house parties and watch young women get raped and not say anything. He just said -- he flat out you know, he doesn`t believe that it`s true. Senator Orrin Hatch I think exclaimed, oh I`m in a really bad mood. And you know, Republicans are just pushing to get this hearing through. They just want to get this over with and get this vote which they have scheduled in the committee for Friday.
Democrats on the other hand not surprisingly are saying hey, let`s slow down a little bit. Let`s let these women be heard. Let`s have an FBI investigation. Many of them are harking back to Merrick Garland and saying look, when President Obama nominated Merrick Garland, Mitch McConnell had no trouble waiting for a whole year to fill a Supreme Court seat. Why are they in such a hurry? And you know, the longer this goes on I think, frankly, the worse it gets for Brett Kavanaugh.
HAYES: I want to talk about some corroborating details or suggestively corroborating details about this allegation from Julie Swetnick today, Heidi, and it centers on Mark Judge who is the sort of missing figure tomorrow and it has always been hard to square that you would not want to talk to Mark Judge. The New Yorker talked to an ex-girlfriend of Mark Judge, Ms. Rasor who recalled the judge had told her ashamedly of an incident that involved him and other boys taking turns having sex with a drunk woman.
Rasor said Judge seemed to regard it as fully consensual. An anonymous woman in that same New Yorker piece, in an interview the woman recalled the male students would get a female student blind drunk of what they called jungle juice, grain alcohol mixed with wine punch then try to take advantage of her. It was disgusting. They treated women like meat. This does bring up the question of Mark Judge and why he will not be before that committee tomorrow, Heidi.
PRZYBYLA: So I spoke directly with Senator Cassidy of Louisiana today, Chris, who is a Republican who`s been very strongly supportive of Brett Kavanaugh. Republicans are furious, Chris. They`re furious though over the timing. And I just asked him what I think is essentially the problem here which is that they`re not able to separate out their fury over the timing of this from the fact that there`s more and more information coming out that suggests that these may be true stories.
And so I asked them, I said, can`t you be -- can it be true that maybe Democrats are seeking maximum political advantage here, fine, let me give you that. But can it also be true that these women are telling the truth? And he grew very angry and he said, well, a lot of Brett Kavanaugh`s classmates say it`s not true. And I said who? And he referred to this PJ guy. And I said, PJ wasn`t in the room. There was one person who was in the room and that`s Mark Judge. That`s person who Dr. Ford puts in the room. And again he grew frustrated and said, well, they deny that there was ever even a party.
And so that`s kind of where we are right now is that Mark Judge is the missing link to all of this and he is reportedly holed up somewhere in a beach town and in the Maryland or Delaware Shore, and he is the one person who it`s becoming increasingly needs to be questioned in all of this.
HAYES: Finally, Sheryl. Is this going to happen tomorrow, this hearing? I mean, you said they`re plunging ahead. They -- are they plunging ahead?
STOLBERG: I think by all accounts as the Senator said earlier, it is going to happen. And it will be a spectacle. I think you can imagine that Democrats will be asking Judge Kavanaugh about these other women. They will be bringing up reports of his high school drinking. They will be trying to basically paint a picture of him sort of darken his image and Republicans will just try to steamroll ahead.
HAYES: Heidi Przybyla and Sheryl Gay Stolberg, thank you both. I want to bring in Jim Manley, the former Chief Spokesperson for then-Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. And let me just stipulate first that the substance of the allegations, the questions of the conduct, the truth thereof is the primary issue before us, but there is also a political question before us which is what is going on. As someone who worked across from Mitch McConnell, who worked for Harry Reid, how do you think he is gaming this out? How is he approaching this?
JIM MANLEY, FORMER CHIEF SPOKESPERSON FOR HARRY REID: He`s taking phone calls from the members of his caucus tonight trying to gauge their temperature. He sees what`s right around the corner, if he`s playing his cards smart. He`s he understands it that there`s a disaster right around the corner. After all, even if he survives the hearing, there`s still going to have the floor vote next week. And as Sheryl and others have suggested, more and more of these allegations are coming out.
You know, look, Chris, I got to be perfectly honest. I mean, I don`t want to give McConnell credit. He`s not in the habit -- because that would be too much. He`s not in the habit of calling votes that are guaranteed to lose so I for one can`t understand how they`re going to go ahead with this hearing tomorrow. It`s just going to be an absolute disaster. As Heidi has suggested, these Republican senators, A, they don`t have the guts to answer or question the witness on their own, they got to outsource it out. And B, they have a tenure when it comes to this stuff in this #MeToo era.
HAYES: Yes, and it just -- it also just seems -- there`s -- I mean there`s a kind of hardening I viewed and some conservatives even sort of self- proclaimed never-Trump conservatives that the attacks have made them bond closer to Brett Kavanaugh or his cause. But it seems that the politics of this are -- I can`t imagine that Mitch McConnell or the Senate caucus reads this is going well.
MANLEY: If they -- if they are, they need to get a new job because they`re spectacularly incompetent at what they`re doing. You know, look, maybe I`m going to be wrong but I got to believe there`s at least a handful of Senate Republicans that are desperate to avoid having this hearing. They recognize what`s around the corner. Like I said earlier, if they can -- if they survive the vote on Friday, there`s the floor debate next week and the optic just look really, really bad.
HAYES: What do you think about the theory which I`ve heard is that because it would so enrage the base of the Republican Party, it would be seen as such a betrayal to withdraw the nomination that they`re essentially duty- bound to just plow ahead and perhaps let it fail because that creates a martyr that can be rallying as opposed to the sort of demotivating spectacle of a withdraw nomination.
MANLEY: Yes -- no, get that. You know, they can waive the bloody body if you will right before the November election of -- like what they did to poor Judge Kavanaugh. Like I said, based on years of experience, McConnell is not in the habit of calling failed votes. That`s number one. Number two, what`s important about that dynamic and I get it is that how do Senate Republicans benefit from that taking this tough vote? I just don`t see it. Maybe it`s going to benefit Donald Trump, but for a whole bunch of Senate Republicans, you know, the idea that you`re going to rile up Women Voters like that, I think that`s a recipe for disaster.
HAYES: All right, Jim Manley, thank you for taking the time. Much more ahead tonight on the multiple allegations against Donald Trump`s Supreme Court Nominee. What to expect from tomorrow`s hearing on Brett Kavanaugh and his first accuser Dr. Blasey Ford and what the Republicans plan to do. And more on the President`s ardent defense of men accused of sexual assault.
HAYES: Ahead of tomorrow`s hearing focusing on Brett Kavanaugh`s first accuser today, his lawyer pushed back against Kavanaugh`s third accuser saying he never knew the woman.
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BETH WILKINSON, LAWYER OF BRETT KAVANAUGH: He doesn`t know her. He doesn`t -- he`s never met her. And we`ve had people already calling our office and emailing us saying they don`t know her. They`ve never seen her at the parties that they attended with him. They are alleging that for years. There were gang rapes going on with multiple men, with multiple women being victims. That is such a frightening allegation. I don`t understand how first, her lawyer Mr. Avenatti didn`t go immediately to the police. And back then why people wouldn`t have said something.
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HAYES: For more on what on what we can expect on tomorrow`s hearing, I`m joined by MSNBC`s Legal Analyst Mimi Rocah, former Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York and MSNBC legal analyst Joyce Vance, former US Attorney for the Northern District of Alabama. First, the logic here which I`ve seen deployed a lot is if this were true and this is the case of today`s accusation, that`s in the sworn affidavit, if this were true then obviously someone would have said something. What do you think of that?
MIMI ROCAH, MSNBC LEGAL ANALYST: I think that history has completely belied that statement in case after case and I`m not talking about Kavanaugh now, but you know what we have in sort of the public record is that we know from experience that these things don`t often get reported at the time. There are so many reasons why. I mean to name just an obvious view, shame, fear of not being believed, fear of you know, just embarrassment and people thinking that they somehow were responsible for what happened to them. And you know that`s just out victim blaming -- outright victim blaming.
And I think that you know what we see is that even when they aren`t reported right away and even when you get these initial denials, what happens even if it`s years later in the case of Cosby or Harvey Weinstein, you know, these -- it turns out these claims are true. And so the -- you can`t just assume every claim is true but the fact that it wasn`t reported at the time absolutely does not mean it`s not.
HAYES: Yes, I think that`s those two things are important to keep in mind. What do you think about the affidavit? I mean, at one level it`s sworn under penalty of perjury. The woman in question has a current security clearance. That would be a risk on that. On the other hand, you know, people can swear things and not tell the truth in those sworn statements.
JOYCE VANCE, MSNBC LEGAL ANALYST: Well, an affidavit is a good partial step forward, right. The ultimate goal here is to have everyone with information that bears on Judge Kavanaugh`s fitness speak with the FBI or speak under oath in some forum where that appropriately occurs.
One of the biggest gaps that we have here is the obvious witness Mr. Judge, Mr. Kavanaugh`s friend identified as having been in the room by the first accuser and yet he`s off hiding in a beach house instead of appearing tomorrow in front of a Senate committee under oath. And that`s the important step is for every step of this inquiry to be documented.
HAYES: As someone who oversaw investigations or had them sort of pass to you by the FBI worked with them, like what do you think about this -- that as sort of this first step. I mean, it seems like right now there`s a sort of frenetic political activity. There`s real questions about the facts of the matter and what obtains. What do you think about the plausibility FBI going through this?
ROCAH: Well, I mean it`s absolutely plausible. This is what they`re trained to do. You know, we`ve heard excuses that well, it`s too old talking about Dr. Ford`s allegation. No, the FBI actually does -- they have a whole squad called the cold-case squad which looks at old cases that are unsolved. There are agents who are trained in the background investigations.
HAYES: There`s a huge (INAUDIBLE).
ROCAH: There are sexual you know, agents who specialized in talking with sexual assault victims. So -- it`s not -- it`s not that -- all of those things are just excuses, right? I mean that`s the bottom line. And the truth is that it`s kind of shocking to me actually that a professional prosecutor like Ms. Mitchell would take this on in the sense that I can`t imagine that in any of the cases she`s ever prosecuted, and I know we`re -- this is not a prosecution, this is not a criminal setting, but in any of those cases that she`s done as a professional, she would do cases where there has been no pre-interviews, no documents obtained, no witnesses subpoenaed to testify who just say, I don`t want to testify. I mean none of that make sense.
HAYES: Yes, what are you working off? Rachel Mitchell who is the Maricopa County Arizona sex crimes prosecutor has been retained by the Republicans to be there in the words of Mitch McConnell female assistant to be questioning tomorrow. Does that -- did you have similar feelings? How do you feel about this strange setup we have tomorrow?
VANCE: You know, Mimi is absolutely right. There`s a reason that our criminal justice system has prosecutors and investigators. They have two different jobs.
VANCE: Prosecutors don`t work without investigation proceeding before they show up in court. Mimi is right to say that what goes on tomorrow is not a trial. No one goes to jail at the end of the proceedings. There`s no burden of proof of guilt beyond a reasonable doubt, but nonetheless, the Republicans have now set this up with a prosecutor who will engage in you know, interrogation and sort of taking on prosecutorial overtones where it benefits them but not where it would hurt them, no investigation.
ROCAH: Yes, they said, no, no, we don`t need FBI, we don`t need people to do an investigation, we the Senate have got this, but then the biggest part of their job, right, which is questioning witnesses. I mean, I made this analogy earlier and I`m not a huge sports person so forgive me if it`s not perfect but it isn`t this like you know, the baseball team. They train for this, they prepare for this. You know, there`s big game coming up. They get paid for this. This is their job. And then come game time, nah, we`re going to bring in some outside players because they really can`t handle it. I mean, how is that OK? This is their job and they`re hiding behind her.
HAYES: One of the other development sort of legally today was the submission of four affidavits by people around Dr. Blasey Ford including people -- once again, sworn affidavit saying she contemporaneously told them of these stories prior to coming forward back in 2012 and things like that. How do you assess the credibility of something like that?
VANCE: So it`s interesting what you as a prosecutor look for first is did a victim talk with someone contemporaneously with the crime and we don`t really have that here for a lot of understandable reasons. What we have are folks that she told long before Judge Kavanaugh was nominated for this Supreme Court seat. There are reasons that she spoke with them when she did, and she has a compelling story of trauma. So this sort of corroboration from not just one witness but from multiple witnesses is important.
HAYES: And in fact, one of her friends says that she told her that she`d been sexually assaulted by a federal judge at the time which the kind of thing one would imagine one would remember. Again, of course, Judge Kavanaugh denied all this. Mimi Rocah and Joyce Vance, thank you both.
Coming up, Republicans show no signs of hesitation going in tomorrow`s hearings somewhat amazingly. David Brock joins me on how they will try to save Brett Kavanaugh right after this.
HAYES: The emergence of more women accusing Brett Kavanaugh on the record of sexual misconduct has not prompted Senate Republicans to slow down in order to examine their accusations before putting Kavanaugh on the Supreme Court.
Senate Judiciary Committee Democrats, as well as Chuck Schumer, are calling on Kavanaugh to withdraw. But Republicans are speeding ahead, pressing forward with tomorrow morning`s hearing even though only one of the accusers and zero eyewitnesses have been called to appear. And some are even suggesting the new accusations only prove that all this must be a vast left wing conspiracy, in part because one of the women who swore to her in an affidavit released today under penalty of perjury is being represented by a celebrity lawyer.
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SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM, (R) SOUTH CAROLINA: I am very suspicious of this coming out two days before the confirmation vote. I`m very suspicious of Michael Avenatti.
SEN. ORRIN HATCH, (R) UTAH: There`s plenty of reason for some people to think that this is a smear campaign.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: But doesn`t that imply that the women are lying?
HATCH: Well, it doesn`t -- it doesn`t hold them in high esteem, I`ll put it that way.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Avenatti who, you know, lawyer to porn stars.
TRUMP: And then you have this other con artist, Avenatti, come out with another beauty today. It`s a con job by the Democrats. They know it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: With me now, someone very familiar with the sort of political warfare, Media Matters founder David Brock, who helped undermine Anita Hill`s credibility in 1991 before later renouncing his actions. And he`s bee working for years on the other side.
I think -- you know, you saw Lindsey Graham today. Lindsey Graham went on a tear when the affidavit was released today, the extremely troubling allegations made in them, Lindsey Graham just went off and basically said this is all -- basically saying what the president is saying, this is a con job.
DAVID BROCK, MEDIA MATTERS FOUNDER: Well, I think some of them have. I mean, the mentality is this: they are now in a siege mentality and you can see it when the second accusation came out. And it`s counter-intuitive to people because the worse it gets the more they dig in, but they`re in a siege mentality, which means they`re very defensive. There`s a little bit of the paranoid style -- the vast left-wing conspiracy. And of course Michael Avenatti is sort of the perfect character to put into this mix, because they really didn`t have very much to work with.
It obviously makes no sense.
But yes, so people -- some people believe it, some people don`t care about the truth. And, you know, when I was in the right, people would ask me, do people believe these things? And some did and some didn`t. Some were cynical. I never knew which ones were worse. But there`s clearly a belief here that this is what`s going on and that this is -- someone these women are being duped or used by enemy forces.
And if you look at right-wing media, the enemy forces are Democrats and liberals and the PC police, #metoo militants and the media.
HAYES: I think they`re also failing -- I think they`re falling into a trap here, which is that a lesson from the Clinton years, right, the Starr report is that it can be both the case that there literally a set of your is political enemies on a search and destroy mission, and also they catch you doing something. I mean, Bill Clinton was caught. He had the affair and lied about it to people. And it seems to me there`s a lot of conflating of those two. They`re having a very hard time separating them.
BROCK: Yeah, well, both were true in that case. In this case, I don`t think that`s the case, but they are definitely trying to conflate them.
So, that`s what`s sort of going on outside the room. Inside the room tomorrow we have Rachel Mitchell, right. And what people have to remember about that is I`ve been around these Republican staffers, investigators. I was in the crucible of the Thomas case, they`re not neutral finders of fact. Her job is to get him confirmed. And so what they`re going to do is...
HAYES: And they`ve hired her.
BROCK: That`s right.
HAYES: She works for the Republicans on the committee.
BROCK: Absolutely. So, that`s her job. And she may do it with more decorum than the Senators would do. They`re the sort of silence of the cowards in the background there. But, look, they`re putting the victim on trial, just like they did to Anita Hill. So, you`re going to hear about memory. You`re going to hear about corroboration. You`re going to hear about why there was a delay in making the charges. They`re going to try to create a courtroom scene where it`s not really court.
And then they`re going to try to turn Brett Kavanaugh, the seeming serial predator here into the victim. And he tried that the other night with himself saying that this is a smear campaign. He`s going to say that in a statement tomorrow when, in fact, it`s his allies out there from the president on down who are really smearing the women. And then so that`s really what`s going on here.
HAYES: Yeah. That point about Mitchell is a really important one, which is that in some ways it`s sort of a slightly -- well, a somewhat ingenious strategy, which is like, well, here`s this person who is an arm`s length from us. She`s there to sort of get to the truth. But, of course, like they`re prepping with her, right?
HAYES: And it may be the case of Kavanaugh is, right, for all we know.
HAYES: I mean, they`re part of the team of Chuck -- she`s on Chuck Grassley`s team.
BROCK: That`s right. That`s what people have to remember. And people are talking about about all this coordination on the left. There is no coordination. These women I`m sure don`t know each other. There`s no coordination. This is a very coordinated thing.
And they`ve known about some of these allegations for a long time. In fact, the reason they tried to jam it through last week was they knew about one of these and they tried to jam it through. Their chief investigator tweeted that this is about, you know, go Brett. So that`s what`s going on here.
And, you know, when this started I thought, you know, this is going to be the Anita Hill treatment all over again. This is shabbier treatment than Anita Hill, Chris, because this is just an outrage that there are no other accusers being presented, none of the corroborating witnesses, no Mark Judge, as you said, and no FBI investigation still at this moment.
HAYES: The final note here is that there`s just some sort of remarkable grand irony that Brett Kavanaugh got his start in Republican politics on the Kenneth Starr team. This is a memo he wrote back in August 1998, "I am strongly opposed to giving the president a break in the questioning regarding the details of the Lewinsky relationship. It is our job to make his pattern of revolting behavior clear piece by painful piece."
BROCK: Yeah, well, we`re going to see a lot of hypocrisy on display here. And certainly, this is somebody who for years made his career out of trying to humiliate someone for consensual sexual activity.
HAYES: Yeah. David Brock, thank you for being with me.
BROCK: Thank you.
HAYES: Still ahead, the Republican instinct to personally attack the Kavanaugh accusers. Cecile Richards on that and this moment that we`re all living through next.
HAYES: After Julie Swetnick, the third Kavanaugh accuser, came forward today, Republican Senator Lindsey Graham led the charge against her.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GRAHAM: I am telling you that affidavit, if it doesn`t jump out at you as being strange that you would go to 10 parties over two years where you witnessed drugging and raping and you kept coming back and back and you never told anybody, you never warned any of your girlfriends, I find that to be over the top.
SEN. BILL CASSIDY, (R) LOUISIANA; And we`re being told that a woman went to 10 different parties where women were being gang raped and never reported it.
SEN. ORRIN HATCH, (R) UTAH; I think it is a smear. I don`t think there`s any question in my mind about it. But I`m willing to keep an open mind.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: For more on that unfortunate and ugly attack, let`s bring in Cecile Richards, former president of Planned Parenthood, author of Making Trouble.
What do you think about that line of argument?
CECILE RICHARDS, FORMER PRESIDENT PLANNED PARENTHOOD: It`s the disrespect that`s been shown to Dr. Ford and other women who have come forward is incredible. I don`t think it`s that`s not surprising. And of course Senator Orrin Hatch was on the Anita Hill committee as well, so he`s been around the block.
I think what is fascinating is that these men who are happy to talk to the press don`t even have the guts to question Dr. Ford themselves. They had to bring in a woman.
HAYES: But wouldn`t they be worse at doing it?
RICHARDS: Wouldn`t they be worse at doing it?
RICHARDS: Well, weren`t they elected to do their job? I mean, I think that`s really the question. And so, you know, and I`ve thought about this a lot because, of course, I had my own time before a hostile Republican-led committee.
HAYES: They did not hire a female assistant for that.
RICHARDS: No, but it was interesting, actually, Chris, because they did try to keep bringing in women, Republican women because they didn`t have any on the committee, so they actually did try to keep bringing in women, to make it look better, which it did not.
HAYES: They were aware that maybe this did not look good.
RICHARDS: Yeah, that maybe it was kind of unseemly. But I think, look, it`s so ridiculous. This is not a fact finding mission. These senate hearings are an opportunity to humiliate the witness, to make her look bad. If they really wanted to find the facts they would agree to an FBI investigation, which, of course, all these women have asked for.
But I think -- look, this woman -- what this woman has been through already is incredible, but I think she has a couple of things going for her tomorrow, one is the millions of women in this country who are outraged at what`s happening and who are going to be with her and in some way in that room, and the other is she has something that I think the other side doesn`t have is, she has the truth, and that will get you a long way.
HAYES: You`re someone who obviously, I think, opposed Brett Kavanaugh before the allegations right.
HAYES: And presumably you would oppose basically anyone that Donald Trump would nominate, right?
RICHARDS: Well, I mean, he said he was only going to nominate justices that would overturn Roe versus Wade, and that`s obviously very upsetting. And I think that`s why you`re seeing a huge majority of women opposing this nominee.
But now it`s gone way farther than that. I mean, we`re seeing a nominee who has a pattern, this is a pattern now, of behavior. And this is, as Ii think others have said, and I think Senator Hirono put it right, this is a job interview, this isn`t like coronation, right. And anyone who is interviewing someone for this kind of post -- there`s only nine of these Supreme Court justices in the country, and who has had this many accusations, I would think any, any senator would step back and say we really need to investigate this before we go any further.
HAYES: What do you think -- what do you think the impact has been on this sort of movement -- the abortion rights movement in this country, the women`s movement in this country, the sort of Women`s March, in watching this unfold?
RICHARDS: Well, I think women are already on fire. We know that. Of course the Women`s March are the largest marches even, and we`re seeing record numbers of women running for office, just making history everywhere. And I`ll tell you, I just actually got back from Ohio last night. I just was in Minnesota. These are places that are very competitive political states. This is all that women are talking about.
So in the middle of the country, where there are important senate races, important gubernatorial races, swing congressional districts, women are furious at the way Dr. Ford`s been treated, at the comments that have been made by men -- Republican men on the Judiciary Committee. So I think this is going to have an enormous impact in November.
HAYES: What is your reaction when you watch the president talk about this?
RICHARDS: I just try not to watch the president. I mean, I think it`s -- obviously, you know, it`s interesting you go back and I know folks say, well, women voted for Donald Trump. And obviously many did. But the single most disturbing thing, even to the women who supported him in that election, was his disregard for women, calling them pigs, dogs. His bragging about -- I don`t even want to repeat all the things he`s said.
And I think this is a real vulnerability. The president`s disregard for women and disrespect for women is -- it`s not surprising, it`s revolting, and it`s revolting to women everywhere. I think what`s incredible is to see now the United States Senators following his lead. I think there`s a reason women are upset in this country.
HAYES: All right, Cecile Richards, thank you so much for coming by.
RICHARDS: Yeah, good to see you, thanks.
HAYES: Still ahead, the president uses his own sexual assault allegations to defend Brett Kavanaugh? That`s next.
HAYES: Donald Trump today, while ostensibly defending his Supreme Court nominee against multiple accusations of sexual misconduct and assault, took some time to talk about the various accusations against him.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: I`ve had a lot of false charges made against me. I`m a very famous person, unfortunately. I`ve been a famous person for a long time, but I`ve had a lot of false charges made against me, really false charges. I know friends that have had false charges.
People want fame. They want money. They want whatever.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: The president of the United States dismissing people who say they`ve been sexually harassed or worse as money grubbing fame seekers.
It`s probably not a surprise that women are turning away from this president and his Supreme Court nominee, crucially, in droves. In a really remarkable new poll from Politico and Morning Console, conducted from September 20 to the 23, among almost 2,000 registered voters, Kavanaugh`s net support drops 18 points among Republican women, with 49 percent thinking he should be confirmed and 15 percent in opposition.
When it comes to Trump, net support among the same group fell 19 points with 68 percent approving, and 26 percent disapproving.
For a look at what this all means to the Kavanaugh nomination, Donald Trump, for the country itself, I`m joined by Leah Wright Rigeur, assistant professor at Public Policy at Harvard University`s Kennedy School of Government, Michelle Goldberg, op-ed columnist for The New York Times, and attorney Lisa Green.
I wanted to talk to all of you just to get a -- just sort of at the end of this day like how you are processing all of this.
I am someone who is a man, and also not a survivor of any sort of sexual assault, and I find the entire experience to me awful and harrowing, and I can only imagine how other people feel who have closer connection to it.
MICHELLE GOLDBERG, THE NEW YORK TIMES: You know, I am usually somewhat distanced to the news. I mean, I`ve obviously been very angry about many things that Donald Trump has done. But this has been, and I`m in a privileged position, but it still has been brutal. I mean, like I literally did not sleep last night. I took a second sleeping pill at 1:00 in the morning, because this is keeping me up.
And I think a lot of women, I think it`s not -- you know, I don`t know anyone who is gleeful about what`s happening. I don`t know anyone who is -- as much as they don`t want Brett Kavanaugh on the Supreme Court, I don`t know anyone who is enjoying what`s happening. It is brutal.
And part of what`s brutal is, first of all, this rehearsal of how sexual assault accusers, or sexual assault victims are dismissed, and the various ways that they can be dismissed. And then the dismissal of a whole culture of potential sexual assaults.
So, you see these people saying, well, how come, you know, this latest woman who has come forward, Michael Avenatti`s client -- and, you know, I don`t know anything about the validity of her claims, but I do know that what they`re saying about her is, well, why did she go to those parties? Why did she go back to those parties? They have no idea what it was to be a girl in the `80s or `90s.
HAYES: And let me just say this on that front, this remarkable piece came out in Slate two days ago, two days ago. I didn`t even notice it until today. A woman from that social scene recalling her time, "I distinctly remember it being at beach week, beach week is this big bacchanal where everybody goes down to the beach and they`re all drunk, and they`re all teenagers. A beach week party with my then boyfriend when it dawned on us there was a drunk girl in the room down the hall, the boys were lining up to go in there and presumably have their way with her. That was the only time I can clearly remember a situation that was so obviously a lineup as it was referred to by some at school. My friend remembers witnessing another, though there weren`t lineups at this nature at every party, they happened often enough, we had a term. We didn`t call it rape."
LISA GREEN, ATTORNEY: Depressingly familiar. And you didn`t have to grow up in the `80s, and that to me is what is sad, consistent patterns of hierarchies where men who were partying felt that women were play things. It`s all coming out in excruciating detail. Grain alcohol, something I haven`t thought about in decades, as a mechanism to get women to succumb.
Something else that is really troubling me about this, Chris, which is, you know, other guests have talked about how this isn`t a prosecution. We`re not looking for guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.
You know what we`re looking for? Role models. We`re looking for role model to serve in the nation`s highest court. And I`m just in despair as a lawyer and as someone who would like to think that that branch of government can be capable of rising above the fray to see the partisan manhandling of this credible witness and now other witnesses who are coming forward for what is going to be an absolute circus tomorrow.
HAYES: Do you agree with that, Leah?
LEAH WRIGHT RIGUER, HARVARD UNIVERSITY: Yeah, so I think what we saw today was a complete exposure of the sham of the entire process. The president`s press conference was disrespectful, it was offensive, but it also set the parameters of how this was going to be treated.
I mean, the president said, you know, when asked, what kind of message does this send to women, what kind of message does this send to young men? He said, you know, the victims in this case were the men.
Again, it`s not just -- it`s also just not Donald Trump in this case, it`s also how the Senate and Senate judiciary is acting and behaving we`ve already seen that several instances, it doesn`t matter what evidence comes -- you know, comes out. It doesn`t matter what affidavits are signed, it doesn`t matter who testifies, several people have already made up their mind that this is a predetermined outcome.
Again, it taints the court. It taints the institution, an already unstable institution. And sends a message to survivors of sexual assault, survivors of sexual harassment, that your voice doesn`t matter.
HAYES: And there`s just this bad faith here too shot through. You guys (inaudible) the president, but he`s clear been coached to be like, oh, keep an open mind. But like come on. I mean, really?
And the whole process being set up like, OK, come on, you want to say your piece? We got 10 minutes. What, what, what? Like that`s -- and it`s like, what, we`re giving you a say. Like it`s such -- this gaslighting BS, like they`re too cowardly to own up to what they really think, which is that she`s lying or it`s not disqualifying or who cares? So they`re pretending to care in this amazingly offensive way.
GOLDMAN: And she is behaving with such kind of dignity and restraint. I mean, anyone who gets a chance should go and read her testimony to the judiciary committee, which is now available.
HAYES: You can get it online, Dr. Blasey`s testimony.
GOLDMAN: And which is completely up front about where there are gaps in her memory and where there aren`t. And I just don`t understand anybody who could read that and think that somebody has decided to blow up her life by fabricating that.
GREEN: Yeah, I think ultimately, what will be interesting tomorrow is when Mitchell, the prosecutor, starts interviewing Dr. Blasey Ford. Will she treat her like the victim or like the perpetrator? And I think that`s something to watch tomorrow, certainly devastating if it`s the perpetrator.
HAYES: Yeah. And I can`t -- what are you looking for tomorrow, Leah?
RIGEUR: I mean, I think I agree with the rest of the panel that I`m looking forward to -- or I`m looking out for, you know, how Dr. Ford is treated in this case. We also know that this is the same prosecutor from Arizona that didn`t have such a great track record in terms of sexual assault victims, rape victims, people coming forward and saying, you know, this has happened to me, and may have let dozens, hundreds, we don`t know how many exactly, go forward.
So we`re looking for that.
But we`re also looking for how are people responding? So, how are broader audiences? Because I think as some of the earlier conversations and some of the panels have brought out too, this is really important as a check mark for moving into the midterms, but also as we see women who are beginning to really rally in the last couple of years, around some of these ideas and really we push for policy and institutional changes, that`s what I`m really watching out for.
HAYES: And also teenage girls around the country who are watching this and going to parties every weekend, where there`s a ton of alcohol and there`s pressure and teenage boys, too. Like, everyone.
This is -- everyone can access some high school parties they`ve been to...
GOLDBERG: Honestly, I feel like part of the reason that this has been so traumatic for so many people is because everybody has had if not this experience, an experience that`s at least adjacent.
HAYES: Adjacent to it.
GREEN: We`ve all gone to high school. We`ve all had yearbooks. We`ve read things in yearbooks that made us think twice. It`s in a way, as I say, depressingly familiar territory.
HAYES: I want to say that there`s news today of a Julie Swetnick, who is signed the affidavit, Michael Avenatti`s client, that there was a restraining order taken out against her in 2001, and an interview with the ex-boyfriend who took that restraining order out saying that she is not credible and he does not believe her.
I am entering that into evidence, because there`s a question about credibility here. It also seems to me a little peek of what everyone...
GOLDBERG: Anyone who goes forward. I mean, there was also a story about her finances, which I thought was really striking, because we now know more about his financial troubles than his. And there are very real questions about Kavanaugh`s debts and his finances.
HAYES: Leah Wright Rigeur, Michelle Goldberg and Lisa Green, thank you very much.
That is ALL IN for this evening. "THE RACHEL MADDOW SHOW" starts right now. Good evening, Rachel.
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