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White House initially limited FBI investigation. TRANSCRIPT: 10/1/2018, All In w Chris Matthews.

Guests: Jane Mayer, Jeff Merkley, Barbara Boxer, Ariel Edwards-Levy, Cornell Belcher

Show: ALL IN with CHRIS HAYES Date: October 1, 2018 Guest: Jane Mayer, Jeff Merkley, Barbara Boxer, Ariel Edwards-Levy, Cornell Belcher

CHRIS MATTHEWS, MSNBC HOST: Happy birthday, Mr. President. "ALL IN" with Chris Hayes starts right now.



SEN. JEFF FLAKE (R), ARIZONA: It does no good to have an investigation that just gives us more cover for example.

HAYES: A White House response to reports of a limited investigation.

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I think the FBI should do what they have to do to get to the answer.

HAYES: Tonight, what we know about which accusers and which witnesses have been interviewed as the White House says it has authorized an expanded probe into Brett Kavanaugh. Plus, just what constitutes lying to Congress?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If Judge Kavanaugh is shown to have lied to the committee, nomination is over?

FLAKE: Oh yes.

HAYES: The impact the Kavanaugh scandal is already having on the poll.


HAYES: When ALL IN starts right now.


HAYES: Good evening from New York I`m Chris Hayes. As the clock ticks steadily down toward the Friday deadline, a pitched battle is unfolding in Washington over the precise terms of the FBI`s investigation into the sexual misconduct allegations against Brett Kavanaugh. And Kavanaugh a Supreme Court nomination and perhaps even getting to the truth about his conduct hangs in the balance.

New York Times first reported over the weekend the White House and Senate Republicans had directed the FBI to interview just four potential witnesses, Mark Judge, Kavanaugh`s alleged accomplice in the sexual assault of Christine Blasey Ford, Kavanaugh and Judge both deny the assault took place. Also, P.J. Smith and Leland Kaiser who both attended that same gathering where the alleged assault occur occurred according to Blasey Ford and Deborah Ramirez who accused Kavanaugh of exposing himself to her in college in an interview with The New Yorker which Kavanaugh also denies.

Now that last list did not include a number of other potential corroborating witnesses who could verify the woman`s stories or testify to Kavanaugh`s whereabouts or his conduct of the time. It also did not include a third woman accusing Kavanaugh of sexual misconduct Julie Swetnick. As of this morning, according to her lawyer Michael Avenatti, their attempts to talk to the FBI were unsuccessful.

Meanwhile, today amid growing alarm the Republicans may be tying the FBI`s hands, the White House authorized the bureau to expand its Kavanaugh investigation and follow any leads while maintaining the same Friday deadline.


TRUMP: I want them to do a very comprehensive investigation, whatever that means according to the Senators and the Republicans and the Republican majority. I want them to do that. I want it to be comprehensive. I actually think it`s a good thing for Judge Kavanaugh. I think it`s actually a good thing, not a bad thing. I think it`s a good thing. Now, with that being said, I`d like it to go quickly.


HAYES: Now, that`s a very different position, the President had taken behind the scenes at least according the New York Times which reported that he told associates Republicans had erred by not quickly holding a full Senate vote on Judge Kavanaugh`s nomination on Friday after the Judiciary Committee advanced it along party lines ignoring Republican senators calls for investigation and forcing them instead to take a vote.

There were signs that those same Senators may have had something to do with the White House loosening its grip today. At an event in Boston, Senator Jeff Flake said he`s been pushing to make sure the FBI conducts a quote real investigation.


FLAKE: I`ve had discussions many yesterday with my colleagues with the White House counsel`s office. My staff is following up as well. I had one of those conversations just five minutes ago to make sure that the -- that any current credible allegation that has been made is fully investigated. It does no good to have an investigation that just gives us more cover for example. We actually need to find out what we can find out.


HAYES: Senator Susan Collins confirmed to NBC News she was also consulted about the decision to authorize an expanded investigation. And tonight amid lingering questions over the scope of the probe, new evidence obtained by NBC News suggests the Kavanaugh may have been pressuring college classmates behind the scenes to rebut the sexual misconduct claimed by Deborah Ramirez. NBC`s source says efforts to turn that evidence over the FBI have thus far been unsuccessful.

I`m joined by -- now by NBC News National Correspondent Heidi Przybyla, one of the authors of that late-breaking report. What have you found out, Heidi?

HEIDI PRZYBYLA, NBC NEWS NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Right. This is someone, Chris, who did not want to come forward but she has tried several times to get him her information through the FBI unsuccessfully. And NBC obtained a memo that she had sent to the FBI detailing text messages between herself and another former Yale classmate of Brett Kavanaugh. The text messages she says she`s drawn no specific conclusions about it but that she`s very concerned about what may be behind them for two reasons.

First of all, they show that Brett Kavanaugh is named by name by her classmate who she was corresponding with as basically pushing this classmate to refute Deborah Ramirez claims before the New Yorker story came out. He did that in a couple of different ways. First of all, asking for her to track down a photograph which we`ve obtained of both Deborah Ramirez and Brett Kavanaugh at a wedding ten years after the alleged incident showing them seemingly smiling at each other. There`s a backstory behind that. But secondly, also it says in one of the text messages that Brett specifically pressured her to refute Ramirez`s claims.

Finally what`s very concerning about the text messages is that they show these are private communications between these two women and the one woman whose messages these are -- her name is Carrie Bertram was saying to her classmate look, I was at the wedding and now it all makes sense to me now that I know about these allegations because Deborah was acting so weird she wouldn`t go near Brett, she wouldn`t go near his friends. She was clinging to us.

And so that is that is the bottom line of it. You know, will the FBI now that it is supposedly expanding its investigation actually talk to people like Carrie Bertram who like I said didn`t want to go public, didn`t give us this information, but agreed to provide a statement once we came to her with it and said -- she said yes I literally contacted them three times, I can`t get through.

HAYES: There`s also a question here. Brett Kavanaugh, Judge Kavanaugh was asked under oath in multiple lines of questioning both before the committee and in private correspondence with Senate Judiciary investigators about whether he had foreknowledge the New Yorker. He seemed to give some different answers. He said in open hearing that he knew Deborah Ramirez was calling around to ex-classmates but said he`d never heard of the story before it was published. How do we square that with what you`ve learned?

PRZYBYLA: Right. So again, according to the messages and they are all clearly dated before the story ran, he is named by his classmate, Karen Yarasavage, as a person who was pressuring her to refute the claim. So we basically know that he certainly knew about it and he knew about the claims prior to publication. We don`t know how far in advance but that is the entire point, Chris, of this exercise as that the woman Carrie Bertram wants the FBI to look into that. Because if she was receiving text messages, her classmate, from Brett Kavanaugh or from his team, then possibly many other people in that private circle were and just how far back to this extent.

She says in her memo that she believes this campaign -- this effort could have started as early as July although she didn`t provide any specific text messages to back that up. The text messages she provided were very recent all around the publication of The New Yorker piece.

HAYES: All right, Heidi Przybyla, great reporting and thank you very much. All right, let`s bring in New Yorker Staff Writer Jane Mayer who along with Ron Farrow has been breaking lots of news about the sexual misconduct allegations about -- against Kavanaugh and whose latest pieces on the confusion surrounding the FBI`s renewed investigation. And characterized that confusion for us, Jane.

JANE MAYER, STAFF WRITER, NEW YORKER: Well, a number of people particularly Yale classmates but others too who have information that they think is important and they want the FBI to see -- feel that they can`t get it to the FBI. They have tried, they`ve been -- they`ve called, they`ve been told to try calling an FBI tip line that go to various field offices of the FBI where nobody seems to know what they`re talking about. It`s been a confusing situation and some of the people that I`ve talked to who I regard as people who`ve got key information have -- are feeling that -- beginning to wonder if this is a real investigation or some kind of whitewash in the words of one of them.

HAYES: Deborah Ramirez was on that list. Even the very restricted list of that reporting suggests was initially handed the FBI by the White House of people to interview. Do we know if she is interviewed with the FBI as of yet?

MAYER: I believe she has been interviewed by the FBI but one of the people that I wrote about in this story is a classmate of theirs, that is of Debbie Ramirez and of Brett Kavanaugh in the Yale class of 1987 who remembers hearing about Ramirez`s allegations. He remembers hearing about the party that she was at and the scene that she described. He says he`s a 100 percent sure that it was Brett Kavanaugh who remembers hearing it 35 years ago, either the night of the party or in the next day or two. And he`s written up a statement for the FBI and he`s gotten no response. I checked with him right before going on the air, he still got no response.

The same is true of the lawyer for Elizabeth Rasor who was the college girlfriend of Mark Judge who was the friend of Kavanaugh from high school who according to the alligation against Kavanaugh having to do with Christine Blasey Ford, Mark Judge was the only other person in the room at the time. And this is a woman who went out with Mark Judge who said that the descriptions he`s given of their innocence at that period are a lie. And she knows because Mark Judge confessed to her with a lot of shame she says and she`s sorry to have to say this that when he was in high school, he had sex with an inebriated woman and several other boys from high school had sex with the same woman.

And he wants she wants, Elizabeth Rasor, wants the FBI to understand that this is the social background against which this these allegations from Christine Blasey Ford took place.

HAYES: And we should say Elizabeth Rasor was on the record saying that in a story you reported. She is trying to get to the FBI as well. There`s a number of people we`ve seen reports of in that case. One thing --

MAYER: And I think one other thing, Chris, we should say is that that Mark Judge has denied it and of course Kavanaugh has denied this as well. I mean, you know, we got to give everybody their side. But these are people who when I interviewed them, what they are saying is I want to talk to the FBI. It`s about trying to get a fair process. They want to do this under of at threat of perjury and they`re saying they still haven`t been able to talk to the FBI and I think that`s the issue. It`s -- they actually want to give information. They feel a civic duty about it.

HAYES: Mark Judge we should say, his lawyer said that he has interview with the FBI for this sort of renewed and reopened background check though that internet viewers not complete. It strikes me that one of the issues here may be and this is an attempt at a sort of charitable reading what I`d like to hear what you think which is that this is a highly unusual background investigation because it`s extremely public. Usually, the FBI is doing this in the background, they`re going out and talking to people.

There`s a lot of people presumably that are trying to get to the FBI at this point it seems at least witnessing what I`ve heard from you and other reporters the FBI is having a hard I`m putting them in contact with the investigators.

MAYER: It`s -- you know, there`s -- it`s a small social group that it`s not that big a group of people as far as I know. I mean it took Ronan Farrow and myself maybe two weeks to sort of tap into this social group at Yale. And if we could do -- we`re not the FBI so I would -- I would think the FBI would be able to get to this group of people and it`s important I think. I mean the lesson we learned from the Anita Hill story whenever -- that was 27 years ago was that corroborating witnesses are important because you get to this situation where you`ve got this standoff between two credible-seeming people maybe, and it`s very hard to know the truth. And so you need to talk to others who were involved at the time and who know these characters.

HAYES: All right, Jane Mayer, who`s doing great reporting on this, we will continue to monitor this with you if that`s cool with you throughout the week as that deadline ticks forward. Thanks a lot.

MAYER: Thanks.

HAYES: For more on who`s calling the shots to the FBI`s investigation and what they`re looking for I`m joined by Democratic Senator Jeff Merkley of Oregon. Where is your understanding, Senator, of who is in charge of this and who sort of dictates the approach in the scope?

SEN. JEFF MERKLEY (D), OREGON: Well, Chris, ultimately it`s the President`s direction. And clearly, he was trying to limit it as much as he possibly could. He`s now made a public statement saying that he has this expanded vision but who knows what his team is doing privately. And the fact that so many individuals, several days into this have not been contacted, that`s a very bad sign.

After all, the FBI is a very large organization. They can assign an agent to every single one of these individuals. They certainly could have responded to their request and that`s got a little time to talk to them. I hope that these interviews that we`re holding in the press are lighting the fire under them because it`s really outrageous that they are moving so slowly.

HAYES: I want to get your reaction -- Mitch McConnell who is -- you know, if it`s Senate Republicans in the White House who are directing this and the judiciary can -- stuff, you can get a sense of how they view this whether there are sort of persuadable on this than Mitch McConnell`s words on the Senate floor today. He had some very harsh words. He talked about McCarthyism and he talked about a lot of stuff. This is one of the things he had to say where he accused Democrats of engaging in bad faith. Take a listen, if you can give me a reaction.


SEN. MITCH MCCONNELL (R-KY), SENATE MAJORITY LEADER: In the next few days, we will then be treated to a lecture, a lecture that anything short of a totally unbounded fishing expedition of indefinite duration is too limited or too arbitrary or somehow insufficient. We all know that`s coming. If you listen carefully Mr. President, you can practically hear the sounds of the Democrats moving the goalposts.


HAYES: Your reaction?

MERKLEY: Well, Mitch McConnell has really been conspiring with the President to limit the information that the Senate receives. After all, the president put a hundred thousand pages under the mark of presidential privilege that we`ve never received. About key issues where there seems to be discrepancies regarding torture, regarding what judge nominations that Kavanaugh was involved in. regarding the receipt of stolen information and stolen documents. And so there`s a tremendous amount of relevant review of Kavanaugh`s record that hasn`t taken place and Mitch McConnell`s right at the middle of it.

And for him to now be trying to say well, I`m going to prepare to justify a very limited FBI investigation by claiming an expanded one is inappropriate or outrageous request. No, this should be a thorough FBI investigation and Mitch McConnell needs to stand up for the principles of fairness and thoroughness. The Senate has a responsibility to review Kavanaugh`s record. They haven`t been able to do it, key records have been blocked, key witnesses have been blocked, and certainly, the FBI hasn`t done its job yet.

HAYES: Is it -- what is being communicated to you in the Democratic caucus about this timeline? I mean, is the understanding that there is going to be a vote this week? Have you been told that? Is that going to happen?

MERKLEY: Well, we came back in this evening. We`ll be having a caucus tomorrow, I`m sure we`ll learn more. But what we`re certainly hearing through the various grapevines is that Mitch McConnell`s determined to keep us in and jam this vote through before more information comes out.

HAYES: Final question. All of the information that`s being collected will go in the background file that the FBI keeps on nominees which is accessible only to members of the U.S. Senate and not public for good reason we should note. The privacy here is important of this process. Is your -- is it your understanding that will remain there, that senators will be able to view it but not public?

MERKLEY: I am not confident we`ll be able to see all of the information in part because I just up to this point the FBI doesn`t seem to be doing all the thorough work and that`s going to do some kind of a decision in the FBI what they share. So I am -- I am -- I want to be proven wrong that the FBI really is doing a thorough investigation. But just the comments that you - - from your reporter a few moments ago, that so many key people who have tried to come forward and contact the FBI, the FBI is not responding, that`s a very bad sign about the legitimacy of this effort.

HAYES: All right, Senator Jeff Merkley, thanks for your time tonight.

MERKLEY: You`re welcome.

HAYES: Ahead, Kate Snow of NBC News is here to talk about her new interview with Kavanaugh accuser Julie Swetnick and the picking of part of Brett Kavanaugh has testimony as multiple people who knew Kevin are going on the record who say he lied under oath. What happens if the Supreme Court nominee perjures himself in two minutes.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If Judge Kavanaugh is shown to have lied to the committee, nomination is over?

FLAKE: Oh yes.

SEN. CHRIS COONS (D), DELAWARE: I would think so.


HAYES: Now, if that is actually the standard that Jeff Flake is applying, Brett Kavanaugh appears to be in some trouble because there was a lot of testimony Thursday that is tough to square with the truth even putting aside the actual sexual assault allegation. For starters, there`s Kavanaugh`s dubious explanations for phrases on his high school yearbook page like Devil`s Triangle, boofed, beach week, Ralph`s Club, biggest contributor to the -- and most egregiously the Renate Alumnus which Kavanaugh claimed was a reference to a girl at a nearby school who is simply a really great friend.

At least four of his former classmates called it a lie and a poem on another student`s yearbook page suggests say far more misogynistic attempt. And then there`s Kavanaugh`s assertion that his drinking never got out of control. Four of his Yale classmates contradict that claim saying, when Brett got drunk he was often belligerent and aggressive, that he frequently became incoherently drunk and that he was a big partier, often drank to excess and there had to be a number of nights where he does not remember.


CHAD LUDINGTON, CLASSMATE OF BRETT KAVANAUGH: I can unequivocally say that in denying the possibility that he ever blacked out from drinking and in downplaying the degree and frequency of his drinking, Brett has not told the truth.


HAYES: With me now MSNBC Legal Analyst and former U.S. attorney Maya Wiley, Senior Vice-President for Social Justice at the New School, MSNBC Legal Analysts Cynthia Alksne, a former Federal Prosecutor and former Senator Barbara Boxer of California, Host of the podcast Fight Back. And Senator, maybe I`ll start with you. What is the significance of the fact that Brett Kavanaugh said a bunch of stuff on Thursday independent of the allegation of sexual assault that appears pretty clearly on its face to not have been true?


HAYES: Yes, I am.

BOXER: OK, I thought that he was not being truthful from the get-go quite honestly when he talked about the fact that Roe was set a law. I mean it feels like it was three years ago. But he denied that he had anything to do for example with the whole issue of torture when he worked for George W. Bush. He denied that he had anything to do with the confirmation process when he did. He denied having seen stolen e-mails from Patrick Leahy. So to me, I felt that was established.

But I will tell you when I saw Dr. Ford give her testimony and I don`t know anyone who said she wasn`t credible. And when she was asked are you sure that this was Brett Kavanaugh? And she said 100 percent. And her description of him being right on top of her, he must have been looking right in her eyes and groping, and then putting his hand over her mouth, she knows it was him. So you know, unless he has no recollection of it because he drank, this thing is disastrous and he I tried to paint a picture of himself as a choirboy which he was not and I don`t know if he is now but he certainly wasn`t then.

It`s -- I think that Mitch McConnell`s anger, and he is angry. I mean, this Republican Party that like the last Angry Men, I mean, he`s over-the- top angry. And I`ll tell you why he`s angry. He told the president not to choose Kavanaugh. He said there`s too much of a paper trail and it`s turning out to be true. It`s for other reasons. It`s a mess.

HAYES: Maya, I mean, the argument that I`m seeing from some concerns, I`m not seeing a lot of people defend him on the merits on (INAUDIBLE) of these things, the meaning of Devil`s Triangle which he seemed to lie about pretty clearly. No one can find any reference to it as a drinking game which is what he called it. The idea that he is never in his life ever drank so much he couldn`t recall things from the night before which I don`t think is true of anyone who`s ever drank really at all -- it`s true of me that there have been nights that I can`t remember what happened the night before -- that no one`s really defending that. They`re just saying it`s immaterial. This doesn`t matter. Now you`re trying to catch him on a sort of misdemeanor. What do you think about that argument?

MAYA WILEY, MSNBC LEGAL ANALYST: I think that Brett Kavanaugh wants this job and therefore is willing to bend the truth and outright lie to get it. And the materiality from a legal standpoint is important because if you`re going to be convicted of perjury, you have to show that you not only knowingly lied but that that lie was material. I think in this case it was material because the issue had to go with refuting allegations that supported whether or not Dr. Ford right and now Deborah Ramirez and possibly other women are telling the truth in terms of whether he violated the law.

And whether or not he`s ultimately prosecuted, I think is a different issue so we should separate that out but I did want to say that. But this is not about a criminal prosecution. This is actually about whether he has the integrity to serve as a Supreme Court justice. Well, Cynthia, there`s also -- there`s also the fact that he painted a picture more broadly of his sort of experience with alcohol. It`s very funny the President today said I think he was honest about the fact he had trouble with alcohol in his youth which he very much was not. I mean, that`s not what he said at all.

You have the Chad Ludington statement and then you know, Ludington basically says look, the guy drank a lot. He was -- he was a notorious drunk. He was a belligerent aggressive drunk. And we now have the reporting from New York Times that he was questioned by police after a bar fight in 1985. You know, it`s pretty clear the picture of this guy which again that behavior itself is not like disqualifying for Supreme Court Justice but does stand in pretty sharp contrast to how he characterized it before the committee.

CYNTHIA ALKSNE, MSNBC LEGAL ANALYSTS: Right. And remember, the minute Klobuchar got close to the question, he attacked her in a very mean and terrible way. And it`s obviously you know, close to the quick for him to ask him about his drinking. And Maya`s point and Barbara`s point, Senator Boxer`s point are the key that A, he`s willing to say anything to get this job, and B, he`s got a big credibility problem walking into this drinking because of all of the -- you know, when Senator Leahy accuses you of lying, I mean you`re in trouble. I mean, Senator Leahy is the nicest guy that ever walked the earth and he basically -- he`s called him a liar before we even got to these sexual abuses or the drinking.

HAYES: Well, so Senator Boxer let me ask you this. I mean, people can say well, Democrats oppose this nomination for substantive reasons before he even said anything under oath because of Brett Kavanaugh`s jurisprudence and how they think he`ll rule. Is it is his behavior in how he was before the Committee on Thursday and before that to you distinct from other nominees that you have seen that you might have opposed for substantive reasons?

BOXER: I have never in my life ever see a witness let alone someone up for a judgeship for the Supreme Court act in this way. The belligerence, the anger, the interrupting of my former colleagues in the most nasty way, the kind of entitlement, how dare you ask me these questions, it was horrible. And I think you know that for many years I headed the Senate Ethics Committee or I was vice-chair. If a United States Senator ever acted that way at a hearing, so out of control and if there was even one letter talking about how we may have acted in the past, it would open up an investigation. And by the way there would be no time limit put on it.

WILEY: Senator Boxer is making a point that also applies to sitting federal judges because there is a code of ethics that also exists for sitting federal judges. I would argue that Judge Kavanaugh violated that code of ethics before the Senate Committee which in and of itself is a problem for someone who should -- is considering promotion to the highest court of the land. But specifically, you`re not supposed to behave in a way that creates an appearance of impropriety, that includes honesty, integrity, and demonstrating you`ll be impartial. He violated all of those in the -- on -- last Thursday.

HAYES: Cynthia, I want to play this exchange because this to me was a perfect example of sort of doubling down on this small, what to me seems a pretty clear untruth. I mean, I think the evidence that supports that it`s not true and sort of turning it around and using anger to sort of support himself. This is him on the Renate question. Take a listen.


SEN. SHELDON WHITEHOUSE (D), RHODE ISLAND: You mentioned I think the Renate or Renate -- Renata, I don`t know how you pronounce that. That`s a proper name of an individual you know?


WHITEHOUSE: What does the word alumnius mean in that context?

KAVANAUGH: I explained that in my opening statement. We -- she was a great friend of ours. A bunch of us went to dances with her. She hung out with us as a group. She`s a good person and to have her name dragged through these hearing is a joke and really an embarrassment.


HAYES: It wasn`t -- I mean, Senator Sheldon Whitehouse didn`t drag her name to the -- right? I mean, that to me was such an obvious -- like you could tell the truth you say I feel terrible -- there`s a lot of stuff in there that he could tell the truth about and he has chosen to go in the way that he has gotten.

ALKSNE: Right. I mean, so particularly revealing comment, it`s misogynistic, it`s mean, it`s hurtful it`s vile, and I will tell you, it makes my blood boil when I see that because they have -- they have called this girl a slut and they think it`s funny. And I don`t think it`s funny and I don`t think it`s acceptable and I wish I could say I thought the world was so much of a better place. We had an incident not two years ago at a local high school here, another rich high school where the boys did the same thing to a girl. So it`s not like we`ve really come that far. It`s depressing for me. But this is -- this is definitely a lie and it reveals his character.

HAYES: Yes, I would just say that the people could shake in mind that the behavior of him as 17 and 18 which I think in many ways is really gross and offish and misogynistic, whatever, is related to the behavior of him as a grown man right now which is that he is -- appears to not be telling truth about it over and over and over again. Maya Wiley, Cynthia Alksne and Senator Barbara Boxer, thank you.

Ahead, NBC News National Correspondent Kate Snow on her exclusive interview with Brett Kavanaugh accuser Julie Swetnick, next.


HAYES: So far three women have stepped forward to accuse Brett Kavanaugh on the record of sexual misconduct or sexual assault. And one of those women, Julie Swetnick, has now given her first interview to NBC News senior national correspondent Kate Snow. Swetnick does not accuse Kavanaugh himself of sexual assaulting her, but of being present at a party where she says she was gang raped.

Tonight, NBC News has not been able independently corroborate Swetnick`s claims. When we asked her attorney, Michael Avenatti, for any witnesses who could back up Swetnick`s account, he provided four names of friends Swetnick says went to parties with her. One of them says he does recall anyone named Julie Swetnick, another of the friends is deceased.

NBC News has reached out to the other two and has not heard back.

Swetnick`s mother`s name was also provided, but she, too, is deceased.

And Kavanaugh himself has called her accusations, quote, ridiculous and a farce. He also says he doesn`t know her. And Julie Swetnick told NBC News that she does remember him.


KATE SNOW, NBC NEWS: Can you describe to me what you saw him do?

JULIE SWETNICK, KAVANAUGH ACCUSER: He was very aggressive, very sloppy drunk, very mean drunk. I saw him go up to girls and paw on them, try to, you know, get a little too handsy, touching them in private parts. I saw him try to shift clothing.

SNOW: Are there people...


SNOW: ...alive today who would say yes who went to those parties there with Julie.

SWETNICK: Yes, there are people that know about those parties.


HAYES: All right, here to tell me what we know so far and what we don`t know is Kate Snow of NBC News. Good to have you here, Kate.

SNOW: Chris, congratulations, you just got an Emmy.

HAYES: We just won an Emmy. I know. I`m very happy about that.

So, let me ask you this, this is I think an important thing you talk about sort of corroborating details and what we can and cannot nail down. Since Julie Swetnick made those allegations at a sworn affidavit.

SNOW: Right, last week.

HAYES: Last week. Have we been able to find anyone that can just definitively say, yes, I was at these kinds of parties with Julie Swetnick?

SNOW: Right, well that was obviously what we`ve been looking for since last week. Our investigative unit, our colleagues here at NBC News. We have a lot of resources here, Chris. I have been working the phones since last week. And then when we knew we were getting this interview with Julie, which happened yesterday on Sunday, we spent the weekend trying to reach out to people independently, but also asking her attorney, Michael Avenatti, if he could provide names of, you know, who drove her to the parties, who was with her at the parties, just so we can try to verify that she was there and put her in that place and time.

And to this point, as you just mentioned, we have not been able -- the only names we got were this morning and one person has said, no, I don`t remember her. One is deceased and the other two have not responded yet.

So bottom line is that NBC News has not been able to independently verify not just the claims she`s making, but that she was in those places. And this is just what we do when we try to do a story.

HAYES: One other thing. I watched that whole interview, which we played on The Beat at 6:00 p.m. There did seem to be places in which the interview was slightly different or significantly different than what had first been reported or was in the affidavit.

SNOW: Yeah, there are differences. And I would urge people to go to -- I just tweeted it, what we ran on Ari Melber`s show at 6:00 p.m. is on my Twitter, which is @TVKateSnow, because I`d urge you to watch the whole thing, because there are differences between what she said in the sworn statement and what she said to me.

For example, she said in the sworn statement that she had become aware of Judge Kavanaugh and his friend Mark Judge spiking the punch or being involved somehow in spiking punch. That`s not exactly what she said to me in the interview. In the interview she said she understood the punch had been spiked, but never saw one of them doing that.

It`s also a little bit different the way she describes what you mention as gang rape. I mean, she now is saying, look, I saw groups of men outside doors at parties, didn`t know what was happening behind those doors, saw Brett Kavanaugh, she says, in those parties, too, and she says it was only after something happened to me in 1982, she says she was attacked and pushed into a bedroom and raped by several men, that`s when she said she realized why those groups of men had been gathering around doors.

HAYES: We should say also that in that interview whereas Dr. Blasey Ford had a sort of specific time line of when she became aware of Kavanaugh, when she sort of tried to reach out. Ms. Swetnick`s timeline about when she first sort of put in her mind two and two together or placed Brett Kavanaugh having been at those parties and his prominent public role, that timeline was a little less clear in her telling it.

SNOW: It was a little less clear.

HAYES: Significantly, I would say.

She first said to me that she became aware he was on a short list, which would have been in July.

SNOW: Right. Then she mentioned Dr. Ford and hearing Dr. Ford`s story and that being a motivation for her coming forward, which wasn`t until September.

HAYES: Right.

SNOW: So that was a bit fuzzy.

HAYES: the last thing i should say here is important IS THAT in the case of Dr. Blasey Ford and Deborah Ramirez, the person about whom the allegation is specifically is Brett Kavanaugh.

SNOW: Right.

HAYES: In this case this is -- right. In this case -- or the person who was the assailant or assaulted the individual who is making the allegation, that is not the case in Swetnick`s account.

SNOW: That is correct. And I do want to be clear, though, to give her say here. I mean, she says that she saw Brett Kavanaugh at parties, more than one, 10 or more.

HAYES: And Mark Judge as well.

SNOW: Mark Judge as well. And she says that she saw, very specifically she says she saw Brett Kavanaugh behaving badly. She describes him being drunk, being belligerent, essentially pushing women into walls she said at one point, and, you know, touching them inappropriately. So those are serious, serious charges.

And to that point, that`s why we`re trying to do our diligence and find other people that may have seen the same thing because right now you`ve got Brett Kavanaugh saying, I never even met her, I was never at a party with her. And her saying, no, this is what happened.

HAYES: All right, Kate Snow, thank you for coming on and your reporting.

Still to come, the president praising Brett Kavanaugh in the campaign trail using his supreme court nominee`s sexual assault accusations as wedge issues for the mid-terms. Tonight, there are new numbers that show just how the Kavanaugh scandal is playing out.

Plus, tonight`s Thing One, Thing Two starts next.


HAYES: Thing One tonight, about one-fifth of all households in the country watched the Kavanaugh hearings last Thursday. It was an instantly iconic news moment, one that really made us wonder when the heck does Saturday Night Live come back from its summer hiatus? Oh, it was this weekend, you say.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Judge Kavanaugh, are you ready to begin?

MATT DAMON, ACTOR: Oh, hell yeah. Let me tell you this, I`m going to start at an 11. I`m going to take it to a 15 real quick.


HAYES: That`s Thing 2 in 60 seconds.


HAYES: There was a lot of anticipation about how SNL would handle the Kavanaugh hearings on its season premiere this weekend, and boy, did they go all out.


DAMON: What!

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Judge Kavanaugh, are you saying that all the claims of Dr. Ford, Mrs. Ramirez and Mrs. Swetnick are false?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I just want to point out the Democrats in this committee have acted like cowards. Now, if you`ll excuse me, I`d like to hide behind the female prosecutor who we hired as a human shield.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Judge Kavanaugh, would you say in high school that you were a frequent drinker?

DAMON: Look, I like beer, OK? I like beer. Boys like beer. Girls like beer. I like beer. I like beer.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: ...and shake my finger and get rid of a tomato for 15 minutes?

DAMON: If you think I`m angry now, you just wait until I get on that Supreme Court because then you`re all going to pay. Give me a can of water.

And live from New York, it`s Saturday night!



HAYES: Singer/songwriter John Legend performing there at our Global Citizens Festival. He is crusading on an issue that in the words of the New York Times Magazine could enfranchise more people at once than any single initiative since women`s suffrage.

Florida`s amendment four would restore voting rights for people with prior felony convictions, more than 1.5 million people. And it has overwhelming support among Florida voters in the latest poll.


JOHN LEGEND, SINGER/SONGWRITER: In certain state, they`ve made it nearly impossible for people who have been formally convicted of a felony to actually participate in our democracy. And why? There is no good reason why after having paid their debt to society and wanting to reintegrate into society that they should not be allowed to vote.


HAYES: I will be in Florida with John Legend for a special All In America on Thursday. Next week there is new polling on America`s reaction to the Kavanaugh hearing. It does not look good for Kavanaugh or for Republicans.


HAYES: The president has turned Brett Kavanaugh into a rallying cry at his recent campaign stops, but even with his Supreme Court pick hanging in the balance, motivating his base doesn`t seem to be the issue, it`s everyone else.

According to a new Quinnipiac poll, nearly half of all American voters says Kavanaugh should not be confirmed, while women specifically are even more conclusive, opposing Kavanaugh`s confirmation by 20 points or so.

To talk about how Kavanaugh`s nomination will affect the midterms, we`re joined by Cornell Belcher, Democratic pollster MSNBC political analyst, and Ariel Edwards- Levy, reporter and polling editor for Huffington Post.

Cornell, what do you -- what`s your read on what the polling says about Kavanaugh right now?

CORNELL BELCHER, DEMOCRATIC POLLSTER: To pick up on SNL, I think women are going to start at 11, they`re going to kick it up to 15 real quick.

I mean, what could possibly go wrong with putting someone on the Supreme Court, highest court in the land, that women don`t believe in a sexual assault back and forth, right?

I think when you look at the way women are breaking, Democratic -- Pew had, you know, Democrats opening up a 23-point gender advantage among women. I think this story certainly does not help Republicans shrink that. I think it helps Democrats solidify and expand that. And when you look at the kind of districts these suburban sort of upscale districts where I think most of this midterm is going to be fought over, those college educated women are breaking away from Republicans in a way that -- Chris, we may not -- we haven`t seen this in a generation. I think we could be seeing party realignment, particularly among white women, in a way that we have not seen in a long, long time.

HAYES: What do you think, Ariel?

ARIEL EDWARDS-LEVY, HUFFINGTON POST: Yeah, I think right now we`re still trying to poll something that is very much still a moving target.


EDWARDS-LEVY: But there is a consistent story even among all the polls they`re showing different things, and that is Kavanaugh started off unusually unpopular for a Supreme Court nominee. He has, if anything, gotten more unpopular. He is regularly polling in the negatives, which is very unusual. And, you know, Republicans are always going to be fired up about a Supreme Court justice. What`s unusual, and what we`re seeing this time pretty consistently, is that Democrats are very fired up too.

And it`s much more about partisanship than it is about gender. But if you look at Democratic women, many of them feel very strongly. They identify with the accuser. And they are very interested in seeing what`s going to happen in this, and they`re very motivated to stop Kavanaugh`s nomination.

HAYES: Now, we should say there is one bright spot in this polling for Republicans, which is North Dakota. A new poll out today that had Kevin Cramer, the Republican challenger there, up 10 points which is a big, big lead over Heidi Heitkamp. That`s further out than what we`ve seen generally in that polling. But that same poll, the majorities of voters of North Dakota support Kavanaugh 61-27.

The question for you, Cornell, is how much does that one vote matter if you`re Heidi Heitkamp or Joe Manchin or someone else like that?

BELCHER: I think to the point made earlier, this is not a typical issue that has fired up Democrats and sort of the base of the party. That`s changed. And you`re seeing Democrats just as fired up about a Supreme Court fight as the base of the Republican Party.

And you`re seeing -- I think it`s really dangerous for any Democrat that is going to vote for Kavanaugh with the base of the party. I think there will be backlash and a price to pay in a way this time around that we have not typically seen Democrats make their members pay for Supreme Court fight.

This is something that is visceral and we`re seeing from the qualitative women feel passionate about in a way that they typically fall on the Democratic side do not. And I think it`s problematic for any Democrat senator who votes for Kavanaugh.

HAYES: Ariel, one of the big stories of this election season so far has been the gender gap. No one has ever seen anything quite like it in terms of how big it has gotten. This is the sort of the generic House race polling that has 58 percent supporting Democrats, 58 percent of women, 35 percent supporting Republicans, a 23 point gap.

It keeps growing notch by notch, if I`m not mistaken.

EDWARDS-LEVY: Yeah, and I mean, you really are seeing this phenomenal gap opening. And at the same time, something that is very notable to me is that it really still is very polarized in that women on the Republican side are by and large not reacting the same way.

HAYES: Right.

EDWARDS-LEVY: ...that women on the Democratic side are.

So it`s still something where on almost every issue you can say OK, there is a gender gap, there is a racial gap. There is a gap, but it`s going to always be second to the polarization.

But obviously that`s still really informing the way that people are responding to this race.

HAYES: That`s a great...

BELCHER: Can I make a quick point on the polarization of it, but one of the things that I think you should also is interesting, and we saw this in 2006 as well is that parts of the Republican identification is shrinking. And I -- and where it`s shrinking is women are going to begin to sort of leave the Republican Party, so those are in Republicans are really in the Republican Party.

HAYES: Yeah, and so they`re no longer identifying, so they, then, move to independent, so that that accounts for some of the kind of lockstep you see in that Republican polling.

Cornell Belcher and Ariel Edwards, Levy, thank you both for joining us.

That is ALL IN for this evening. "THE RACHEL MADDOW SHOW" starts right now, starting with Joy Reid in for Rachel. Good evening, Joy.