Show: ALL IN with CHRIS HAYES Date: October 4, 2018
Guest: Richard Blumenthal, Jim Manley; Barbara Boxer, Eddie Glaude, Megan Twohey, Cornell Belcher, Laura McGann, Joaquin Castro
CHRIS MATTHEWS, MSNBC HOST: It`s worthy of a lifetime trust. The duty to decide now is up to the soul and guts of the senator who says yay when he personally would vote no. And that`s HARDBALL for now. Thanks for being with us. "ALL IN" with Chris Hayes starts right now.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CHRIS HAYES, MSNBC HOST: Tonight on ALL IN.
AMERICAN CROWD: Shut it down. Shut it down. Shut it down.
HAYES: Protests erupt in the capital as Republicans proceed with the plan.
SEN. MITCH MCCONNELL (R-KY), SENATE MAJORITY LEADER: We`re going to plow right through it.
HAYES: And Democrats rage.
SEN. ELIZABETH WARREN (D), MASSACHUSETTS: This is about hijacking our democracy.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The investigation was a sham.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That investigation was a (BLEEP) investigation.
HAYES: Tonight, new reporting that Republicans curtailed the FBI investigation and where we stand as a vote loom. Then how a president accused of outright fraud gets away with playing the victim.
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Guilty until proven innocent, that`s very dangerous for our country.
HAYES: Plus, 33 days out. The latest polls moving towards Democrats in the House and game show hosts who fail as debate moderators for 800.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Don`t go there.
HAYES: When ALL IN starts right now.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Good evening from New York, I`m Chris Hayes. Mitch McConnell vowed to plow right through Brett Kavanaugh`s Supreme Court confirmation even after the first woman to accuse him of sexual misconduct came forward. And now that`s exactly what he`s doing scheduling a procedural vote tomorrow morning and a final confirmation vote on Saturday even as public outrage over Kavanaugh explodes through the Capitol.
Protestors staked out senators` offices, they staged a mass sit-in on Capitol Hill where more than 300 were arrested and they marched by the hundreds to a rally outside the Supreme Court. Lawmakers, activists, and survivors of sexual assault pledging to keep on fighting.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
WARREN: I am angry, but let me make it clear, I have a plan. It is a three-part plan. Number one, take back the Senate. Number two, take back the House. Number three, return the power to the people where it belongs
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Exactly one week since Dr. Christine Blasey Ford testified under oath about being sexually assaulted by Kavanaugh as a teenager which he denies, her lawyers in a letter to FBI Director Christopher Wray called the Bureau`s investigation of Kavanaugh in scare quotes a stain on the process on the FBI and on our American ideal of Justice. Here`s how Democratic Senator Bob Menendez who knows a thing or two about FBI investigations described the probe.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Senator, you just read the FBI background report on Kavanaugh. What are your thoughts?
SEN. BOB MENENDEZ (D), NEW JERSEY: Well, that report if that`s an investigation, it`s a (BLEEP) investigation. The reality is that is not a full and thorough investigation.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Senate Republicans declared victory announcing the FBI had found no corroboration for Dr. Blasey Ford`s sexual assault allegation or for the claim by Deborah Ramirez that Kavanaugh publicly exposed himself to her in college, an allegation he denies as well. But it`s pretty hard to find corroboration if you`re not even looking for it. The headlines speak for themselves. FBI probe ignored testimonies from former classmates, FBI background check appears to have been highly curtailed, FBI lacks White House approval to talk to Kavanaugh and Ford.
Besides being an obvious whitewash, the FBI`s report does nothing to address concerns about Kavanaugh`s misleading or outright false statements in his sworn testimony last week or his partisan belligerent performance. According to a report, retired Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens a lifelong Republican said today that Kavanaugh performance alone should be disqualifying.
And tonight on the eve of that key procedural vote, it all comes down to just four undecided senators Heidi Heitkamp, one of the most vulnerable Senate Democrats up for reelection North Dakota just announced she`s a no on Kavanaugh citing her doubts about his temperament, honesty, and impartiality, and the force of Dr. Blasey Ford`s testimony. And that leaves Kavanaugh`s nomination in the hands of the same four senators who force the investigation in the first place. Republicans Jeff Flake, Susan Collins, and Lisa Murkowski, and Democrat Joe Manchin.
MSNBC`s Garrett Haake joins me live from Capitol Hill where I understand Senator Murkowski has been meeting with some four constituents including several sexual assault survivors. What can you tell us about that?
GARRETT HAAKE, MSNBC CORRESPONDENT: That`s right, Chris. let me get into this sort of backwards. I figured if you`re a Democrat right now, you need Joe Manchin to remain a no vote here along with the rest of his Democratic colleagues and you need two of those three Republican senators to vote no. Probably the least likely in that is Jeff Flake. Remember he was a yes vote as of Friday morning of last week before changing his mind and calling for this investigation. Susan Collins left the Hill a short time ago. She said she had finished reviewing the FBI`s files but she`s not ready to make a decision tonight. She`s going to come back tomorrow.
And then there`s Lisa Murkowski. And I think Lisa Murkowski is the most interesting person to watch right now. As I was getting ready to leave the Hill a little bit earlier tonight, I stumbled across a few dozen Alaskan women who had been meeting with Senator Murkowski as they were coming out of her office. They told me that in two separate groups they filled up her conference room and had this incredibly emotional meetings with the senator. Some of their membership were sexual assault survivors. All of them were women from Alaska. And they had traveled here to talk to the senator about her vote and to press they`re casing that she should not go forward on this vote, that she should vote no.
And Chris, maybe ten of the 18 women I was speaking to when they came out of her office were in tears. They described this incredibly emotional meeting and they made very clear to tell me that they felt like the senator was really listening to her. They felt like she was very engaged. And I think maybe the most important note about this meeting that I stumbled upon was the fact that I stumbled upon it. This was not something that the Murkowski or her staff were broadcasting. This wasn`t something that they were trying to check a box of saying we`re meeting with constituents. They were trying to do this quietly and it was still something we came into. That tells me a little bit about how she`s preparing for this process.
And Chris, she`s got a little bit of political cover if she wanted to vote no. Remember, the governor of Alaska has said he opposes this pick. She`s not up for reelection until 2022. If Lisa Murkowski conscience tells her to vote no, she`s got a lot of political cover and she heard very intimately from some of her constituents today that that`s what they want to see her do.
HAYES: You know, this other news sort of curveball here which is that Steve Daines who`s the senator from Montana won`t be around for Saturday`s vote. He will be indeed walking his daughter down the aisle on her wedding day. What does that do to the -- to the whip count?
HAAKE: This is the classic human drama of the Senate. If the vote goes on Saturday afternoon and Steve Daines isn`t here, that means Republicans have to keep all three of those Republicans on board and then have Mike Pence break the tie assuming again that Joe Manchin votes with the rest of the Democrats and is a no vote. Or what we could see is a shortening of the clock here after -- not to get too wonky here -- but after McConnell would file this cloture vote, after they would have the first vote to cut off debate, in theory, there`s thirty more hours of debate.
But if Republicans are confident they have all the votes they need, they could give back all of their time and hope that Daines can catch a flight either a commercial flight or get a lift back to Montana to make it back in time if they know they have the votes. But yes, it`s an -- it`s just another curveball like we`ve been dealing with John McCain`s absence over the -- over the preceding six months or so of last year where it makes the math that much harder for anything the Republicans are trying to jam through to get jammed through.
HAYES: All right, Garrett Haake thank you very much for that. Tonight, the protesters in Washington are not quitting. There`s another rally taking place outside the Capitol where a few senators stop by to rev up the crowd.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. KAMALA HARRIS (D), CALIFORNIA: Let`s keep showing up, let`s keep speaking out, let`s speak our truth. Let`s do it with pride. Let`s do it with force. Let`s do it knowing we are on the right side of this issue.
SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (I), VERMONT: What we are about tonight is saying in so many ways for so many reasons enough is enough and justice is going to come to the United States.
SEN. RICHARD BLUMENTHAL (D), CONNECTICUT: We still have senators to buttonhole and I know you`re going to do it. You`ve had a profound effect to everybody here tonight. Thank you.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Joining me fresh from that protest tonight, Senator Richard Blumenthal who serves on the Senate Judiciary Committee. Just in the last few minutes, The Wall Street Journal`s op-ed page, notoriously conservative op-ed page publish an op-ed by Judge Kavanaugh in which he appears to express some regret and apologize a bit for his behavior on Thursday. I was emotional last Thursday. I hope everyone can understand I was there as a son, husband, and dad. Is that good enough for you?
BLUMENTHAL: Not good enough by any means, Chris, because that performance was so filled with arrogance and acrimony rage and revenge literally threatening senators. It was a kind of unmasking a revelation and it is the reason that John Paul Stevens a former Justice of the Supreme Court said it was disqualifying. For -- other judges and lawyers around the country have said that they believed that it was disqualifying. No judge should threaten a potential litigant.
And by the way in Blumenthal versus Trump, a lawsuit on the emoluments clause, I am a potential litigant threatened potential lawyers who may appear before him. That issue of temperament is now front and center. And that so-called apology it was really a non-apology, more like an explanation is far from good enough for me.
HAYES: Republicans who were briefed on that FBI report that interviewed we think around 10 witnesses say basically it clears their guy. They`re forging ahead. What`s your response to that?
BLUMENTHAL: That FBI report was abysmally incomplete and inadequate tantamount to a cover-up, a real whitewash because they failed to follow leads, they failed to interview important witnesses who were potential eyewitnesses and corroborating witnesses and they failed to answer questions. In fact, it left more questions unanswered than answered. And the review that I did in fact indicated in the FBI tip line the records their calls from people who were never then contacted with information offering to come forward and provide that information about the relevant issues here.
We are barred from going into the contents of that file. But here`s the other part. They never interviewed Dr. Blasey Ford, they never interviewed Judge Kavanaugh, they never interview Carrie Bertram who is from Connecticut and also has relevant information.
HAYES: Has -- is there any explanation for not talking to the two principals here?
BLUMENTHAL: There has been no official explanation. But clearly what happened was the White House set parameters, circumscribe the numbers of people and who would be interviewed as well as the time and in fact straitjacketed this investigation.
HAYES: Final question. One of your colleagues John Cornyn from Texas compared Judge Kavanaugh`s plight to the man accused in to kill a Mockingbird. A black man falsely accused of rape in the Jim Crow South, and compared the Republicans to Atticus Finch standing up righteously for him. What do you think about that analogy?
BLUMENTHAL: I think that analogy is very unfortunate, a disservice to Atticus Finch who has always been one of my heroes as a litigator and a lawyer standing up for someone who needs a defense. And I believe that survivors, the sexual assault survivors who came forward like Dr. Blasey Ford, the real profiles encouraged here and they`re the ones who should be supported and applauded and really uplifted and they have come forward all around the country to my office and my colleagues offices. And to mock or ridicule them as the President did the other night to subject them to public shaming and character assassination as some of my Republican colleagues have done to call them confused or mixed up is a real disservice and I believe those survivors.
HAYES: Final question. Chuck Schumer and Dick Durbin hinted that the Judiciary Committee`s tweets about the background investigation having no hints of inappropriateness in the background of the judge were false. What`s the deal with that? What can you tell us about that?
BLUMENTHAL: I can tell you within the limits of what I can say here that the claim, there`s no kin of misconduct in that report is untrue. There`s plenty there that would support claims of wrongdoing and misconduct and unfortunately for now at least we are barred from talking about the details but that`s why the facts are so important, why seeking those witnesses who can corroborate the survivors should have been done.
We presented a list of 25 including Dr. Blasey Ford and Judge Kavanaugh and just to give you one small example, Carrie Bertram from Connecticut had information about outreach by Judge Kavanaugh before the New Yorker story appeared about Deborah Ramirez which reflects potentially witness tampering and certainly knowledge --
HAYES: Couldn`t someone -- couldn`t someone from the Senate just make the file public in some way or talk about it. Who`s -- what`s stopping you?
BLUMENTHAL: Well there are rules and so far we have followed the rules even though there is potentially a breaking of those rules by our colleagues. But at some point --
HAYES: Wait, what do you mean by that?
BLUMENTHAL: Well, I think that their claim that there was no hint of conduct and also some of the tweets yesterday, but here`s the important thing, Chris. That report should be made public at some point. The American people deserve it. It was done by the FBI. Way fewer witnesses were even contacted and should have been a fraction of the ones who were suggested by the survivors here Deborah Ramirez and Dr. Blasey Ford as well as us as members of the Judiciary Committee. The American people deserve to see it.
HAYES: All right, Senator Richard Blumenthal, thank you.
BLUMENTHAL: Thank you.
HAYES: For a closer look at what we can expect as the Senate moves into a cloture vote on Kavanaugh at 10:30 a.m. tomorrow, I`m joined by former Senator Barbara Boxer of California, Host of the podcast Fight Back along with Jim Manley former Chief Spokesperson for then-Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. And Jim, Mitch McConnell said he was going to plow through. He kept this seat, the seat Neil Gorsuch is, Scalia`s seat open, barred Merrick Garland for a year, and now he`s just going to plow through with this because he just -- this is what he`s there for right?
JIM MANLEY, FORMER CHIEF SPOKESPERSON FOR SENATE MAJORITY LEADER HARRY REID: Yes, this is what he`s here for. You know, to give him somewhat of credit. I mean, he`s steel eye determination to ram through as many judges as he can. He doesn`t care about the Senate, he doesn`t care about the rules, he just wants to win. And so you know, he`s going to use the sham investigation to try and get this over the goal line. We`ll see what happens tomorrow. It`s you know, I think it`s going to be very tough vote for a lot of folks. Though having said that, Senator Heitkamp showed that it wasn`t that necessarily that tough of a vote. She figure out a way to come out voting no and I hope the others that are still out there are going to do the same thing.
HAYES: Senator Boxer, do you think any Democrat should just break the rules and make the report public?
BARBARA BOXER (D), FORMER SENATOR, CALIFORNIA: No I don`t believe in doing that. But let me tell you what I think. I don`t praise Mitch McConnell in any way shape or form because what he`s doing is wrong. This has been a see no evil, hear no evil investigation. The client was the GOP and the White House. They don`t want to get to the truth. They want to get to a vote. And good for Heidi Heitkamp -- and you know something, I remember when I voted against the war in Iraq and so did 22 other senators out of a hundred. It was one of the toughest moments electorally because 80 percent of my state wanted me to vote yes.
Once in a while, you show that courage and I say that to Sue Collins, and I say it to Jeff Flake, Lisa Murkowski, Joe Manchin because people like that. They want you to be courageous. They want you to caution to the wind it`s a conscience vote.
HAYES: I think, Jim, how broken is this? I mean, I think we`re dealing with a process that is broken in many different ways over a long period of time but this seems to me like the final kind of crack in the entirety of the way that the court is filled and what`s going to happen going forward in terms of legitimacy of the court as an institution.
MANLEY: Not only causing a question once again the legitimacy of the court as an institution but again, shows some significant fractures in the Senate itself. The level of ugly rhetoric that I`ve heard thrown by Republicans against their fellow Democratic colleagues over the last two weeks is something I`ve never seen before in my entire life.
HAYES: Really? You really think that?
MANLEY: I truly -- utterly and truly mean it. I mean, some of the stuff that these Republicans have been tweeting about and talking about their colleagues it`s unprecedented. And it -- and again, it`s another example of the Senate becoming just as ugly and divisive as the House. And needless to say, I don`t mean that as a compliment.
HAYES: Senator Boxer, do you agree with that?
BOXER: It`s awful right now in the United States Senate. But I want to throw something else in. All those years ago when I came in the year of the woman you know, in 1992 when I got elected, this goes back to Anita Hill. Whenever there is a woman who comes forward, very credible, very believable, she gets treated horribly. Now they tried not to do that to Dr. Ford but all that broke down.
BOXER: They even had a woman assistant to question her as Mitch McConnell called her. It was ridiculous. And guess what happened then. There were corroborating witnesses who would have said yes Anita is right, Professor Hill is right, and they were cooling their heels, and what do we have here, 40 people at my count as I read all the news reports including NBC who were waiting to corroborate exactly was the two women who came forward said and they were left cooling their heels.
This is not justice. And so it`s more than even the partisanship. There is such a thing as right and wrong and this is really about a woman and yet a second woman who came forward and said this man hurt me and the first thing the Republicans did was this make-believe investigation, you know, a ink and a nod investigation and Jeff Flake, Sue Collins, and Murkowski who wisely called for an investigation should not hide behind it because history will not treat them kindly. The truth has a way of coming out.
HAYES: All right, Barbara Boxer and Jim Manley thank you both so much.
HAYES: As the Kavanaugh vote looms and a president accused of outright fraud tries playing the victim, we`ll look at who gets away with things in this country and who doesn`t in two minutes.
HAYES: Almost exactly two years after the 2016 presidential election, Donald Trump`s most ardent fans still like to break out into raucous chants of lock her up as they did Tuesday night in Mississippi. It`s a chance you`ll remember that originated as a call to jail Trump`s political opponent even though the FBI declined to prosecute her after a long investigation. And we`re not so galling, it would be darkly comedic that in the very same rally where Trump is chanted lock her up, the president defended the principle of the presumption of innocence.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: Guilty until proven innocent. That`s very dangerous for our country. It`s very dangerous for our country.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: All right, so let`s talk about the presumption of innocence and the consequences of allegations of wrongdoing for the most powerful man in the world. The President has been accused by at least 15 women on the record of unwanted sexual contact all of which he says are false. He faced no legal or criminal liability for it whatsoever. Just two days ago he was accused in a detailed documented investigation by the New York Times of participating in decades of what they said was outright fraud in evading taxes while receiving the equivalent of at least $413 million from his father`s real estate empire and he has faced neither legal nor criminal consequences which is really par for the course.
Thanks in part to the repeated slashing of the IRS budget since the Gingrich era, tax fraud and money hiding regularly go unpunished. It takes a special case to face prosecution just ask Paul Manafort who surely would have gotten away with his own flagrant crimes had he not found himself in Robert Mueller sites. And it`s not just the president who has skated past accountability in the Trump White House.
His former Staff Secretary Rob Porter was accused of abuse by two separate ex-wives including one who provided this photo of a black eye she says he gave her. Yet even after those abuse claims which Porter denies were brought to the attention of the White House, Porter was allowed to continue in his job at the White House handling the most sensitive documents in the nation. He only lost his job after it all became public and he has faced no other consequences.
And then there`s Brett Kavanaugh who`s been accused by Christine Blasey Ford under oath of sexual assault which he denies. Dr. Blasey Ford has been described as credible by Republican senators and even the President himself while many of Kavanaugh`s former classmates say he blatantly lied under oath in playing down his youthful drinking and explaining away his adolescent inside jokes. But Kavanaugh hasn`t faced any legal or criminal consequences either. in fact he is now poised to get a lifetime appointment to the Supreme Court.
And that speaks to the difference between how the presumption of innocence works for people like Trump and Kavanaugh and the lived reality of millions of Americans. Every single day thousands upon thousands of power fellow citizens are rung through America`s criminal courts. They are disproportionately pouring on white and the presumption of their guilt is the basic operating principle that keeps the whole system running in guilty plea, after guilty plea, after guilty plea.
Right now as I speak to you, there are hundreds of thousands of Americans in jail simply because they cannot afford to pay their bail. They are presumed innocent by the law and Constitution and locked in cages nonetheless. Kalief Kalief Browder was one of them. He spent three years in Rikers because he was accused of stealing a backpack at the age of 16. While inside, he was beaten by a guard attacked by fellow inmates and put in solitary confinement for two years. When he got out, he killed himself.
Judge Kavanaugh has suggested the accusation that he is facing has destroyed his life and I would urge him to talk to Browder`s relatives and Browder`s loved ones about what that phrase really means. For most of human history, the law has largely functioned as another means to protect those in power and punish those without and if there`s a single shining principle of this nation worth fighting every last inch for it is the words above the Supreme Court, equal justice under law. That phrase represents a repudiation of the banal tyranny under which humans have struggled for most of our lives on the planet.
It may not be a reality but it should be the North Star towards which we still struggle. And if there is a single principle that Donald Trump stands for, made manifest time and again in his attacks on Robert Mueller, his dismissal of accounts of his wrongdoing and his defenses of other powerful men, it is the principle of power over law. The idea that the law is for the little people, for the wrongly accused Central Park Five who he called to have executed, and the Kalief Browder and the Central American Mother`s risking life and limb to bring their children out of harm`s way. They get the law he and his friends they get to process and the presumption of innocence.
Next week Brett Kavanaugh may well go to start his powerful new job and walk up those steps the Supreme Court under the words equal justice under law and I wonder if he will know somewhere deep down that the man who appointed him and the political coalition to which he owes his job have turned that phrase into just another cruel adolescent inside joke.
HAYES: Just days after winning the presidential election, Donald Trump did something unprecedented, he agreed to settle several massive fraud lawsuits against his so-called Trump University and pay out $25million avoiding my admission of guilt. But if that was new for president-elect, it was par for the course for Trump who spent his entire life flouting rules and skating by with few consequences, a fact highlighted by this week`s blockbuster New York Times story about Trump`s tax maneuvers, including what the paper called, quote, outright fraud.
But now Donald Trump`s actions could be catching up to him. New York State is looking into the allegations in The Times tax story and New York Attorney General Barbara Underwood is pressing ahead with a suit against the president, his three oldest children and the Trump Foundation saying in a filing just put in today, quote, "the foundation conducted its affairs in a persistently illegal manner."
Here to help me understand what could be in store for Donald Trump, New York Times reporter and Pulitzer Prize-winner and MSNBC contributor Megan Twohey, and MSNBC political analyst and Princeton University professor Eddie Glaude.
One of the through lines of the Trump career has been skating. I mean, he has -- they`ve pushed the line, they push the line, even a I think a -- a person charitably disposed to look at Donald Trump who would view it as sort of like roguish getting away with it, he has managed to cross over lines and push the line and push the line and get away with it.
And the big question that hangs over all of us right now is like does that continue?
EDDIE GLAUDE, PRINCETON UNIVERSITY: Of course. Donald Trump is a Melvillian confidence man. And I think we need to understand that. And he learned it from his father. And the story that he sold us is a story that was a lie, that he took and borrowed -- took a loan of a $1 million, and he turned it into $10 billion. And what we know is that that autobiography is just a contrivance. He made it up.
HAYES: It`s almost actually the opposite. It`s that he was the wastrel son who kept screwing up, who kept getting bailed out by dad.
GLAUDE: Exactly the opposite.
What we do know is that over the course of his life, over -- what he learned at his father`s knee, was how to avoid -- how to avoid his tax responsibilities. And if he learned that, then what I think we could conclude from that, we can draw from that, we can project out, is that he`s probably continued to do it, which demands -- which leads us to demand his tax returns.
HAYES: You were one of the reporters who broke a story about people that had accused Donald Trump of unwanted sexual contact. And during the campaign Access Hollywood. And as we are looking at the Brett Kavanaugh situation, it is remarkable to go revisit that period of time. The number of women that came forward of the record and the fact that he was able to escape the political consequences of that as well.
MEGAN TWOHEY, NEW YORK TIMES: Right. Well, you know, in your opening, in your powerful opening, you suggested that he has been able to kind of slip out of legal consequences. And I think it`s worth pointing out, and people often forget about this, but while he was elected to the presidency after more than 10 women came forward with allegations of sexual misconduct against him in 2016, one of his accusers is suing him.
TWOHEY: For defamation here in New York court. And at every step of the way the judge has allowed that case to move forward.
So there are questions, I think it`s a case everybody should be watching.
HAYES: This is Summer Xervos. And we -- just to make a small legal note, it`s not for the under lying conduct, it`s for the fact that he said she was lying, and she has sued him for defamation over that.
TWOHEY: Right, exactly, that for -- and this is -- you know, in your opening you were making the point that he has really gotten up there and hammered home this point that people should be presumed innocent until proven guilty, at least certain people.
I think it`s not just that. I think he has gone beyond that stance and has really created a pattern of openly attacking and mocking accusers, people who do step forward with allegations of sexual misconduct, not just against him but now in the case of Kavanaugh when he was at his rally the other night mocking Christine Blasey Ford, it really had echoes of the ways he treated the accusers in 2016.
HAYES: And I think, Eddie, why this moment has such powerful cultural potency, and in both sides -- I mean, in sort of polarized fashion, is it does feel like this basic principle about -- is everyone accountable is what`s up for grabs right now.
GLAUDE: Absolutely. Crystal Mason in Texas is doing time right now because she thought she could vote.
HAYES: On probation.
GLAUDE: On probation. She`s doing time right now. Let`s put it very clearly. And let`s put it very clearly. And so there`s this idea that African-Americans and folk who are poor, who believe that rich folk can get away with anything, that they`re really just victim -- trading in kind of victimization. No, it is a discernible fact of their lives that they see people getting away with things while they are overpoliced and oversurveilled and underprotected.
But let me say this about this situation with Kavanaugh really quickly, Chris, I think we`re -- you know, we have in political theory something called legitimation crisis.
GLAUDE: This process is deeply illegitimate. And if Kavanaugh is confirmed and he`s on the court, he will be seen as illegitimate. And that illegitimacy will metastasize to the court itself.
So the protests we`re seeing outside aren`t just simply protests against Republicans, it`s going to the heart of legitimacy of the institution of the court. And this is a really important point for the health of our democracy.
TWOHEY: You know, I think just back to the issue of accountability and how things are framed, how Trump frames them, how other people are framing them in the context of the allegations against Kavanaugh, specifically the Blasey Ford, allegation against her, you kept hearing today that there`s no corroboration, there`s no corroboration, and as a reporter who`s done a lot of coverage of allegations of sexual misconduct, I can say that when it comes to putting these allegations in the paper, there were a lot of things that corroborated her story. There were, you know, the people who -- the parties say they don`t remember that, but, you know, they don`t remember the party.
TWOHEY: That many years ago. But, you know, in her testimony, in her account to The Washington Post she has said that she told her therapist that there are medical records in -- from 2012 or 2013, I can`t be sure, before Kavanaugh was even nominated, in which she sort of stepped forward and said this happened to me.
There are many people that she`s told. As I understand it, the FBI didn`t even accept those medical records.
HAYES: And they didn`t do the thing that you and other reporters do is go and look and talk to those people, when you have to get across the very high bar, to put it in a paper like The New York Times.
Thanks for being here.
Megan Twohey and Eddie Glaude, thanks for being here.
Coming up, new polling on what voters think of the senate`s handling of Brett Kavanaugh and what it means for the midterms just 33 days away.
Plus, it`s the daily double, a good one, that`s tonight`s Thing One, Thing Two next.
HAYES: Thing One tonight, it`s debate season in America, that time of year when candidates vying for elected office get up on stage and verbally joust with one another, state their positions and hopefully shift the polls in their favor.
You can typically separate these debates into two types. There are those in which the candidates make the news.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Most of what I will be talking about is how we overturn what`s destroying our society and our environment, which is capitalism, represented, I guess, by this bottle of water on my table here.
HARLEY BROWN, CANDIDATE, IDAHO GOVERNOR: They say that the child is the father of the man. Don`t think I`m crazy, because I`m not.
WALT BAYES, CANDIDATE, IDAHO GOVERNOR: I stand on principles. I went to jail for home schooling. My kids turned out pretty good. I had four sons that made pro rodeo cowboys, and one daughter.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I represent the rent that`s too damn high party. Listen, someone`s stomach just growled. Did you hear it? You`ve got to listen like me.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: And then there are debates where the moderator is the story. And that`s Thing Two. You have 60 seconds.
HAYES: The moderator for the Pennsylvania gubernatorial debate held this past Monday night has today apologized, saying he was naive and, quote, "failed to recognize the seriousness of the event for the voters," which may be is what you get when you ask a game show host to moderate a debate.
Alex Trebek, the host of Jeopardy, got almost universally bad reviews for his performance in the debate between Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf and his Republican challenger Scott Wagner. One GOP strategist summed it up this way, horrible gubernatorial debate moderators for a thousand.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ALEX TREBEK, HOST, JEOPARDY: Now, when I was asked by the chamber if I would come here and be the moderator for this event, I was not drunk. There`s only one rule that applies to what`s about to take place, and it is a rule that I will strictly enforce, I will not tolerate any booing or hissing.
What did I tell you guys at the beginning? No booing or hissing.
Tell me the name of the starting defensive lineman for the Eagles who has won two consecutive Superbowls, each one with a different team.
When I was a young teenager, I attended a Catholic boarding school, run by the (inaudible) of Mary Immaculate and not once in those three years was not any sexual misbehavior. Now boys are pretty sharp, we talk, we would have known.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: Their rage-fueled resistance is starting to backfire at a level that nobody has ever seen before.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: There`s an emerging narrative, including from the president speaking at a rally in Minnesota tonight, that the fight over Brett Kavanaugh has emboldened conservatives. But a so-called Kavanaugh effect as a boost for Republicans, that`s not that clear right now. It is true, enthusiasm in midterm elections among Republicans has jumped 12 points since July in one NPR poll. Democrat enthusiasm also jumped and Democrats still hold a slight advantage.
But that`s just one poll, one snapshot, which is why forecasting outfits like FiveThirtyEight looking at hundreds of local and national polls place the chance of Democrats taking back the House at 74 percent, about the same as before the Kavanaugh fight and the chance of Republicans retaining the Senate at about 78 percent, a small improvement for Republicans from a month ago, though that`s unclear if it`s due to the Kavanaugh battle itself.
Perhaps even more telling, given that races are won one race at a time, the Cook Political Report just moved eight more GOP House seats toward the Democrats.
So, how is the Kavanaugh fight really playing out with these crucial midterms just 33 days away? That`s next.
HAYES: It`s the kind of headline you might expect about a congressional race in New Jersey or California. House GOP cancels ad buys for vulnerable Republican. But that headline is about a Republican running for reelection in Kansas. The NRCC canceling more than $1million in planned spending on Congressman Kevin Yoder.
His Democratic opponent, Sharice Davids, who we`ve had on this program would be the first Native American woman to serve in congress is she were to win.
For more on the rapidly changing congressional map, let`s bring in Congressman Joaquin Castro, Democrat of Texas; Laura McGann, a politics editor at Fox; and MSNBC political analyst Cornell Belcher, Democratic pollster and strategist.
Let`s start with you, Congressman. So, you`re from Texas. You`ve got a marquee Senate race there. Everyone is obsessed with the Beto O`Rourke/Ted Cruz. And that seems like the kind of place you`re hearing from Republican strategists and Democratic strategists that the Kavanaugh fight is engaging and mobilizing conservative Republican voters and activists in red states that Democrats need to win.
What do you think of that theory?
REP. JOAQUIN CASTRO, (D) TEXAS: Yeah, I think that`s actually somewhat true. Being back home now and talking to folks, and it kind of at least in a place like Texas woke Republicans up so to speak. But I still think there is a sizable enthusiasm gap between Democrats and Republicans, and I think this midterm is going to be concussive to the status quo and concussive to the Republican Party.
HAYES: There is also, Cornell, a huge difference between the Senate map and the House map, and this is part of the problem, right? That because that Senate map is so favorable to the Republicans, it`s so many red states that Democrats have to defend, you can sort of get your voters worked up in those states and win in a way that you can`t in the suburbs in Orange County, California or New Jersey?
CORNELL BELCHER, DEMOCRATIC POLLSTER: That`s right. And I think, Chris, I`ve thought the enthusiasm gap to an extent was fool`s gold because Republicans we know tend to turn out at higher numbers in midterms. The fact that Democrats right now are - - even if it drew even for midterms in enthusiasm, I think that would be a win for Democrats being that our -- we tend to turn out a lot lower levels.
Than what Republicans do. But when you look at the Senate map, what is interesting about this Senate map is they`re having to spend a lot of money in places where traditionally they have not had to spend money. When they`re dumping that kind of money into Texas, it`s unheard of. And you have right now in both Nevada and in Arizona really Democrats even or if not ahead in a lot of the -- a lot of the public polling, so Republicans are having to spend a lot more money in these traditional places where they hadn`t had to and it expands the map for Democrats.
HAYES: And Laura, one of the reasons I wanted to have you on, you guys did this great polling where sort of comparing public opinion more broadly around Kavanaugh and Ford to Anita Hill and Clarence Thomas. And it`s really remarkable. And I think it`s getting lost a little in this intensity of fight.
You see that there has been a real change in public opinion in terms of many more people believing in Dr. Ford and opposing Brett Kavanaugh based on what they saw at the hearing.
LAURA MCGANN, POLITICS EDITOR, VOX: Yes. And what we found specifically in our poll where we asked Americans the exact same questions they were asked right after the Anita Hill/Thomas Clarence (sic) hearings. And I think in terms of the midterms, one of the big takeaways is that whereas George H.W. Bush paid almost no price for that entire saga, Trump has.
42 percent of our respondents answered our poll saying that they have less confidence in Donald Trump after these hearings than before. And noticeably, only 24 percent of respondents said they have a more favorable opinion or more confidence in Donald Trump since seeing these hearings. And that`s significant when you think about Republican voters and what motives them.
We know that the Supreme Court was a motivating factor for Republican voters in 2016. This should be a moment when Donald Trump is ride high. Instead, he is only picking up 24 percent of respondents said they have a more favorable opinion, or more confidence in Donald Trump since seeing these hearings. And that`s significant when you think about Republican voters and what motivates them.
We know that the Supreme Court was a motivating factor for Republican voters in 2016. This should be a moment when Donald Trump is riding high, instead he`s only picking up 24 percent of Americans saying, you know, we feel better about Donald Trump after watching this unfold.
HAYES: More broadly, you have 45 percent of people saying they believe Ford, 33 percent, Kavanaugh, 22 percent unsure. As someone who has sort of live these politics -- I mean, you represent a fairly Democratic district, but there is a class of Democratic advice givers who are I think are like - - don`t fight too hard on Kavanaugh. You`re waking the beast. Pivot to something else. What do you think about that advice?
CASTRO: Look, I think -- first of all, I think you got to be true to yourself, right? And those numbers show that a lot of people think that this whole thing has been a sham, that it`s been a Trump strategy, the same thing of no apology, never acknowledging that you`re wrong at all.
HAYES: Plow through, as Mitch McConnell said.
CASTRO: Yeah, that`s right. You saw McConnell do it you. You saw Lindsey Graham do it. You saw John Cornyn do it. They adopted Trump`s strategy and then turned an FBI investigation into what if nothing else changes will end up being a cover-up basically.
HAYES: And Cornell, it was notable to me that Jacky Rosen just now on Twitter, who is the challenger of Dean Heller in Nevada, going after him on Kavanaugh. She thinks this is a winning issue for her.
And it was interesting to see that because you`ve seen so much reporting on the Joe Manchins and the Heidi Heitkamps of the world.
BELCHER: I think it`s -- I think it`s interesting that Republicans think this is a winning strategy broadly when you have, you know, by 20 points women think, you know, that he should not be confirmed. If anything, this is going to drive what we`re already seeing an enormous gender gap when Republicans are going to put on the Supreme Court someone that the majority of women think is lying about sexual assault.
HAYES: And Laura, the broader picture here, which I think has also gotten lost a little bit, as Republicans push this through, is that he is a very unpopular nominee generally for Supreme Court position in historical sense, and that was true even before the allegation, like he is not doing great just when you compare apples to apples.
MCGANN: Right. He was not a popular guy before a very credible person accused him of attempted rape on national television. So, this is not the kind of figure you would think would be a great poster for your campaign.
But like the rest of the panelists are saying, it does seem to be motivating Republican voters, but to the broader question of what kind of moment are we in, is this going to be a defining moment of the election, and is it going to be one about men versus women or some other dynamic.
The fact is that the way that this is breaking down is partisan.
MCGANN: Where overwhelmingly Democrats oppose the Kavanaugh nomination. They opposed him before all of this. They oppose him now. And Republicans likewise.
HAYES: That`s the...
MCGANN: There is some interesting movement in the middle with independents, and I think that`s the place that will be interesting to watch.
HAYES: All right, Congressman Joaquin Castro, thanks for coming by the studio. Laura McGann and Cornell Belcher, thank you.
Before I go, I want to mention, I`ll be appearing at The New Yorker festival this Sunday. I`m going to sit down with Andrew Marantz, who is a great writer and editor there, for a talk about making sense of the madness we`re all living through. It`s this Sunday, October 7, at 4:30. I think it`s going to be really good. If you`re in New York this weekend, come check it out. You can find tickets for the festival at NewYorkerFestival.NewYorker.com. Hope to see you there.
That`s ALL IN for this evening. "THE RACHEL MADDOW SHOW" starts right now. Good evening, Rachel.
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED. END