Show: THE BEAT WITH ARI MELBER Date: September 26, 2018 Guest: Eleanor Cliff, Liz Plank, Jason Johnson
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: From jobs and taking our companies and not paying the price, to so many other things. Even military protection. I told a number of countries over the last few days, I said, listen, you`re a very rich country. We protect you. Without our protection, you would have real problems.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And I want to --
TRUMP: You would have real problems.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I want to --
TRUMP: I said you should reimburse us for this protection. Why are we protecting you? And do you want to know what they said? After about two minutes of talking, they agreed with me. And you can ask this group of very talented people. They agreed with me. But they said -- one of them said, "But Mr. President, nobody ever asked us for that. They never asked us for that. Nobody has ever said you should pay." These are really wealthy countries.
I mean I`ll be honest, I just asked Japan. I said we`re defending you, you`re a very wealthy country. You`re sending us millions of cars. You`re making a fortune. We have a tremendous trade deficit with you. And we`re defending you and we`re subsidizing your military with a massive amount of money. I said it to South Korea. I said we have 32,000 soldiers in South Korea. They`re very wealthy. These are great countries, very wealthy countries. I said why aren`t you reimbursing us for our costs?
And you know what, they look at me and they can`t even answer because there`s no answer. If they`re a poor country and they needed protection and people were going to die, I`m all for protecting them. I don`t want 10 cents. But when wealthy countries that have massive trade surpluses with us, massive, and then on top of that we`re paying for their military or we`re paying for a lot of their military, that doesn`t work. How about two more --
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Mr. President, really quickly. You said you feel a kinship with Brett Kavanaugh and you -- Mr. President, really quickly. You said you feel a kinship with Brett Kavanaugh and you said that also your false allegations that you feel like were made against you make you feel like you don`t want to believe these women. What message --
TRUMP: I didn`t say that. Why do you say that? Fake news. Did I say that?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Well, can you please explain what you were talking about.
TRUMP: Excuse me. And by the way, I think you do a very good job but I didn`t say that. I do watch you and I think you do a very good job but I didn`t say that.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: So could you explain that.
TRUMP: I said, exactly, I look forward to watching her. I do want to hear what she says. And maybe she`ll say -- I could be convinced of anything. Maybe she`ll say something but in the meantime, I have to tell you he`s one of the highest quality human beings. He`s a tremendous man. He`s a tremendous genius. He`s a great intellect. He was, I believe, number one at Yale. Is that a correct statement? Number one in his class at Yale?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: So you don`t feel a kinship with him?
TRUMP: He was a great student in law. I`ve heard his name but I didn`t know him. Until this whole thing, I didn`t know him but I`ve heard his name for 10 years. And you know how I heard his name? Everybody was saying he should be on the Supreme Court. I said who is he? His name is Brett Kavanaugh and he should be -- he`s the most brilliant person. He`s the most brilliant lawyer. They were talking about him on the Supreme Court 10 years ago. With all of that, I want to hear what she has to say, OK?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: But you said that you don`t feel -- but you said you feel like there have been numerous false allegations against you. And that because of that, you understand what he`s been going through.
TRUMP: I`ve had many false statements against me. And if the press would have reported, I would have been very happy. I think John Roberts would tell you that you covered the story where the women were paid to say bad things about me. Sean Hannity covered it. I will tell you when I saw that on Sean Hannity, I actually called him. Believe it or not, I don`t speak to him very much but I respect him. I called him. I said this is the biggest story. This is a big, big story. He agreed with me. The next day I picked up the papers, there wasn`t one word about it. The next day I watched ABC News, John, I watched NBC, I watched CBS, I didn`t watch CNN but next time --
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And are you OK--
TRUMP: I watched everything. There wasn`t one story other than Fox and it`s a big story. It`s a shame. OK, enough. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Is it OK if I give it to "The New York Times," Mr. President?
TRUMP: That`s enough, please. Good job. Good job.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Mr. President, could I ask a question since I am from "The New York Times" before this gentleman?
TRUMP: Since what?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I`m actually from "The New York Times." Yamiche is my former colleague and we miss her. But I was hoping --
TRUMP: I`ll let you do it after he does it. Is that OK?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That`s well.
TRUMP: In honor of a paper I once loved.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thank you.
TRUMP: Go ahead.
ED SZALL, BROADCAST JOURNALIST, TRUNEWS: Mr. President. My name is Ed Szall with TruNews. Today, you met with Bibi Netanyahu from Israel and you brought up actually that you supported the two-state solution for the Palestinian-Israeli crisis there.
TRUMP: I do.
SZALL: Can you give us any more preview of what this great deal with peace --
TRUMP: Well, I`d love to make a deal with the Israelis and the Palestinians. My whole life, I was told that`s the toughest deal and I disagree. I think healthcare is probably tougher. OK, you want to know the truth. But it is tough. But we`re going to take care of that too. That`s going to get taken care of. We`ve already taken care of a lot of it.
My life, I`ve always heard the deal between, as you know, Israeli and the Palestinians, that`s like the toughest deal. Every possible thing is tough about that. I think we`re going to make a deal. I think we`re going to make a deal. So at one of our many meetings today, I was with Bibi Netanyahu, a man who I have a lot of respect for, a man who`s been extremely nice to me. Very happy that I did the whole thing with Jerusalem and the embassy, which by the way we`re going to open in four months for less than $500,000. And the budget was over a billion dollars, right?
TRUMP: So we saved, let`s say, a billion dollars. That`s not so bad and it`s open and it`s beautiful, by the way. Jerusalem stone, one of my favorite stones. I will tell you the question -- somebody said today, "Well, this is the first news conference in a long time." I said what do you mean? I did like five today. Every time I sit, I take a lot of questions from people that are screaming like maniacs in the back of the room, meaning reporters.
And one of the reporters, I won`t say that it was John Roberts that said that but one of the -- but that`s okay. Don`t feel guilty, John. But one of the reporters that were screaming asked about the one-state, two-state, and I said I think the two-state will happen. I think it`s in one way more difficult because it`s a real estate deal because you need metes and bounds and you need lots of carve-outs and lots of everything. It`s actually a little tougher deal but another way it works better because you have people governing themselves.
So they asked me about that. I said, well, I think the two-state will happen. I think we`re going to go down the two-state road. And I`m glad I got it out. And Jared, who`s so involved, he loves Israel. He loves Israel but he`s also going to be very fair with the Palestinians. He understands it takes two people to be happy, two groups of people to be happy. Everybody has got to be happy.
And that`s why it`s so tough because there`s been so much hatred and anger for so many years. That`s what probably the number one ingredient of toughness is. But they asked me and I said I think it`s going to be a two- state. And you know what I did today? By saying that, I put it out there. And if you ask most of the people in Israel, they agree with that. But nobody wanted to say it. It`s a big thing to put it out. It`s a very big thing to put it out.
Now, the bottom line, if the Israelis and the Palestinians want one state, that`s OK with me. If they want two states, that`s OK with me. I`m happy if they`re happy. I`m a facilitator. I want to see if I can get a deal done so that people don`t get killed anymore. When we had in Saudi Arabia, we had one of the great conferences in history, many of you were there, probably all of you were there. It was one of the most beautiful two days. That and China, two of the most incredible events I`ve ever seen. I`ve never seen anything like it.
And we had, I believe, 58 Muslim countries, the leaders, the kings, the emirs, the absolute leaders from -- there was nobody in second place. They were the leaders of the whole thing. And unbeknownst to anybody else, people would come up to me individually. It wasn`t a setup. They`d come up to me and say, "Sir, you can`t have peace in the Middle East without peace between the Israelis and the Palestinians."
I said why, what difference, why does that matter so much? They said, "It just is impossible to make peace in the Middle East unless you have it between the Israelis. So I heard that from one, the King of Saudi Arabia, who`s a great guy, King Salman. And then somebody else came up and he wasn`t told, "Oh, go up and say it." I know where they`re coming from. And I must have had 12 leaders say it and they just said it.
And I started to realize that peace between Israel and the Palestinians for the Middle East is a very important thing and we`re trying very hard to get it. I think probably two-state is more likely, but you know what, if they do a single, if they do a double, I`m OK with it if they`re both happy. If they`re both happy, I`m OK with either. I think the two-state is more likely. OK, how about one --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: From "The New York Times"?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thank you, sir.
TRUMP: I would have gotten a bad story in "The New York Times," but I will anyway so I guess it doesn`t matter. OK, we`ll do you after and call it quits.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We`re kind of thriving, not failing these days.
TRUMP: You`re doing very well. Say thank you, Mr. Trump.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think I`ll stop short of that.
TRUMP: I wonder how you do -- all my life, I`ve had very few stories but I`ve had some on the front page of "The New York Times." Now, I think I average about three or four a day, right. And of the three or four, they`re all negative. No matter what I do, they`re negative. But you know what, that`s OK, I still love the paper. Go ahead
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I wanted to come back to China because I think what you announced today was really important.
TRUMP: I agree.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You talk about this friendship you have with Xi Jinping and yet essentially what you did today is accused his government --
TRUMP: That`s right.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: -- of interfering in our internal affairs, subverting our democratic process and doing it to hurt you, the Republican party --
TRUMP: Doing it to help them.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: -- and your backers.
TRUMP: You know what, yes, doing it to help them.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So how can a guy who does that be your friend?
TRUMP: I think that we are able to -- and maybe he`s not anymore, I`ll be honest with you. I think we had a very good friendship. I think we had a very good relationship, we understand each other. They are doing studies on Donald Trump. They`re trying to figure it all out because this has never happened to them before. It`s never happened.
Think of it, you`ve covered very well. You`ve never seen this happen. They`re having big problems. I don`t want them to have problems but they got to make a fair deal, just like Canada has got to make a fair deal. I believe that he and I have a very good chemistry together. And I can tell you that about many leaders. I can also tell you a few where I don`t feel I`ll ever have a chemistry with them, I don`t want to have a chemistry with them. And for those people, I`ll have Pompeo, Nikki, Bolton, Jared. I can go our general or have our general or if they can`t do it, I`ll have Sarah Huckabee do it, right?
But for the most part, I have very good with Prime Minister Abe, very good with President Moon. By the way, what President Moon said last night, I know you won`t report it, but Bret Baier interviewed him last night and asked him about me. I can`t say because you would say I`m too braggadocious. But what he said about me last night was an unbelievable thing. It couldn`t have happened without President Trump and it never would have happened without President Trump and nobody else could do it.
I mean take a look. I will tell you, China is very special, very special. They`re incredible people. It`s an incredible country. What they have done is unbelievable.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How would --
TRUMP: And it all started with the WTO. It was a defective deal. And it all started, without the WTO, China is not China as we know it today. And then it started also by our people that are standing right in this position, that are in the oval office, another way of saying it, allowed them to get away with murder, allowed a lot of countries to get away with murder.
I think we still probably have a very good relationship. But you know what, in honor of you, I will tomorrow make a call to him, say "Hey. How are you doing?" OK? You don`t mind paying billions of dollars a month in tariffs.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I just have two small follow-ups. One is how would you compare the level of interference you see today from the Chinese to what Russia did in 2016?
TRUMP: Well, I think it`s different. If you look at the Des Moines register, they have ads that are made to look like editorials saying about, "Oh, you`ve got to stop Trump. You`ve got to stop him. You`ve got to vote against him." My farmers are so incredible, these are patriots. On a network that doesn`t like me very much, which is most of them, but a network that didn`t -- doesn`t really treat me very good.
They interviewed farmers and they got hurt because all of a sudden China stops buying. By the way, they started buying again. I don`t know if you`ve noticed and soybeans are going up and things are going up. And we`ve had very little hurt from what I`ve done. In fact, the markets have gone up and the farmers are going to do great but ultimately. But they had farmers.
And these guys are amazing, I love them and they voted for me and they love me. And they said, "We don`t care if we get hurt, he`s doing the right thing." And you know a lot of people -- it`s a complex game. A lot of people don`t know exactly what it is. They don`t know how to define tariff. They don`t know if it is really different than a tax, although it`s getting close.
But they know that for the first time in many, many years, they have a president that`s fighting for them, that`s not letting their jobs be taken to other countries, that`s not allowing the kind of abuse that we -- I mean when you look at what happened as an example with NAFTA, and for years because it was never changed, NAFTA was a defective deal the day it was signed.
You know why? Because they had a vat tax of 17 percent and nobody from this country knew that. And by the time they found out, which was about a week later, nobody went and changed it. So you went many years and they never changed it. There was a vat tax that Mexico got. So we were 17 or 16 points behind before we even started. NAFTA was a horrible thing.
So the farmers and, by the way, the steelworkers, I stopped the dumping. The dumping was horrible. And now if they want to dump, that`s OK but they have got to pay the United States of America 25 percent on everything they dump. That`s OK. But as I told you before, steel is doing phenomenally well. But the farmers say this man is fighting for us. No president has ever fought for us before.
And you really have to study what`s happened over the 15 years. The farmers have been decimated over a 15-year period. They have been decimated. The farmers are going to come out great. These are great people. They`re great, great patriots. I think we should finish with that one. Is that OK?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK.
TRUMP: Go ahead. Let`s go. Fast. I always like to finish with a good one. Elton John said when you hit that last tune and it`s good, don`t go back.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, let me --
TRUMP: I`ve seen -- have you ever seen they do great, they`re great, they hit the last tune, everyone goes crazy and then they go back for an encore, right? And they don`t hit it and they leave. Everyone leaves. They say, "That wasn`t a very good concert, was it?" Let`s go.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, I`ll ask you one final question.
TRUMP: Don`t make me wrong. Go ahead.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Ahead of tomorrow`s hearing because you were asked later in the news conference --
TRUMP: Say it again. Say it again.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: About the hearing tomorrow. You were asked later in the conference by my friend from Sky News about the message that you are sending to the women of the country.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What about the message that you may be sending to young men. You`re a father. What does this moment that we`re in, the cultural moment --
TRUMP: It`s a very big cultural moment.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Right. So what message do you have for the young men of America?
TRUMP: You`re right. I think it`s a great question. This is a very big moment for our country because you have a man who`s very outstanding but has got very strong charges against him. Probably charges that nobody is going to be able to prove. So I could have you chosen for a position, I could have you or you or you, anybody. And somebody could say things and it`s happened to me, many times where false statements are made.
And honestly, nobody knows who to believe. I could pick another Supreme Court Justice, I could pick another one, another one, another one, this could go on forever. Somebody could come and say 30 years ago, 25 years ago, 10 years ago, 5 years ago, he did a horrible thing to me. He did this, he did that, he did that.
And honestly it`s a very dangerous period in our country and it`s being perpetrated by some very evil people. Some of them are Democrats, I must say because some of them know that this is just a game that they`re playing. It`s a con game. It`s at the highest level. We`re talking about the United States Supreme Court. This can go on forever. I can pick five other people. At a certain point, people are going to say, "No, thank you." This is the most coveted job probably in the world.
And you know what? I would honestly say because I interviewed great people for this job. He`s great. But I interviewed other great people for this job. I could conceivably imagine going to one of them and saying, it`s too bad what happened to this wonderful man, but I`m going to choose you, number two. I want you to go. And I could conceivably be turned down by somebody that desperately wanted this job, two months ago.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: With respect to, sir --
TRUMP: This is beyond the Supreme Court.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Right.
TRUMP: There`s nothing beyond Supreme Court, this is beyond the Supreme Court. This is everything to do with our country. When you are guilty until proven innocent, it`s just not supposed to be that way. Always I heard you`re innocent until proven guilty. I`ve heard this for so long and it`s such a beautiful phrase. In this case, you`re guilty until proven innocent. I think that is a very, very dangerous standard for our country.
With that being said, I look forward to what she has to say. I also look very forward to what Judge Kavanaugh has to say. I think it`s going to be a very, very important day in the history of our country. I want to thank you all. We`ll do it again.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Sir, the message to young men, sir? Young men, young teenager, nothing to say, sir?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Please, ladies and gentlemen, remain seated as our delegation departs.
ARI MELBER, MSNBC HOST: We`ve been listening to President Donald Trump wrapping up a fairly busy 80-minute press conference here in New York City after the U.N. Summit. He`s focused you just heard there in closing defending Brett Kavanaugh, likening at times the allegations against Kavanaugh to those against Donald Trump and him basically arguing both were unfair and unsourced.
He also touted his relationship with North Korea, trade policies, and negotiations he`s doing, but the theme throughout this press conference was President Trump trying in every way to save what is the embattled nomination of his pick to be on the Supreme Court, Brett Kavanaugh, who of course faces the judiciary committee along with one of what is now three public named accusers in tomorrow`s Senate confirmation hearing.
For our special coverage, we have several special guests. Attorney Maya Wiley, a former counsel to the Mayor of New York City. Liz Plank, a senior producer for "Vox Me". Eleanor Cliff, Washington correspondent for "The Daily Beast. And Jason Johnson, a politics editor for The Root is where we begin. And I should mention, given all of the late-breaking news right now, I will be joined later in the hour by others, including Senator Merkley and a member of the house intelligence committee.
One of the other pieces of news that we will get to later was Donald Trump appearing to back Bob Mueller`s boss, Rod Rosenstein, suggesting that both he will move their planned meeting tomorrow and that he has some confidence in the deputy attorney general. That itself was news.
But Eleanor, I begin with you and the full-throated defense of Brett Kavanaugh that Donald Trump made in this press conference. Your analysis?
ELEANOR CLIFF, WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT; THE DAILY BEAST: Well, I don`t know why we should be surprised. We`re listening to a man who boasted, was caught boasting about sexual assault on tape. He didn`t have just four women come forward, he had 19 women coming forward and he`s now asserting that none of this happened. Do I believe him? No.
And the fact that he`s going to back Mr. Kavanaugh I think is part of the way he treats these kinds of allegations. He`s dismissing the women`s comments as a con job and he is treating it as though they should not be taken seriously. Although he did back off when pressed a little bit. And I think he left a little wiggle room with his famous we`ll see what happens. We`ll have to hear what she has to say.
MELBER: Well, Eleanor, you raised that. Let me play that for you and for viewers and this is a brief bite but it was a different emphasis from Donald Trump than we`ve heard otherwise where he talked about the notion that tomorrow`s testimony could potentially change his mind. Take a look.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: I`ll say, hey, I`m changing my mind. That is possible. We want to give them a chance to speak.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do you think all three should have a chance?
TRUMP: Well, whoever is given a chance. We`ve delayed it a long time, but they`re going to have a big shot at speaking and making their case. You know what, I could be persuaded also.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MELBER: Is he lying there, Eleanor, or what do you think he`s doing?
CLIFF: I think he is going to wait and see how it plays. I think everybody involved in this drama after they watch these two testimonies unfold tomorrow is going to be asking themselves how does this affect me and my political future. And first to think that way is this president. And if this looks like some of the Republicans are going to back off, they can only lose one Republican and there are at least 10 who are getting weak knees about this.
And so I think if he sees that this is going down, he will quickly move to pull the plug. I think it is possible. And Judge Kavanaugh`s credibility was an issue even before these allegations surfaced. This argument has moved way beyond what happened on that particular night, but it has moved to where Judge Kavanaugh is claiming a background that doesn`t match with the heavy drinking, partying atmosphere that his colleagues at high school and in college describe. He`s trying to divert our attention by saying he was a virgin and didn`t engage in sexual intercourse for many years after. That`s not an issue. That`s more than we need to know, frankly.
MELBER: You`re talking about sort of a TMI defense.
CLIFF: Yes, yes, yes, yes. But let`s see how he handles it tomorrow. I do think that this confirmation is in jeopardy and it has a lot to do with how these two people perform tomorrow. Maybe that`s appropriate in a presidency that is run like a reality television show.
MELBER: And your analysis may overlap with Donald Trump`s there, Maya because he seemed to be acting today at times in a different and more restrained manner which may suggest that he also sees the peril and is still trying to pull this over the finish line. The other breaking news that dovetails what Eleanor is saying is I`m holding in my hands the opening statement of Brett Kavanaugh for tomorrow, which is rather extraordinary.
Any other night this would also be the lead story. With regard to his credibility, he said, "I drank beer with my friends on the weekends, sometimes I had too many. In retrospect, I said and did things in high school that makes me cringe now, but that`s not why we`re here today," that is tomorrow. "What I`ve been accused of is far more serious than juvenile misbehavior. I never did anything remotely resembling what Dr. Ford describes."
MAYA WILEY, FORMER COUNSEL TO NEW YORK CITY MAYOR: I have rugs that lie less than Brett Kavanaugh because Brett Kavanaugh said on "Fox News" that he did not drink to excess and did not blackout. Now, after that propelled both people and some of whom by the way were his friends and so there should be a full investigation. But also folks who said, "Wait, I`m a friend of his, Liz Swisher, I knew him in college. He definitely drank to excess."
And I think as Eleanor pointed out, this isn`t the first time he has essentially painted a picture of himself that the facts don`t support. I`m just astounded that we are sitting here having a conversation where we saw the president of the United States talking about himself as a victim and Brett Kavanaugh as a victim when we`re talking about essentially a job promotion and whether he gets to be in one of the most powerful positions in the country.
And yet there are charges pending over his head that are both significant and go directly to his character, not whether or not he`s going to spend time in jail. This is about his character and he has repeatedly lied. I`ll just add one more, because there`s a whole list of them, but he got three Pinocchio`s from "The Washington Post" for denying that he knew that Democratic Senators` private communications had been stolen and leaked and that he had no idea that he had seen them, and the documents simply do not support them.
LIZ PLANK, SENIOR PRODUCER, VOX MEDIA: I mean if I was accused of sexual misconduct, the last person I would want to be defending me is a person accused of sexual misconduct by 19 women, which is the president of the United States, Donald Trump. Donald Trump has boasted about being a sexual predator, he has admitted that he`s a sexual predator in the "Access Hollywood" tape. He says how he does it in that tape. He has joked about it with Howard Stern.
And so at this point I -- he said he feels like he`s living in the twilight zone, Judge Kavanaugh said that today. I feel that way when I watched that hour-long press conference.
MELBER: Well, let me take you back into the twilight zone. You use that quote from Judge Kavanaugh and I`m going to play briefly the exact moment you`re talking about from moments ago during this 80-minute press conference where Donald Trump talked about those accusations.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: I was accused by four or five women who got paid a lot of money. I`ve had numerous accusations about me. I mean they made false statements about me, knowing they were false. I never met them. I never met these people. Does it affect me in terms of my thinking with respect to Judge Kavanaugh? Absolutely, because I`ve had it many times.
PLANK: Yes. So when Donald Trump defends a white man accused of sexual assault, he`s defending himself. When he defended Roy Moore, a very -- who had credible accusations of being a child predator, he was defending himself. When he defended Roger Ailes, when he defended Bill O`Reilly, when he`s now defending Judge Kavanaugh, this is what Donald Trump does.
Donald Trump gave us a master class in victim blaming when he was dealing with his own accusations. And today, he`s continuing to give us a very good master class in how to utilize rape culture in order to further hurt, harm, and discredit women with real credible accusations against powerful men.
MELBER: And when you say rape culture, you`re referring to a type of playbook that is deployed.
PLANK: Yes, absolutely. So rape culture is a culture that basically hinges on the biggest lie that I think has been said over and over again, not just by Donald Trump but has been repeated by Lindsey Graham and many other high-ranking Republican officials, saying that women and men, everyone who`s a survivor of sexual assault or any kind of sexual misconduct tends to report that right away, when less than three percent of accusations around sexual assault are made right away and even make it into court. That is a lie. It`s actually unusual for a person to report that right away.
MELBER: I want to build on that. And Jason, take what we got out of this exchange. The president often tries to Stick to situations that are controlled, and Brett Kavanaugh in his unusual interview stuck to "Fox News" and hasn`t spoken anywhere else. And yet this was a lengthy press conference with questions from a range of media, including "Reuters", "New York Times", "PBS". And that added to the type of pressure. There were questions about the inconsistency on the treatment of different nominees and whether you rely on the FBI background check or not where the White House has looked very bad and very hypocritical. Take a look at Donald Trump`s response on that.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: It`s not for the FBI. If you look at what Joe Biden said, he said, they don`t do this and he said it very clearly. So I think when you really look at it all, it`s not going to change any of the Democrats minds. They`re obstructionists. They`re actually con artists because they know how quality this man is and they`ve destroyed a man`s reputation. That`s what they`ve done to this family, what they`ve done to these children, these beautiful children.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MELBER: Was that important do you think for people who are watching this gearing up for tomorrow what we do expect many Americans including those who don`t follow every development in these news stories to actually see some of this unfiltered? Was it important to get the President on the record about that inconsistency?
JOHN JOHNSON, POLITICS EDITOR, THE ROOT.COM: Well, yes. And it`s clear that President Trump as much as he often doesn`t pay attention, Ari. He`s picked up the Republican talking point of let`s find this one obscure line from something that Joe Biden said 25 years ago about how this should be handled. But what it just speaks to overall and the President sort of vacillating everything from how he talked about Kavanaugh, how he talked about China, how he talked about all these different kinds of issues. It reflects the fact that he has no core value when it comes to Kavanaugh or the Supreme Court except how it reflects upon him.
And I believe that as much as he`s going to bluster about how this man has been destroyed and how he`s been negatively affected, if Kavanaugh performs poorly tomorrow, Donald Trump will stab him in the back just like he did with Roy Moore, just like he does with anyone else who he thinks reflects poorly upon him. So the fact that at its core that our next Supreme Court justice is going to be chosen by man who decides does he like me, does he make me feel good, as opposed to whether or not he`ll uphold the Constitution as part of one of those dangerous things that we picked up from watching that 80 minute conference.
MELBER: And as you say, he got his 80 minutes. He is the president and we have been analyzing and fact-checking some of that, but we are not going to be completely distracted or make what can be a mistake and only look at who`s spoken most recently or most loudly. We also as part of our special coverage here want to continue and go to Dr. Ford`s testimony as well because tonight moments ago, in fact, Judiciary Committee released the opening statements of her and Brett Kavanaugh.
Now, in her statement, she says she`s not testifying because she wants to. She adds that she is terrified. And she says she is going to speak under oath at some considerable risk and certainly legal exposure because she sees it as a civic duty to "tell the public what happened to her while Brett Kavanaugh and she were in high school." I`m paraphrasing parts of her testimony. She also will go on in this opening statement that we`ve just obtained to discuss in detail these allegations of assault. She says "I don`t remember as much as I would like to but the details about that night that bring me here today are ones I will never forget. They have been seared into my memory and have haunted me."
This again from the new testimony that will be read tomorrow under oath. She says, for years she was actually "too afraid and ashamed to tell anyone the details. I did not want to tell my parents that I at age 15 was in a house without any parents present drinking beer with boys. She goes on to say I tried to convince myself but because Brett did not rape me I should be able to move on and just pretend that it had never happened.
Dr. Ford goes on to say in the testimony that she`s going to deliver in person tomorrow "apart from the assault itself, these last couple of weeks have been the hardest of my life." And she addressed his head on the critique that this could just be about politics saying it`s not up to her whether Kavanagh is confirmed but "my responsibility is, to tell the truth." Kavanagh who we quoted earlier will, of course, go on to give his opening statement. He denies categorically her and the other accusers.
Adding to our panel coverage here, I have NBC News Political Analyst Howard Fineman and Washington Post Writer Jennifer Rubin. Jennifer, your view of the import of what Dr. Ford will say tomorrow and how that will also exist in an environment where new accusers have come forward.
JENNIFER RUBIN, COLUMNIST, THE WASHINGTON POST: I thought the statement was very skilfully drawn in part because at what point towards the end she says I hope that you men up there will allow me to engage with you directly which is quite a slam at the stunt of sitting behind and hiding behind a woman prosecutor who`s brought in. So that was a very clever statement. But I think more than that, she`s going to come across I believe as completely heartfelt, as completely I think lacking in any kind of guile, in any kind of political motive and that`s going to be very hard I think for some of those senators to listen to that and then wipe her out of their memory.
They also of course now have multiple problems. They have multiple claimants. They have multiple witnesses. They have this -- Mark Judge who was put in the room in the allegations that Dr. Ford set forth. So how did they have any semblance of normality any semblance of fairness without this? What Donald Trump essentially said is because my opponents won`t change their mind, I don`t want to look at the facts. Well, the problem is getting the Republicans, that`s their problem, getting them to recognize that there`s a problem here.
So the notion number one that he`s got Democrats to change their minds this is cuckoo and moreover, it ignores that some of us would like to know the truth. There are some facts out there. We would like to know if a sitting judge on the D.C. Circuit has done these things or not. So he operates in this never-never world of post-modernist thinking where you sort of get dizzy as you`re trying to follow him through his maundering statement.
And if I`m Judge Kavanaugh, I now understand that if I go out there and don`t do good T.V., the person the United States is going to consider me guilty and pull me. Who in the right mind would go out there? Who wouldn`t the right mind would go out there knowing that the President of United States can an instant say, he was bad on T.V., pull him and then communicate the message to the public that I think he`s guilty.
RUBIN: That`s nuts. I got to think that Judge Kavanaugh is sitting down with his advisors and his family and trying to think this thing through. That was not a helpful message.
MELBER: Well, you mentioned -- you mentioned that she in this new testimony we`ve just gotten Dr. Ford really does put the male Republican Senators on blast. This was an issue in the press conference. We are seeing gender being brought up by both sides in all sorts of ways which is something that in the rules of normal politics or normal workplaces you generally try to avoid that. Although here, there are many good reasons, to be honest and blunt about it.
With that in mind, I want to play a moment where a male reporter who like you Howard is a male reporter raised that issue after Donald Trump had called on several male reporters in a row and it goes to this some of the gender dynamics that will be on display tomorrow. So going to Howard and then back to Maya, and Jennifer. Let`s take a look at this moment.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If you don`t mind after I`m finished, if (INAUDIBLE) or Halle or Vivian, or one of her female colleagues could go after me, that would be great. Mr. President, just to follow up on these allegations against --
TRUMP: What does he mean by that? Explain. What is -- what is happening?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think -- I think we agreed if a female --
TRUMP: What does it mean? No what does it mean?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It would be great if a female reporter would ask you a question about this issue. So if you don`t mind --
TRUMP: I wouldn`t mind it at all. No, I wouldn`t mind it at all.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: All right, well, let me -- if I --
TRUMP: It wouldn`t make any difference to me. Go ahead.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MELBER: Howard, he says it wouldn`t make any difference to him, and one could take him at his word or not, but it clearly made a difference to the men on the Republican side of the committee tomorrow to take this a highly unusual step.
HOWARD FINEMAN, NBC NEWS POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, it was brilliant of you to play that clip because it -- in a way to capsulate the moment that we`re at. This is a huge political and cultural moment. And you`re right, in the past so-called private life was not the main issue. It -- we were astounded in the 80s and the 90s when this became the case. But now there`s a serious discussion going on in politics and culture about relations between men and women as it relates to sex.
And as Liz was saying earlier, the notion that Donald Trump and his people represent sort of a privileged white male culture that thinks it can do whatever it wants is over. And I think Donald Trump misjudged the moment and was probably relying on less than full facts about Brett Kavanaugh.
Remember, Neil Gorsuch came out of the same prep school and arguably some of the same culture, none of these questions were asked about Neil because evidently there was nothing to ask about. Here, I think what -- if you look at the whole picture, Brett Kavanaugh is a brilliant writer, a skillful political operator within the judicial world, a kind of precinct captain of the Federalist Society, but he`s a guy who came out of a culture in collagen in high school that bears looking at now as it relates to all the issues of law and jurisprudence and politics related to sex that come into play now.
This is not a side issue anymore. This is a central issue, its central to our politics, and it`s not only valid but necessary to look at the lives and values, people who would be on the court in their totality and that`s what Trump missed. And I think there`s a vague sense in Donald Trump`s mind that he missed the moment here. He missed the essence of it here which belatedly is coming out now and I think Donald Trump did absolutely nothing to help Brett Kavanaugh here. He didn`t quite throw him under the bus but he moved him -- he moved him to the curb to --
MELBER: Moved him to the curb with an open mind. I`m supposed to go to Oregon Senator Jeff Merkley, but as promised Maya, briefly, your thoughts as well.
MAYA WILEY, MSNBC LEGAL ANALYST: You know, it`s a question of in this society whether we think women should be safe or not. It`s that simple. And the answer is women must be safe and we`re not going to be safe if you put people in power positions who are willing to be sexually abusive, period.
MELBER: Right. Which goes to where those accusations which are going to be further adjudicated tomorrow are relevant to the decisions he makes for people which include women. I want to -- stay with me -- but bring as I mentioned U.S. Senator Jeff Merkley and he`s actually filed a new lawsuit today that is trying to get a judge to intervene and at least slow down the Kavanaugh confirmation process until the White House cooperates more.
Senator, I`m sure you`ve seen some of what has come out of this press conference. Do you believe Donald Trump when he says he has an open mind about Brett Kavanaugh as he hears a female accused -- of doctor or tomorrow? And do you think that basically at this point this hearing should proceed this way?
SEN. JEFF MERKLEY (D), OREGON: No, I do not believe that the president has an open mind. If he had an open mind he would order the FBI investigation to find out what the real facts are. But he doesn`t want the real facts. He`s made a decision to try to push this through regardless of the truth. And in regard to the hearing, this hearing really is an outrage. You have eleven Republican men who are bringing in a prosecutor to put Dr. Ford on trial.
She is not the person who should be on trial. She should be treated in a dignified, decent manner. Her story should be heard. The committee should press the President for an FBI investigation that should allow any corroborating individuals that she wants to share their testimony, have them before the committee. This entire hearing tomorrow is a farce.
MELBER: Do you think at this point that it would be inappropriate for the Senate committee or the full Senate to go forward on votes on Judge Kavanagh until all three accusers have been heard in the formal Senate procedure?
MERKLEY: It would be absolutely inappropriate before all three have been heard. It`s also inappropriate because the President has violated the separation of powers and interfered with the Senate`s access to key documents about Kavanaugh`s records. And that`s what the lawsuit is that I filed today is to demand the Senate gets the information to be able to do its constitutional responsibility to vet Kavanaugh`s record.
MELBER: And finally, sir, when you look at what the male members of the Senate Judiciary Committee on the Republican side are doing, is there any way in your view that this process can be improved tomorrow. Do you think this bring some disrepute on the -- on the Senate Judiciary Committee? What are we as Americans to take from a process tomorrow where one party`s members are going to actually question these individuals and the other party according to what they`ve said are going to basically hand most of that off to another individual apparently or allegedly based on that person`s gender?
MERKLEY: We`re there to bring in a prosecutor and treat Dr. Ford as a criminal to be interrogated is so wrong. And the fact that they don`t understand that just shows that how misguided they are. I must say, they should think about it this way. How would they want their mother, their wife, their sister, or their daughter to be treated if any of those individuals had information to share with the committee? They would not look like what we`re going to see tomorrow.
MELBER: Senator Merkley on a very busy night, in advance of these hearings, thank you for coming on THE BEAT. Thank you for your time. I turn now to a guest who has been in the middle of all this and who the President just attacked rather directly, Attorney and potential Democratic Presidential Candidate Michael Avenatti. He`s representing a new accuser of Kavanaugh, Julie Swetnick. Michael, thanks for getting on the phone with us.
MICHAEL AVENATTI, LAWYER: Hi Ari. How are you.
MELBER: I`m fine. I guess the first question is what have you and your client achieved over the course of today in coming forward and releasing this information but in doing so in a manner that you as a lawyer know is the very last minute and according to the current schedule doesn`t afford a lot of time for response by the accused or verification by the press which is interested in getting to the bottom of this new claim?
AVENATTI: Well, Ari, a couple of things. It`s actually not last minute because I surfaced the allegations on Sunday. Generally, we alerted the committee. We alerted the public. The committee did nothing between Sunday and this morning despite my repeated request that they respond to my correspondence. They blew us off for days on in --
MELBER: And sir, when you say they, are you referring -- are you referring to both the majority and the minority in the committee or a single party?
AVENATTI: No I`m referring to the majority, obviously, to the chief counsel Mr. Davis blew off my repeated requests for him to get back to me. We provided a significant amount of information. They didn`t need the name of my client in order to start the process. They didn`t need a sworn declaration in order to start the process but they blow us off because they don`t want the truth to come out.
But we still don`t understand why they`re burying Mark Judge -- Mark Judge`s testimony. They`re hiding him in some safe house somewhere because they don`t want Brett Kavanaugh, his best friend Mark Judge to testify and come clean about what really happened here. I mean this is an absolute farce.
But here`s what I`m going to say about Donald Trump. I am thoroughly enjoying living in your head that went free Donald Trump, surely enjoying living in your head went free. It`s amazing.
MELBER: Well, you mentioned that and you called in and the President has responded to you and previously he didn`t respond to you by name. You had separate litigation as most viewers know regarding stormy Daniels, the NDA, and Michael Cohen. Here is what the president said about you just moments ago today.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Do you think these women, all three of them are liars, yes or no.
TRUMP: Have they been what?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Are they liars?
TRUMP: I can`t tell you. I have to watch tomorrow. I have to read. I just heard about one a little while ago. I can tell you her lawyer is a low-life.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MELBER: The President obviously taking a shot at you Mr. Avenatti, that is personal, that relates to the idea that people should infer something negative about the client based on you. As a journalist, as a lawyer, that`s not necessarily fair with regard to your client. But he`s also alluding to something that many other fair-minded people do think which is that your political advocacy, your plans to potentially run against him do cloud or at least complicate your role as a person who`s just trying to get to the facts here. I afford you the opportunity to respond.
AVENATTI: Ari, I think that`s a ridiculous criticism. One does have anything to do with the other. That declaration is not a declaration from Michael Avenatti. It`s not signed by Michael Avenatti. It is signed by my client Julie Swetnick. These are her facts. These are her allegations. I am her lawyer. But for Donald Trump to call me a lowlife, he knows nothing about me, know nothing about the last 20 years of my taxes, a billion dollars in verdicts and settlements, I`m highly educated. I`ve been very fortunate over the years. And I would venture to say that I have a hell of a lot more class Donald Trump has ever had.
MELBER: But Michael, I can`t -- I can`t do a tiebreaker on a class competition between the two of you but can you speak directly to the concern people have and there are people who are sympathetic to your client, who are critics of Judge Kavanaugh, who thinks that it would be better to have accusers come forward with lawyers who are not involved in partisan political warfare against this president.
AVENATTI: Well, I completely disagree, Ari. Look, there`s a reason why people continue to reach out to me and ask me to represent them and I`m presuming it`s because I`m effective. I`m presuming it`s because I have over a billion dollars in verdicts and settlements. I`m presuming it`s because we`ve been very effective and I would venture to say incredible advocates for our client Stormy Daniels. If we didn`t get results, we wouldn`t be hired.
So you know, to those individuals that think that our clients and I are someone else, I don`t know what to tell them. I mean, we`ve been effective, we get results. It`s just that simple.
MELBER: You mentioned your client Miss Swetnick and the declaration which was released today. I`ll read from it and try to get to the bottom of some of this that`s so important because she says in point 13 in this declaration at approximately 1982, I became victim of one of these "gang rapes where Mark Judge and Brett Kavanaugh were present," and she goes on to allege a serious misconduct.
But even if true, is this essentially an allegation that Judge Kavanaugh was a witness to something that was criminal, that he was in a place he should not have been or is there in here an allegation of an actual criminal conduct by Judge Kavanaugh at that time?
AVENATTI: Here`s what I`m going to say. I`m not at liberty to get into further details relating to that paragraph. The words are on the page. I`d urge everybody to read the words. When my client sits down with the FBI and hopefully that`ll be within the next 24 hours, that`s what we want. She`s going to provide additional details related to that paragraph. We`re hopeful that Judge Kavanaugh is going to sit down with the FBI.
But let me also say this re, Ari. There`s 12 other paragraphs to that declaration. And even if you took out that paragraph, the facts or the evidence set forth in the other paragraphs are very, very disturbing and are in and of themselves disqualified of this man to ever serve on the U.S. Supreme Court.
MELBER: I think -- Michael, I think that`s certainly a view that many legal experts and many judicial experts hold because we`re talking about a promotion at the point we`ve made. But when you say you`re going to let this sit, the time for letting this sit is over. You are her lawyer. You`re speaking out in public. And the question I posed to you before I let you go to be very clear to give you an opportunity here, because other people are speaking out the Judge and Miss Porter are of course testifying under oath tomorrow is, does this in your view as her lawyer alleged criminal conduct by Mr. Kavanaugh or not?
AVENATTI: Ari, I believe the declaration in paragraph after paragraph alleges criminal conduct against Judge Kavanaugh and that`s one of the reasons why we are seriously considering filing criminal charges relating to Judge Kavanaugh`s conduct as well as that of Mark Judge.
MELBER: Michael Avenatti, an attorney in the news and for the first time as far as we know attacked by the President by name at a press conference tonight, taking time to call and taking time to deal with some of the questions. I appreciate that as always, sir. Thank you.
AVENATTI: Thank you, Ari. Have a good night.
MELBER: There is a lot of news now including reports that the Congress is assessing new allegations against Judge Kavanaugh. Our live coverage is continuing. I want to bring in Congressman Eric Swalwell who is at the center of many of these issues on the Judiciary and Intelligence Committee. I`ll give you an open question for starters which is what was important to you about anything that you heard tonight from President Trump speaking out at length from Mr. Avenatti who I believe you just were able to hear and new reports that there are new allegations being probed by the Senate regarding Judge Kavanaugh.
REP. ERIC SWALWELL (D), CALIFORNIA: Good evening, Ari. I saw continued demeaning of victims of sexual assault, people who deserve to be heard, who deserve for their allegations to be investigated and a president who wants to just rush this through. He criticized the Senate for even taking this long, Ari. And so, for Brett Kavanaugh sake, if he is innocent, I hope tomorrow he opens his statement and says you know what, bring in all the victims. Allow them to be heard, allow them to be questioned. That will clear his name if he`s indeed innocent. And if he`s not, for the sake of the credibility of the court, I hope that the Senators would vote against him.
Melber: And Congressman, as I say, there`s so many guests when they are hit with breaking news. NBC News is reporting, we`re going to hear from this reporter momentarily. Kasie Hunt who`s here, the Senate probing a brand new and separate allegation of misconduct against Judge Kavanaugh. Kasie Hunt, what are you reporting?
KASIE HUNT, NBC NEWS CAPITOL HILL CORRESPONDENT: Hi Ari! Well, we have learned that the Senate Judiciary Committee is probing this additional allegation. Now, this is an allegation of misconduct. We should underscore that it is an anonymous allegation, this is unlike the other three allegations that we have been discussing throughout the course of today.
This is -- it came in the form of a letter to senators who ultimately turned it over to the Judiciary Committee and in it a woman talks about an incident that she says involved her own daughter where they witnessed a drunk Brett Kavanaugh in 1998 outside a Washington D.C. bar slam a woman into a wall in a sexual manner. And this is something that again we are just learning about as the committee has you know, tried to work behind the scenes to convince Republican senators that their investigative process has been a thorough one.
So I have to tell you, Ari, from my reporting all day that while in public all of this is really full speed ahead from Republicans. They are pushing forward with the hearing, with the committee vote, and as of now with a full vote potentially early next week. There is behind closed doors some trepidation about the speed of the process at this point. And my sources is telling me --
MELBER: Kasie, let me follow up just to be clear because you have quite a big story on your hands. What you`re reporting tonight is that in addition to the three named accusers against Judge Kavanaugh, there is a fourth accuser currently anonymous who contacted a Republican Senate office. Is that correct?
HUNT: That`s correct, Ari. And we want -- I want to be clear about how exactly and what exactly this person is saying and how they say they knew about it. This is a person who wrote to the Senate who says that her daughter witnessed this incident was present for it and she tells them that there have been conversations among the other witnesses. She says there were four witnesses, four women there in addition to Brett Kavanaugh that it has been discussed in recent days. They have tried to figure out, OK, we were seeing all this stuff going on in the news, what do we do? And then ultimately they decided to remain anonymous because of course, as we`ve seen it can be very difficult, the scrutiny that comes if you are somebody in this position.
So we should underscore it`s anonymous. It`s the mother of somebody who witnessed this incident that was in purportedly 1998 outside of a Washington D.C. bar. And we do know that the Committee asked Judge Kavanaugh about this in the course of a conference call that they had with him. He denied it in the course of that conference call. So we`re working on getting more information about this. We do know Democrats were not satisfied with the degree to which Republicans went in terms of depth in questioning.
MELBER: Right. And stay with me because what you just referenced I think goes to a question for the Congressman which is that, it is true that sometimes an isolated accusation or one that`s based on a witness report or one that is old alone doesn`t always get the same probity, it`s not seen as likely to be true as when a pattern has been established. And so Congressman, again, I know I`m throwing you on the spot because Kasie and Heidi Przybyla here at NBC News are breaking this story literally right now, but your view of how this fits into the analysis and whether this hearing is in some sense perhaps too hasty to be scheduled for tomorrow given what`s coming in in real time.
SWALWELL: It is too hasty. The best thing would be to put the brakes on it and investigate it. But Ari, I`ve seen this in many courtrooms where it`s very easy to isolate one incident and you know, shine inaccuracies or inconsistencies on that case. But the more and more cases that are separate and independent that look the same, pretty soon a prosecutor starts to say to a jury and this is not a jury but it`s a -- it`s allegations that the arrows are pointing in the same directions and what are the chances that three or four women dependently who never met each other would have similar experiences with one person.
So either, Ari, this person committed these horrific acts or he is the single unluckiest person in the world for these people to conspire and make up lies against him. But it`s a very hard case to make, the more allegations that come in.
MELBER: and even the counterexample you imagine, right, as a potential conspiracy, you use the potential word conspire, would indicate or involve these people all having some communication. What`s interesting about this letter coming into a Republican Senate office is that it is a different line of reporting than where some of the others are. Although to the point of whether it is political I did press Mr. Avenatti on that very point as well as we try to gather all the facts no matter what side they`re coming from. I`m going to release the Congressman who I know has a busy night. Thank you very much.
SWALWELL: Thanks, Ari.
MELBER: With the two and a half minutes we have left on this broadcast, I`ll whip around as fast as I can starting with you Eleanor.
ELEANOR CLIFF, WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT, THE DAILY BEAST: Well, this latest allegation 20 years ago would place Brett Kavanaugh. He would have been in his early 30s. So now we`re talking about adult behavior, not teenage behavior. And if he had been truthful from the start and said that he did some really stupid things when he was a teenager but that`s not who he is now and he wasn`t -- isn`t who he was 20 years ago or ten years ago, you know, maybe he could you know, get away with this and gain people`s confidence.
But now we`re talking about an allegation when he was in his early 30s. That`s a whole other area. So I you know, it feels like these allegations are reaching a tipping point, frankly.
LIZ PLANK, SENIOR PRODUCER, VOX MEDIA: Yes, it seems like every new bit of information that we get we`re getting a clearer story and it`s an narrative of who Brett Kavanaugh really is that fits with his own description of himself as a teenager and fits with the things that Mark Judge wrote in his book and fits with the things that Mark Judge`s ex-girlfriend`s said happened. So it`s yes, going to become harder and harder to just -- I mean, for Republicans to keep saying that this is just a smear campaign.
MELBER: Howard, do you agree with that, that the politics is going to get too hot?
FINEMAN: It`s gotten too hot. As I say, I think that they misjudged the cultural and political moment here. I think these kinds of guys who may have great qualifications in some respects have to have their whole lives judged especially as it relates to this topic which is central in our politics.
There are plenty of other people Donald Trump could have picked. As Donald Trump himself said, and Donald Trump also said in the presser that he was sort of interested vaguely in hearing what other women had to say. That`s a huge hole for the Democrats to drive right through right now. It looks like it`s slipping away to me. I`ve covered a lot of these and Trump did not help Brett Kavanaugh`s case today at all.
MELBER: Jennifer, 25 seconds will there be a vote on Friday?
RUBIN: I sincerely doubt it. I would make two points. First alcohol is central to this and I think the FBI is just the organization to explore what kind of alcohol problem or if he has an alcohol problem or what he does with alcohol and secondly imagine if this was a black teenager, would any of those Republicans not be calling for a full investigation of the police, of the FBI? This guy is a white guy of privilege and that`s a problem for them.
MELBER: You used the word privilege and that is a question it`s going to circle around tomorrow, how are people treated, how should they be treated, and what does America make of this hearing. I want to give my special thanks to some very thoughtful and very patient panelists who`ve been with us through a special hour of coverage, no breaks.
We are out of time. "HARDBALL" is up next.
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED. END