Transcript for The Briefing Room: Kavanaugh, accuser set to testify tomorrow
And welcome to the briefing her mind Devin Dwyer on this very busy Wednesday joined by Mary Alice parks are White House reporter it. Political let her. Senator Lott that it acts town White House reporter I'm clue the the new blind sided by. New developments in a year the president is at the New York on the world. Stage today but being hit by this political firestorm that is intensifying our Supreme Court nominee brick Kavanagh. A lot to unpack it including and especially the. A third accuser now that's come forward against Robert Kavanagh. Using democratic attorney Michael Latin knotty releasing a declaration today. A sign underwrote declaration. Outlining which he says happened in the 1980s at a party there she is woman by the name of Julie sweat neck. A former acquaintance were older than Brett Cavanaugh. But take a look at this excerpt of some of horror. Testimony really presented through Michael have a naughty submitted to the Judiciary Committee tenacious as they deserve brick Kavanagh drink excessively. It many of these parties in high school and engage in abusive. And highly physically aggressive behavior. Toward corals she goes on to describe and that activated that it included. That instances of him pressing girl's without their consent grinding against them attempting to remove their clothing. And Mary Alice also some instances as she alleges. Drugging and and trying to get them to drink alcohol sweetie do things. In a lot of fascinating pieces I think it's important to remember what this statement is. It was signed under out. What brings with it a threat of perjury if she were to be lying and she could face prosecution and defamation charges if she were lying outright. She's also a government employee we know she's talked about the level of security clerics that she had. All that is to say. It she's pretty available to members of this committee should they want to talk to her you'd imagine a government employee would be pretty easy. To get in touch when I think that get sister of the seriousness of these claims and hot only be. The description of the claims that description of the party she's talking about but the fact they went to the length that they did to have us warrants signed a declaration of this. I even remember though she's not saying that wrecked Havoc not assaulted her yet he's describing scenes that she witnessed him being a part. It's just a first down on that one room that we can. Sort of lumping have a tendency to lump all of these allegations together they're very different dairy industry swett makes. Declaration made through Michael all the naughty. As for specific also very nuanced about what wreck happened on May have done. I what is it came in direct response to that interview this week that it testing the paint such a different picture haven't. We saw him during that interview talk about it literally didn't choir boy caring about going to shirts about basketball. About being first in his class Perry at S and Italy thing. Hold on not so fast I saw you at big. Raging parties so let's at least get that straight it seems to be really different picture of a young as well. And Catherine coming from Michael off an audience certainly raising a lot of eyebrows as a somebody's running declared running for president a Democrat. It's drawn a very swift and blanket denial from Brett Cavanaugh. T act Kavanagh has. All of these allegations that have come out he is denied but. I'm specifically. Drilling down on this when he released the statement I'm calling the allegations quote ridiculous and from the twilight saying he says. I don't know who this is in this never happens now lot of these counsel we've heard also include his friend from Georgetown prep name mark judge we've heard. A lot from it through his attorney he's also. Denying that he's an account and off statement on the screen right now his friend judge also denies being a part of this he says mr. judge vehemently denies. Miss sweat next allegations and as Mary house was saying earlier. The ways when it describes it is I'm Kavanagh and judge. Witnessing. Or being a part of some of these incidents of this. A lot on packets certainly has the feel of a political storm in Washington it certainly does on Capitol Hill as well let's bring in our senior congressional correspondent. Mary Bruce who spent in the middle of it all she's been following these developments and how they are plain in the committee up there Mary. You can hear us and join us odd. We just understand that the Judiciary Committee has now asked Michael I have a naughty to produce his client for the committee. Yet that I have to say this is one of those days I'm glad I wore my sneakers because we have been running around like crazy today trying to get to the bottom of this and really what. Comes next look the committee. You know obviously wants to add to dive in today's new allegations they want to get to the bottom of this that you continue. To hear from Republicans here on the hill that they need to move forward they Grassley we know the chairman. And the Senate Judiciary Committee Republican Chuck Grassley is that this hearing is still happening tomorrow. They still you know we still are here Republicans they want to move swiftly to a vote out of the committee which right now is still scheduled. For this Friday and we've also heard from a lot of Republicans. Even some on that committee continuing to sign. With right cabin I just a moment ago is down in the basement argument senator Lindsey Graham a member of the committee said that these new allegations he thinks should be viewed with a lot of suspicion. I'm he's questioning. Lot that does that mean this new account. But then on the other side you hear from Democrats within this is a complete game changer I was talking with. Democratic senator Blumenthal also on the committee he says these allegations are gut punching. That that's his raised not mine and Democrats want to put the brakes on his entire process. Again they are saying look we needed to hear from this new accuser we need to do an investigation in there they're using these new allegations as yet another. Reason why they feel that there should be an FBI investigation into all of the allegations against that cap and now we know that those calls them are pollen. On deaf ears and it continues to raise his big overarching question. Appear on the hill and it exposed sort of the fine line and Republicans are trying to walk here on one hand you have Republican leaders. In Mitch McConnell yesterday coming out and saying well we will win at that he's confident the judge Cavanaugh will be confirmed you have many Republicans rallying around. Judge cap now at the same time saying that they do. Want to you know in Christine by the board tomorrow you know their full attention they want to hear her side of the story they now want. It's the bottom of these new allegations. And so you know that I haven't a little bit of both ways. And of course today we had this astounding moment. Where Jeff Blake who's one of those east wing boats have been watching so carefully he went to the senate floor and delivered aid the list stirring. Speech taking his own party to task for putting what he says his politics ahead of the interest of real human being. And we'll get back to G Jeff flake and a second you're right that was pretty extraordinary but want to zero in on some of those Republicans particular Republican women. Who are in the middle you talk about both sides Republicans Democrats dug in. But you've been chasing Lisa Murkowski of Alaska Susan Collins of Maine to critical both are not in the committee. But remarkably in the past few days they have signaled they may be. Wavering and a bit more on the fence them perhaps Mitch McConnell even is is assuming. And stay definitely seems there on the pants and and certainly have not made up their minds what you heard Lisa Murkowski yesterday sending her own party of very clear message she. Said repeatedly that they had been her party needs to take these allegations seriously. Admit that you need to hear from doctor for that you need to take yours in the allegations of Deborah Ramirez and I presume now she would extend that to these new allegations as well. Admitted she's you know camp pre judge any of this until she hears from which is part of the reason why. I think you have so many people raising alarms that the timing of all of this you're gonna have this hearing tomorrow. And they're moving image that day committee right now I think both step out for Friday let's just remind everyone of the mass here. Republicans have such a slim majority that they can only afford to lose one Republican vote meaning that no Democrats get on board that used to this is that this is game over. That's why all eyes are now on those he votes like Collins like mark house he liked to liked Jeff flake. Really wondering where they're going to fall and so much of this tomorrow with remind everyone will simply be a he said. She set to we've been asking lawmakers how do you determine. Whether or not you find you know doctor Ford's testimony to be credible. Or not because so much of this will come down to you know what what one senator just told me is really a gut feeling that they aren't allowing. Outside witnesses since there has been no FBI investigation into these allegations. So much of it comes down to how they answer these questions what senator really you know about the way that these stories. Are being portrayed in fact. One Republican senators on the committee when I asked him a criterion gonna used to determine whether you think these allegations are credible and that's like trying to discern the holy spirit. That. Art. I'm not sure how one concerns the holy spirit but that's probably the point it's going to be a little difficult for the members of the committee tomorrow and the idea. How how many more allegations come now. Cuts both ways you are Republicans say. This is why we have to go flour because the longer they sent. Me like the president says they they view these as has been drummed up firepower by democratic partisans as it was that do not weeks ago that if that it's a partisan act happening on the other hand. Yet Democrats saying this is why we have to slow down. Because people might when he other people that weren't that that knew him. That new Netanyahu of this time in his life. Might announce their cultural coming follower. There's a big question about the tightening here and what the politics are around going too fast going to slow. And I keep wondering if if Republicans vote quickly on this Britney needing. That they are not sure they can hold their majority in the senate are they really that worried about holding their majority in the senate that they feel they need to get it done quickly before an intern. The president as you were saying does think it needs to be done quickly east perhaps starting the blame game a little bit early he says this should have about two weeks ago. Meanwhile he is the last seen Michael an ID for the claims that he's making today with his client Julie Slotnick. Take a listen to the president. His lawyer at this game you don't know who lives. He represented them but nobody ever felt. Democrat lawyer that are very good luck but he doesn't. So it say they are all kind of game. I think the people applying it out and hopefully over the next couple of days it will be. Saddle up and saw and we will have a Supreme Court justice will go down as one of our greatest ever. Perhaps a con game but Mary Alice -- point. The drip drip here is certainly weighing on independence it's Wayne and. Undecided. Americans in this case new polling out today from NPR and merits showing pretty evenly divided you were saying earlier. But a third of the country sort of hasn't made up their mind. But it's not just stop and Heidi that's a good president certainly democratic attorney Richard have. This woman Deborah mirrors who came out in new Yorker yesterday laying out her claims of course we have doctor Christine glossy Ford laid out her claims all sort of different cases. They get lumped together which makes this a little bit tricky and. It's tricky for for voters and the average person trying to watch as we jump that we can't keep up. He and president. Someone else trying to keep up. I think a few things one it it strengthens democrats' arguments for an investigation the more information comes out this seems confusing and convoluted. Conflicting witnesses. Then the stronger an argument for pot thing and letting. Professional investigators look at it but you're right. I would say on though undecided vote what is really interesting is the number of people around the country that say they are not ready to support this nomination. You can it's been interesting to see the president's shift with us from the fourth allegations first came out he said he wanted to hear her out here what she had to say and now. More allegations are coming any sane are coming out of the woodwork why can't they report this. Thirty years ago was striking in that sprang. As my aren't Jordan Phelps asked the president are these women lying and he didn't answer he said. Next question on the next question did even want. To answer that question and not really it's different from what Kavanagh Amos and his Fox News interview he said look I'm not. Saying that these nothing happens to Ford but. I just an. And they. Other issue here is as a received her house that did the number of these women who want to get before the committee they want their information to be heard. It's very difficult to parts of why they are connecting weed for us all right take many days over a week for. The judiciary committee to connect with counsel for doctor Christine glossy four. We know that they are sort of just beginning negotiations with Julie sweat neck. But here's what the attorney for Deborah Ramirez the woman who is described in The New Yorker case. How what she told us this morning GMA about her difficulties. Didn't catch. And I found that common by the president to be pretty disgusting and pretty hurtful I mean I I think everybody can understand why a politician wants to spend what is your bad information but. To do it now mocking fashion of miss Ramirez was was really an appropriate. Art so. John clue in their the attorney for ever Mir as knocking through blasting the president we have Deborah Ford though. Seems to be on her way to appearing tomorrow by all accounts and in fact releasing a whole bunch of information today we don't think Ramirez will be there tomorrow we don't think. That this new woman who's come forward Julie sweat it will be there tomorrow that won't be part of the hearing tomorrow. All eyes and have afforded she's actually starting to build the case publicly today releasing some affidavits and other materials. Race so while the president has written not Republicans and written out these other. Accuses them early learning about in the last week. Professor Ford is going to be just a lot harder for Republicans to. Dismissed outright and I think that's because she's been talking to friends and family about this for awhile. And we saw that today. Today her legal team releasing forced warrant affidavits from friends and family saying. I get under oath. That she had told them about this instance with wreck have a not years ago her husband saying she bright at the 2012. Friends and neighbors say she brought up 56. Years ago. She name's Brett Cavanaugh so this. Argument that is a last minute political home. Cheap shot is harder to write off when you have this picture being painted. Actually she'd been talking about this back in California with friends and family over the last year she also. Who took a polygraph exam for that that was released to the committee today as well. Along with a hand written account dated August 7 2018. Which. Christine glossy four well before this controversy that erupted in the public document it in her own handwriting. What she believed happened that night. With Brett Cavanaugh at a house party in Maryland when they were both campaigns will take a look here it is extraordinary to see. My doctor for here you can read it on abcnews.com. She's. Very personally written what actually happened and she dated August 7 Mary Alice who were saying that's another sign here. That. That this is something that she had had documented well in advance of any of the political content Eileen just heard from a pub. Time and time again this accusation that it came so let me and it. And it was brought up last minute issue was serious why was this the last moment. There's no doubt that this was not handled well but everything not a process and a procedure in place for them to adequately deal with my dying on line and big anyway that sent many grass and it does look like they had. No plan. For dealing with an accusation of this which today is just remarkable to me but what that a sort of handwritten notes as need. It's another piece of evidence that she did not bring. It she's actually been talking about it talking about with friends ambling in this case a polygraph acts are. All of our and we do know that these documents will be brought brought front and center tomorrow along with some calendars that we're captive not claims he kept prepared. We're gonna happen like coverage of this hearing tomorrow you see some of those 10 AM eastern right here and ABC news live. Let's begin a limit now to the mechanics of what we think that hearing will be like. Here's Chuck Grassley just a little while ago talking about his expectations for tomorrow. Writes about why not get your senators but we'll get to digest what they hear in the U. We've got to bolts had it'll depend on what happens tomorrow when we never hold. Senator Grassley are you confident that Tucker or is definitely going to hear more. As of right now yes and in the process of doing that. Most of the details are worked out whatever those details are I don't want to get into. Of those between June get all that information compromised. But we're doing everything we can. To do what. Doctor Ford said in her letter to me if you want a public meeting. She didn't want it to be a media circus. She wants to feel comfortable if so we're doing everything to make them feel comfortable. Our everything they can't make her feel comfortable she's expected to you appear she's in town. We've seen some of her document documentary evidence just before Capcom also learning about what ever Kavanagh plans to bring to the table including some highlights of his opening. Stay exactly remember they've also hired this former sex crimes prosecutor into the Republican the Republicans on behalf of that. Majorities in a seat that tomorrow as well but what the day committee released this witness testimony of of Cabot on any prepares to present smog or not hear a lot. Of what he has already said he's denied. These allegations but we were talking about what's interesting with this earlier he says I've spent. Most of my time in high school focused on academics sports church and service but he says it was a perfect in those days he wasn't perfect today he said there were certainly. He certainly had too much to drink at times there are certain things that make him cringe now. But he's saying that those things that he's describing in here. Work juvenile behavior behavior. In high school and that they have nothing to do with what he's been accused up so you will see him discuss on this high school behavior whether that was with. Drinking or juvenile. Behavior but he won't adamantly denied a thanks. We will have a chance to speak following the testimony from doctor Ford. We expect that lawmakers have about five minutes each to ask questions of both this conference and the Republican. Senators will likely rely on a female a former. Sex crimes prosecutor. But at the end of the day guys this is really going to come down to credibility it's gonna come down to. How they both appear what they are and went their sentiments are and and as Jeff flake put it earlier and that's talk about this after we hear from Jeff. Senator Jeff flake Republican of Arizona this will be very difficult for any member to make a decision. Because I've not psychic. I'm not gifted with Claire Boris. Given these limitations. I'll have to listen to the test upon the testimony before I make up my mind about the testimony. What I do know is that I don't believe that doctor forward is part of some. Vast. Conspiracy from start to finish to smear judge Kavanagh. Has has been alleged by some on the right. And I do you know that I do not believe the judge Kavanagh has some kind of serial sexual predator as some have alleged on the left. I hope that tomorrow's hearing gives us some guidance. On how we are to vote. Honestly he's a crucial swing vote has been critical of the president critical of the process is in place and he's on the Judiciary Committee. So his though it's really waited in this circumstance as. Back have not nomination has to first clear the committee and then clear. The senate. Writ large but I think he reminds us in that speech that these are people. And not political props and I thought that Alice a line that Hurley everyone can relate to right now. And no land would want to be in the issues and it is probably going to be impossible for senators to understand. Or have some. Perfect idea what happens. Three decades ago nonetheless they're gonna have to decide whether brown powder not should be promoted. To the Supreme Court will be quite something to watch tomorrow half full coverage here of the entire hearing. Our analysis before and after during the breaks or an ABC news live begins at 10 AM eastern time. And continue as long as it needs to go probably into the afternoon. So much more unpack there are tomorrow. Lot more developments still to come today I think on this front moving on real quickly as we sit at the beginning the president. Is facing all of this this political storm at a time when he is on the world stage in New York this annual gathering of the United Nations General Assembly. I'm a lot of news headlines out of that meeting today is well from North Korea to Japan. Trade deals in the like let's bring in our State Department reporter our Connor Finnegan who is there at the UN Connor. Words swirling around down here dealing with the scandals. Related to the Supreme Court nominee that you brought got some some substantive news to share. With what the president has done today appeared with the latest. Yet DeVon lots of substantive news as you said lot of headlines here and others like going on Washington but just a tick through a couple of things. That happened here. On president Trump's third and final full day at the United Nations General Assembly. He was meeting this morning with Benjamin Netanyahu. Israeli prime minister and a good friend it's. When he announced that he supports a two state solution for the Israeli Palestinian conflict that's the first time he's said that as president. And it's something that Arab allies in the region have really urged him to do. You remember his son and larger question there is preparing to announce the administration's peace plan a couple of months. And many Arab allies had seen the administration is sort of putting their thumb on the scale for Israel after they moved the US embassy to Jerusalem. They cut lots of aid to the Palestinian people and so this is sort of meeting the beginning of rebalancing. There. The president also chaired a united nations Security Council genius for saying doing so. And while it was focused on non proliferation. The headline there really is what he had to say about China. President when after China and accused the Chinese have interfering in its Anthony term elections. Thing that they don't want him to win because of his trade policies. The Chinese fired back quickly called that nonsense thing that they have policy of non interference. But the president point to pretty remarkable six page over the weekend. Chinese media company had taken out basically looked like a newspaper itself. But it was propaganda it was touting Chinese leadership Chinese businesses. And really going after the president on his trade war with the Chinese. The president also he's had this afternoon we'll have a press conference at 5 PM. He announced that he may be making a decision on where and when that meeting with Kim Jung. After he received another another letter from the dictator all smiles and and tremendous progress there as he says. I think he showed Connor even pulled the letter out of his pocket and waved it around that he had received another letter from Kim Jong-un. Certainly very interest in him before we let you know yesterday he made. Some ways there effective declaration before the assembly that. His administration is accomplished more than any and that US history drew laughter. But he was later asked to clarify what what that was all about Wei and he certainly did seem to back down. No he did back you know in that moment really remarkable moment for what is usually a very staid finger. He drew laughter and he said that's not the response I expected. Of course leader in the afternoon he told reporters that that was the response he expected that he was looking for laughs. His ambassador to invade nations Nikki Haley said this morning that the laughter with out of respect for the president. Okay president on the world stage making headlines North Korea China. Trade deals. The whole like he spends the night again tonight Connor and again thank you so much for that of course. Much more needs to come on that front the president holding a rare press conference solo press conferences only the second time. He'll take questions from from American reporters in a freewheeling press conference on American soil second time in two years. Today at 5 PM eastern time. In new York at one of the hotels nearby the UN and of course trump tower we'll have that for you here. Live on ABC news live it's going to be. Going to be well I am good thank you so much for jurors hear the briefing room a lot more on pact tomorrow later tonight as well captain Paul there's warehouse parks. And haven't worked with him.
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