Kavanaugh declines answering questions about Trump comments

Judge Brett Kavanaugh said he wanted to stay "three zip codes" away from answering questions about current political events during his confirmation hearing with the Senate Judiciary Committee.
16:50 | 09/07/18

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Transcript for Kavanaugh declines answering questions about Trump comments
Are welcome back I'm Devin Dwyer ABC news live up on Capitol Hill day three now. As you've been watching and judge us judge wreck happened on Supreme Court hearing. Confirmation great to have you with us thank you so much for dress and joined by our Supreme Court our producer Trish turner who's been down in the remote lots and packed here is the senators behind us. Are just on a dinner break we see I just Kavanagh still sticking around a little bit taking some pictures shaking some hands his daughter's. Joined us entirely astronauts into basketball team there the front row. For this Latin latest session we're just learning now to by the way that this questioning will go on into the night they're going to do a third round of questions. I for judge Kavanagh that would mark. Two days of almost twelve hours of questioning for hands of certainly. And no shortage of questions that a lot of big moments that we can and actress in just a second but let's start with is to look back at some of the sound. From a few minutes ago have been tuned in some pretty extraordinary exchanges from fostering Democrats trying to get answers. Out of judge Kavanagh. Including some questions about president frogs tweets let's Nicholas. I wanna talk to about president comps attacks on the judiciary they have been blatant craven. And repeat it. And I want it. Quote to you. A couple of those. Attacks but the one I want to cite to you is from July 13 2013. When he said. Of justice. Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Quote justice Ginsburg of the United States Supreme Court has embarrassed. All by making very dumb political statements about me her mind is shot. Resign exclamation mark and of quote. November 102013. Again speaking about justice Ginsburg. Supreme Court. Jet justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg was going to apologize to me four or misconduct. Big mistake. By an incompetent. Judge. Do you believe that. Justice Ginsburg has quote in Paris us all and quote. Senator I've of course spoke about all the justices. Individually during the course this hearing. He hands on my if I may interrupt and I say this with all due respect. This is a question where less is more in the answer. Do you think justice Ginsburg has embarrassed that's all. I'm not going to on get drawn into a political controversy outline that maintain cannot get within three zip codes of a political controversy here this is not political this is about justice Ginsburg you. Believe that her quote mind is shocked and quote. Several respectfully you're asking me to you after having read those comments are asking me to comment on something and other person said and I am not going to. Do that I've yet I've spoken about Martin's believe that. I spoke about an incompetent. A spoke about my respect. And appreciation. For the eight justices on the Supreme Court my. On the honoring it would be if I were to be confirmed to be part of that team of nine with those eight people all whom I know and respect and I know they're all. Dedicated public servants who give and great deal to this country. And so why it for art made that clear throughout this hearing. Pretty awkward moment there Trish both putting the president's words on display here but also for seen. Brent Cavanaugh to. Weigh in on an opinion about one of his potentially future colleagues Ruth Bader Ginsburg. You think that might be an anyone had good at that everything but name of Islam did that exchange are sort of emblematic of what we saw all day you're seeing my picture here judge Kavanagh still sticking around in the break he had. His daughter's class here visiting looks so taking pictures. But emblematic. Of everything we've seen to be dancing around these difficult topics from the president's words to what he thinks about abortion executive power. He didn't give a lot of substance here. Gave no substance a huge Nicklaus as he got was saying. That United States vs Nixon case was correctly decided not just precedent by correctly decided. Little bit stunning because we enter and save up before. But it Venus that this is the case where and you probably talked about this quite a lot but this is the case for the supreme word unanimously decided to forced Nixon. To turn over Tina Turner turnaround of the tape's male office they'll. So that was an interesting moments they gave just a little bit Bear Bryant on overall he has studiously avoided that we understand these mock sessions and he is really pretty go to. Very well we're person we didn't see him trip up at all actually no smoking guns for flags yet. But again time and again bringing it back to the president and so many different issues and let's take a look at another one of the tweets that came up form a topic of tweets and. The president's tweets against a federal judge judge Gonzalo puree oh was a big question that came up. Ended in the judge corsets justice course such. Confirmation hearings and they put the same question judge errors senator Richard Blumenthal Connecticut but the same question. To per Kavanagh Nicholas. Do you believe that a judge should be attacked. Based on he has heritage. But he did just that the present United States attacked judge Gonzalo curia now. Saying that. The judge quote the judge who happens to be we believe Mexican. In attacking him. Do you believe that judges should be attacked based on there heritage. So arrogant I'm not going to comment on current well these are issues that concern that. The independence of the judiciary your honor we'd all due respect. You talked about your heroes. Who have the grit and backbone. To stand up and speak out. Democrats their nutrition to time and again trying to press him on this he says and principle he believes in judicial independence. And yet he won't even say that an attack on a sitting judge as president prompted there as his judgment Mexican American Heritage questioning his impartiality. Was improper grade in and it's been a really big moment course achievement took this question some people are little surprise but he did say it was slick disheartening and you know it was. But that Kavanagh would even go there are so it's a little surprising how I was I would Duff went was because it's not as if. The issue is connect come bee farm on the court and it's not as if it's political when you're talking about judges. Since he said the EL Allstate three I want to say three zip code the waiver of anything political. That was a really political that was trump attacking the judiciary today it was a little mutual. And trying to maintain that independence himself should any of these controversial issues. Of the week of those of the past few months come to the for those issues of course relating to the special counsel investigation. Russian interference involving president trump potentially there could be a subpoena or other issue to come before the court today. A lot of talk about those issues let's take a look at another exchange. Involving senator Blumenthal of Connecticut he asked again picking up where senator Harris left off last night. Are judged Kavanagh has had any conversations with anyone. About that matter Nicholas. Have you discussed the special counsel investigation. With anyone outside. Of the group. Judges on the east Easter my bed no inappropriate discussions with anyone. Of course it's on the you had any discussions with anyone. Appropriate or in a Pro Bowl wins apps and if you ever talked about the special counsel in this. I mean anyone outside the if you're walking around in America it's coming up senator so people discuss it but in terms up I'd never made any when we just. Fellows I could I've never. Suggested anything about my views about any thing commitments foreshadowing. And it no inappropriate discussions. Arts interest that's what was actually one of the moments last night that seemed to trip up judge Caplan on. The most asked quite simply hasn't talked to anyone. About the -- investigation perhaps a sign that could. Could complicate his efforts in the future to be part of one of those cases. We just saw there with Dick Blumenthal he said it had no inappropriate. Conversations with anyone about that matter insisting. Isn't it cute and yet. We'll because we were even taxing last night O'Leary listening to become like Pamela Harris exchanges and when he issues. She seemed to be indicating you know you talk to anybody at the former. You know president's lawyers that offer mean and and be careful with your answer and and so he really danced around it but then. Chuck Grassley the chairman I think since seeing an awkward moment that needed to be cleaned out. It is directly indicated rescue and cabinet like management any media Mueller it has seemed oddly this kind news with Dailey answer freely then. Certainly but you know Democrats here trying to pull out. I judge camp now put him in a box because he won't commit in this area was asked a couple of times you know. Would you recuse yourself as an appointee. By president rob in any matter involving him for the court he said I won't offer that commitment. So here he's standing at trying to even rotten in the recusal would be a decision would be judgments on his part so he's in activity that professor art. Let's shift gears a little bit a lot of more quite a lot more questions ahead tonight stolen in a few more panels tomorrow. As well a judge Kavanagh as a record at all that live coverage here at ABC news it's fascinating accurately junkie like we are. In the U while though there was this big story today at the beginning of the day. This controversy over that documents the documents 100000. Emails pages of documents. That the committee has kept confidential. That involved for capitalize record as a former official in the Bush Administration they have been. Sitting on those Democrats have been protesting loudly in this morning Trish. I think sort of came to a head when a number of Democrats said to heck with the rules were gonna release tomorrow. Rain and we get a glimpse of that last night so senator Cory Booker and now and senator Merck Mazie her and he and he. It started talking about these emails and you know it was like emails about racial profiling and cab and I asked to CNQ your article. Why wouldn't he get to see them and then all of a sudden. You know I think it was senator Mike Lisa one of the Republicans and wait and then this is committee confidential like you can't. So it's just it's not that these are classified it's just a stamp that's on them that says only EU members of the judiciary. Get to use CDs are all went under members of the senate technically so but yeah you're right so Cory Booker is like you know I've added a minute talk about this which is a violation of the rules. And then he decided today's gonna release them but the committee released them overnight hold that thought was to steal the thunder and let's listen accord brokered as he made a huge. Deal about this really at what would have been an unprecedented move releasing things that should not be released Nicholas. I'm going to release the email about racial profiling. And I understand that that the penalty conflict potential ousting from the senate. And if senator cornyn believes that I violated senate rules. I I openly invite. And accept the consequences. Of my team releasing that email right now and I'm releasing it. To expose. It number one bit emails are being withheld from the public. Have nothing to do with national security. Nothing to jeopardize. The sanctity of those ideals that I hold the year. We're rushing through this before me and my colleagues can even read and digest the information. Tennis yeah and I want to ask you can ask you how all reviewers say the same thinker for cutting Meltzer. I'm only I'm telling you want I'm saying unknowingly violating the rules gates and reportedly tell you got a report from Nigeria at Ellis or I'd say I'm saying right now. There are releasing arm releasing committee confident his district. You're. Pretty extorting and those documents did come out a number of democratic senators joining them senator Chuck Schumer on the senate floor saint. We will vacuum there was even a few days you know tryst between Republican and a John Cornyn of Texas. Warning Cory Booker he could be expelled from the senate. We're breaking and in rural that he was seeing and EZCORP Booker said bring it on this is my Sparta kiss moment in his words of there was quite something. I'm never mind confirmation hearing this. Responding to analyze all over social media that out a come to find out and the day. Indeed the rules actually were were broken here at all in terms of releasing actual argument it was holding renewable overnight. So it seems like he had violated them last night we need just by talking about them but then the committee overnight with the agreement of the bush library like. They decided to release more than 4 in the morning. No and new and ignited a years current Booker aren't. So let's let's take a look at the substance of some of these documents since they've gotten so much attention some of them leaked to the New York Times overnight let's put up the first one this is an email. From then there White House Stafford. Brick cavern on 2003 involving. Rupert it's nomination op Ed for a judge at the time talking about Roe vs. Wade. What's period the did the nitty gritty of it but bottom line Trish in that email they received their kind of fine print. Judge than Dick staffer Cavanaugh says well. I'm not sure that all legal scholars. Would consider Roe vs. Wade settled law. And of course he notes goes on a note in the email the Supreme Court overturned precedent. That's right smoking gun immediately everyone was thinking could this be a smoking gun because does that open the door for for road be overturned. He said I was really just quoting legal I didn't think all legal scholars agree and it's not saying that's his own position. He thing that with the position at the time that he thought legal scholars where there was some disagreement and of course in Dallas yesterday as as much as that this ideal Supreme Court can't overturn things well. But he believes that settled Lawson not a smoking gun but certainly interest in. Why they would keep it secret visit and I think that's what we've been saying about an amber of these documents they don't. There doesn't seem to be a real reason except for perhaps an embarrassment. Which is not a reason to keep somebody confidential so our answer withering are. Let's take a look at another one of these this is the one that Cory Booker was so worked up about this is and you yelled at for you broker wrote back in 2002 shortly after. The 9/11 attacks at that the contacts the national security apparatus is very concerned about. Screening. For potential terrorists and he writes in that email. We have it in the racial profiling email he says here it is. The people such as you and I referring to himself generally favor effective security measures that are race neutral. In fact to grapple with now this debate that's before us and how do we keep the system strong and essence so. Your interest she had supporters of judge Kavanagh to. They say they are in clean writing he says he favors race neutral. But he was raising the question after 9/11 or whether perhaps we needed to removing had to consider this kind of thing so in had been Booker started turning to. You know laid that over decisions about in affirmative action you know race based decisions and prayer and programs in schools and so. But he used Kavanagh kept batting back to and saying you know that he he really didn't he did not take positions on those particular issues and he wasn't about to hear. As we now is really candidate so. But yes that this really just went round and round and got nowhere I would say on the position of where he stands on race Pittsburgh but he did say race neutral in this particular. Restaurants I think at bottom line here in the document scandal of this pretty extraordinary Supreme Court to Huff. Confirmation hearing is that this is a lot about politics a lot of potential presidential candidates out there it's a hot mid term you're Democrats under a lot of pressure from the left. So perhaps some more fireworks later tonight Campbell Harris we'll get her chance ago at church Kavanagh gamble haven't for it. Into the evening tonight on this Thursday on ABC news live. And meanwhile lot of other news happening trash down the avenue other side of Pennsylvania Avenue still fallout from that. Op Ed in the New York Times other developments today as well for. All of those headlines will give you tossed to those headlines now meanwhile stick with us here at ABC news like this will be back. After their dinner break for more of judge cavernous confirmation hearings.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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