tv CNN Tonight With Don Lemon CNN July 9, 2018 7:00pm-8:00pm PDT
father was a judge. his mother was a judge. it just seems like trump in this case just bowed to the elite in washington. i think that's going to rub a lot of people the wrong way. i don't think it's going to be a game changer, but i think it's not a, yeah, let's go get them, kind of moment for trump. >> all right. i got to leave it there. i'm out of time. i owe joan a final thought. we're not done yet. join us at midnight eastern if you really want to. that will be 9:00 p.m. pacific. right now it's "cnn tonight." do don lemon will pick it up tonight. a night that will make history. >> absolutely. we have a lot to talk about. of course people are concerned about what this means for a woman's right to choose, for roe v. wade, same-sex marriage, and on and on. a lot of people are talking about what you hit on there, and that is what this means for the mueller investigation with someone who has said that he believes a sitting president
should not be indicted. that's what people are really talking about right now. >> and he also wrote, though, when he was working for ken starr that lying was enough for impeachment. we've always thought it was lying under oath would be enough legally, but he went farther than that. yet, trump still picked him. >> so why is that? was that the main reason or just a small one? >> i think that roe v. wade was the biggest part of the litmus test. we can call it that because trump did during the campaign. >> see you in two hours, my friend. i'm don lemon. president trump announces his pick to replace anthony kennedy on the supreme court. >> it is my honor and privilege to announce that i will nominate judge brett kavanaugh to the united states supreme court. >> but fasten your seat belts because this is just the beginning. it's only the beginning. those who are familiar with kavanaugh are calling him, quote, an unrelenting, unapologetic defender of presidential power, some of what we just discussed there.
so what will his nomination mean for the russia investigation? get ready for a battle. that's going to last all summer. tens of millions of dollars spent. rallies, marches, protesters and counterprotesters outside right now. one gop operative telling cnn, quote, we're prepared for an all-out war. there is a lot to discuss right now. gloria borger and dana bash are in washington. michael zeldin is here with me in new york. we've assembled a great group of people. ariana, i need to start with you. protests tonight outside the supreme court about this announcement. what's the latest? >> reporter: well, absolutely. there are big crowds here tonight, and they're getting bigger. these are bigger crowds than we
get for some big decision days. for a while, they were being allowed to set up on the steps out there. really, they understand what's at stake here and how much this building behind me is going to change with the new pick. anthony kennedy was the key swing vote on issues like abortion, lgbt rights, affirmative action. now he'll be replaced with somebody who's younger and who's more conservative. most of the protesters here are talking about roe v. wade tonight. you've got the opponents of abortions. on the other side, you've got people already chanting "hey ho, brett kavanaugh's got to go." way behind me, there's a light on in some of the chambers. i don't know whose chamber it is, but anthony kennedy has got to be smiling somewhere because this is the second time one of his former clerks has been nominated to the bench. so it's a big night. and don't forget, he only announced his retirement 12 days
ago. >> interesting. all right. thank you very much, ariana. i want you to stand by. i want to bring in everyone else now and get your opinion on the president's announcement tonight. michael, first of all, i want to turn to you because we've learned that the president's supreme court team looked at brett kavanaugh's past comments on indicting a sitting president. i have a quote here. this is what he wrote when he worked with ken starr in his book back in 2009. he said, the indictment and trial of a sitting president moreover would cripple the federal government, rendering it unable to function with credibility and either the international or domestic arenas. so the question is, how much do you think the president's self-interest in terms of his own legal issues played into his selection today? >> it's hard to know. kavanaugh's quote that you just read pretty much mirrors the office of legal counsel opinion on the indictment of a sitting president. so to the extent that he's saying that was the office of legal counsel has previously said, there's no big news there. what's interesting to me, however, is two things. first is when he worked for ken
starr and wrote the report that led to the impeachment of president clinton, he said lying to the american public is an impeachable offense. that's clearly at play in the mueller investigation. as well, lying under oath is an impeachable offense according to kavanaugh. so if the president gets interviewed and lies, then you have a justice who if he gets confirmed has said that's an abuse of office and impeachable defense. the thing that i think that really needs to be fleshed out through the hearing process is whether kavanaugh should be required to recuse himself from any matter that becomes a part of the litigation that mueller brings. that is whether a president can be indicted, if that comes to pass, and/or perhaps more importantly whether or not the subpoena that mueller issues for testimony, if that is the case, is something that he should recuse himself from because it
looks like the potential of an appearance of conflict. >> what is the likelihood of that happening, do you think? >> i don't know. i don't know. it depends on kavanaugh's own sort of sense of judicial propriety. if he believes that it will taint his future on the court for participating in a decision about which led to potentially his selection, maybe he does step aside. >> harry, you know him. what do you think of this? >> about the recusal theory? i think he probably would not, and he would cite the nixon case where three justices nixon had appointed sat on the case and ruled against him. the clinton v. jones case. two justices that clinton had appointed sat on the court that wound up ruling against him. i think it's important to note that he sees this as having undergone a major conversion. what you read about, don, actually post dates his time with starr. he's on the bench and he says
having spent time in the white house, he came to understand that he had been wrong in the '90s to be so vigilant and punitive in going after clinton. so there are two -- on this very important question, there are two brett kavanaughs. they will both have to answer in the confirmation hearing. >> i hear you, gloria, but how does he view presidential powers then? >> he is more than anybody of his generation, maybe any justice ever, bullish on presidential power. that is in many different ways, he's very strong on presidential powers for terrorists. very strong on presidential power against agencies. in general, he's an article 2 kind of guy. that's a very hard thing to explain to the american people. the consequences of it are huge, but that's probably his defining trait. >> i want to bring gloria in. >> that's why he's such a fit with donald trump because donald trump is all about presidential
power. when it comes to the question that michael was talking about, about a potential subpoena here, you do have a nominee, whether it's before conversion or after conversion, who is on the record saying that the president should be exempt from time consuming and distracting lawsuits. that does not only apply, i might add, to this question of mueller, but it also might apply to civil lawsuits like summer zervos, who is suing the president. this has implications for him. you can be sure that it's going to be really central to democratic questioning of kavanaugh when he appears before congress. >> and to your point on recusal, it is true that three justices on the court were appointed by nixon and ultimately ruled in that case, but none of them were -- none was appointed during the time of the litigation. >> that's true. >> so this is where i say there's an appearance issue.
this is during active litigation where the person who may be the subject of the decision is appointing you. that creates an appearance to me that i think kavanaugh has to be very sensitive to. >> this is kavanaugh 2009 from the minnesota law review. provide sitting presidents with a temporary deferral of civil suits, of prosecutions, and investigations. dana, weigh in. how much of a factor was this, do you believe? >> i mean, we won't know until we hear from the president himself or we have a chance to do some reporting on this particular issue. knowing the president and his focus on this, it's hard to imagine it wasn't a factor. gloria mentioned this is not academic. this is not, welt, what if there's ever a situation where a president could potentially be indicted and the supreme court would have to hear it. it's potentially like now, soon. this fight that the president's legal team is having with the mueller team about whether the president should sit down for an interview, if they say no,
mueller could subpoena him and it could end up -- would end up in the supreme court. so depending on the timing, that could come before brett kavanaugh. so it's a real world situation that we're talking about here. but there are obviously -- this is one slice of a much, much larger pie, conservative pie, that president trump promised on the campaign trail over and over again he would deliver. although, some conservatives say he's not necessarily a movement guy. he's an establishment guy. he's a conservative through and through. he was called by a democrat, dick durbin i believe it was, when brett kavanaugh was going through the senate confirmation process to be on the circuit court, he was called the forest gump of politics because he's been part of so many big events in the last quarter century. >> i was listening to jake earlier. he said he was a political
operative, gloria. so the big question from conservatives is always, it's an activist judge. so as a political operative, can he be seen as an activist judge? >> well, you know, we don't know the answer to that at this point, but as a political operative, don, what he does have is a huge paper trail. not only did he serve as staff secretary to george w. bush, but he's written over 300 opinions. there are lots of e-mails that he wrote when he was at the white house that i assume people are going to try and get ahold of. >> democrats are already calling for it. >> oh, okay. there you go. and one of the questions that mitch mcconnell raised apparently with the president was, look, the democrats in seeking these documents can also seek to delay this confirmation process because there is such a mass of material here. as dana points out, he's been at
the crossroads of a lot of major issues. not only ken starr but bush v. gore, elian gonzalez, torture issues during the bush administration. so democrats are not going to leave any stone unturned here, and it could require more time than the president really wants to give it. >> according to manu raju, he said chuck grassley said earlier tonight that someone with a long record will take time to go through the full record. this is a quote again from manu. and not commit to holding confirmation hearings until september. that really pushes it back. ariana, i want to get back to you. a graphic was put together based on analysis from political scientists saying kavanaugh is a lot more conservative than kennedy. he's closer to clarence thomas. that's significant when we're talking about the balance of this court. >> don't forget that anthony kennedy had two kinds of clerks. he had liberal clerks, but he
also had conservative clerks. neil gorsuch was one of them. brett kavanaugh is one too. keep in mind, this establishment pick, he has over 300 opinions, as gloria was saying. and they're issues that the conservatives really like. issues of executive power and religious liberty. but there are some controversial ones too. he had a controversial opinion on the affordable care act and another one about some kinds of abortion restrictions. so those are out there, and these hearings are also going to feature george w. bush for his time there. some people wonder really, do they want to relitigate those issues, things that happened during the bush years, during those hearings. it's for sure going to come up. >> a classic washington insider from the george h.w. bush administration. all right, everyone. stick around. you can see ariana is there at the supreme court where there are protests going on. we have a lot more to cover. the democrats who might hold the
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come. harry, i'm going to rely on you a little heavy. you know him. i want to talk to you about the 2009 minnesota law review and also having served in both the george w. bush and h.w. bush but a much larger role in the george w. bush administration. >> that's right. the george w. bush administration, he's staff secretary. all piece s of paper go through him. he was technically in the george h.w. bush administration, but he was really a one-year fellowship in the solicitor general's office. of course, the solicitor general who appointed him, ken starr. >> as i'm reading this 2009 minnesota law review, basically what it's saying is the president's job is so unique and so unusual, it's seemingly saying he's above the law or should not be indicted or even brought up for trial or criminal investigation. >> i think he is saying that. he's saying mea culpa. i hounded clinton to death ten
years ago, but now i understand. >> but the caveat is what? >> there's one caveat, which is he's saying congress should pass legislation to make this law. he's not saying that the constitution inherently -- that presidential power prevents the way the question would come up now. >> what he's saying also is that the president is so malevolent and terrible, there's a political solution. there is impeachment. so if you feel that's the case, then impeach the president, but what ken starr did was not the right thing to do. >> let my give you the quote, gloria. he said, a possible concern is that the country needs a check against a bad behaving or law-breaking president, but the constitution also provides that check. if the president does something dastardly, the impeachment process is available. no single prosecutor, judge, or jury should be able to accomplish what the constitution assigns to the congress. the president's job is difficult enough as it is, and the country loses when the president's focus
is distracted by the burdens of civil litigation or criminal investigation and possible prosecution. go ahead, gloria. >> this is the same argument that donald trump's attorneys are making and have made all along, which is that this has been a distraction for the president for foreign policy, et cetera, et cetera. ru rudy giuliani says the same thing, that impeachment is out there. if you think you should be impeached, go impeach him. but legally, mueller should not be allowed to indict him and should leave him alone. >> no civil suits either. he shouldn't be subject to those. >> but that's been resolved in clinton versus jones. >> constitutionally. >> constitutionally. he has no opportunity unless they're going to overturn that. and he believes in precedent. he'll say it over and over in his hearing. they can be subject to civil depositions. >> that's why he says you need
legislation. >> summer zervos and anyone else suing him civilly should be able to proceed. this question of impeachment versus indictment is at the heart of the matter. he has not repudiated the possibility of impeaching a president for lying to the public. during the clinton impeachment proceedings, he really was the attack dog on ken starr's team. he wrote that report. he was the one who supported the notion of lying to the public is an impeachable offense, that lying about an extramarital affair in a deposition is an impeachable go ahead, dana. >> i think the idea he put forward to the american public then, that lying is an impeachable offense, it's hard to imagine that's not something drilled down on by democrat after democrat at these hearings. obviously before we get to all
of this, we have to see the vote. the confirmation hearings and the vote. one thing i wanted to throw in here is there's been a lot of discussion about the reality of the razor-thin majority that the republicans have in the senate. they basically have one vote, which means one to spare. they have to rely, or they hope to rely on red-state democrats to give them a little bit of comfort with their margin. i've been talking to sources tonight who say with this pick, it is going to be harder for red-state democrats and really tough re-election battles to vote against him. not impossible but a lot harder. the democrats who voted for gorgo gorsch last year were donnelly, heitkamp. >> i have to get some other news
in, gloria and dana, both of whom have reported on this. a source is saying cohen sees his role a little like john dean's role during the nixon administration. he wants to tell the truth not for his own career or fear of going to jail but because he thinks it's the right thing to do. in a way, he wants to set the record straight. what's your reaction to that, gloria? >> i think that according to my sources, michael cohen feels under attack by rudy giuliani and the president. he believes that they're trying to send him a signal publicly, which is so long as you tell our version of the truth, you'll be okay. i think what he's doing -- one source said to me this is his version of july 4th, which is independence day. that he's no longer going to take a bullet for the president. and that he's going to go in whatever direction he feels he needs to go in. now, let me just say here, we don't know what michael cohen
has, if anything, on the president of the united states. >> he hasn't been charged. >> he hasn't been charged. we don't know if the prosecutors are interested in what he may or may not have or whether his lawyer, guy petrillo, has even talk about talked to the prosecutors. i think what we have going on here is sort of a battle for the hearts and minds, but we really don't know what's going on in the southern district of new york at this particular moment. >> here's what his source says. the message is that cohen feels it's time to tell his version of the truth. cohen's version of the truth is not giuliani's version or trump's version, which is the opposite of the truth. dana, this one is for you. friends say that the most important thing said in the stephanopoulos interview is cohen feels he thought some of his decisions were in his best judgment but in hindsight, they
may not have been right. and cohen no longer recognizes the man he knew and worked for. to him, there's a different man at 1600 pennsylvania avenue than he knew and worked for. this is the tip of the iceberg of what cohen needs to do to make things right. >> that is really so key, don. this is donald trump's protector, fixer. i mean, gloria referenced this. he had said that he would take a bullet for the guy. he absolutely adored donald trump. and the fact that he is voicing a very, very different perspective and opinion of this man is really a big deal. it really is. in the annals of donald trump and the characters around him, how things ebb and flow, this is a moment. we don't know whether the moment will lead to anything because gloria mentioned this, not only do we not know if the prosecutors are interested in hearing from ik moo l michael c don't know if he has anything to
offer. the trump team insists publicly and privately that they don't think in the raid the fbi got anything that is detrimental to the president. but there might be more that he knows or might be willing to say that is not in the raid. we just don't know the answer. >> got to run, dana. also, according to sources, it's being reported that cohen supposedly asked to speak with mueller. the source is saying that never happened. never asked to speak with mueller. thank you, both. great reporting today, gloria and dana, on the cohen stuff. appreciate all of you for joining us. when we come back, president trump's pick represents a political deal he made with conservatives. if they backed his candidacy, he would fill the courts with judges of their choosing, someone who would go with what they wanted. who is getting the better end of this deal? we're going to discuss that. that's next.
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rac rachel, i appreciate you joining us. what's your reaction to the selection? >> i'm delighted. you cannot imagine a better supreme court nominee than brett kavanaugh. not only among the candidates that the president had. it's hard to theoretically imagine a better nominee than brett. i'm just delight the the president picked him. >> how well do you know him? >> pretty well. we worked together in the white house counsel's office in the beginning of the bush administration. when he talked tonight about running out of the gate at the white house on 9/11, i was doing the same thing. we worked together during that time. so i've seen first hand his work ethic, his integrity, his dedication to public service, his brain. he's a great person, a great lawyer, great judge. >> rach, we've been discussing here how he feels about executive power. you may have heard our coverage. i'm sure you've heard people wondering about how he feels about this because he may be in the position to rule on key questions pertaining to the
russia investigation, if it gets to the supreme court. and he's known to give great deference to presidential power. do you have any concerns about as it pertains to this investigation and the integrity of it? >> you know, i actually think one of the things that makes him a great judge is that he is skeptical of government power in many respects. it's interesting. you know, people are criticizing him for being too deferential to government power. other people are criticizing him for his opinion striking down government actions. he's had some opinions being skeptical of the administrative state. he's very thoughtful. i don't have any concerns about that at all. i think he's right on and very balanced in his approach to that. >> i want to ask you because michael zeldin was on in the block before you. he says he believes he should possibly recuse himself for any cases pertaining to anything that has to do with the russia investigation or anything that contains something that has to deal with presidential power.
do you believe that? >> i can't imagine why he'd have to recuse himself. every judge makes decisions based on the facts known to him. recusal doesn't come into play because a judge has had an issue in the past. it comes in with personal conflicts of interest. i'm not aware of any reason brett kavanaugh would have to recuse from that investigation. >> we know how he feels about presidential power and independence of organizations and of agencies. where do you think he stands on the fbi and the department of justice and their independence as well? >> you know, i think judges come at cases not having a position on the parties. i think judges come to cases with legal issues presented to them. i'm sure if a doj or fbi case came before him, he would treat it like he would treat a department of energy case or a case involving any other party, which is look at the facts and the law and decide the case without regard to who the parties are. >> rachel brand, you're very
knowledgeable and you've been very helpful. thank you so much for joining us. we appreciate it. >> my pleasure. good to be here. >> absolutely. now i want to bring in cnn global affairs analyst max booth and cnn contributor michael dean deantonio. max, what did you think of the conversation i just had? >> that's pretty much what you'd expect rachel brand to say because she's a conservative republican. from everything i've seen, i don't necessarily line up ideologically where brett kavanaugh is. i'm more of a middle of the road, but he certainly seems to be well qualified for the supreme court. he has an impeccable pedigree. the case for confirming him sees pretty strong. you know, to my mind, that still is not an argument for why donald trump is a great president for reasons conservatives think he is. they're paying an unacceptably high price to get the kind of judges they want. >> this is what he ran on,
michael. he ran on this. now he's delivering on those judges. was this the best deal trump has ever made? >> i think the wild card in this is judge kavanaugh's integrity. this is a thing donald trump never knows how to plug into his calculus. does this judge have the integrity to be independent minded, to rule in a way that -- or join in concurrence with justices who want to rein in the president's power when he exceeds it, or is he going to do as the president wishes? this is all russia. this is all about the president's concern that he's illegitimate, that he'll be either indicted or pursued civilly, and he wants to protect himself from that. so we've yet to see whether this choice runs afoul of the president on matters of integrity. i suspect it may. >> how much does this have to do with the russia investigation? >> it's very hard to say, don,
because obviously all these nominees come prevetted by the federalist society so they all line up. >> it's actually their list. >> it's their list. so it's not clear how much donald trump actually got into the specifics of this. one thing we can pretty well guarantee, he did not read a single opinion. he did not read a single law review article written by any of the nominees. so who knows why he made the decision. it may be on russia. it may be on personal chemistry. i think a lot of it is superficial, somebody he thinks looks like a supreme court justice. it's been reported he likes the yale/harvard type of pedigree. >> he wanted ivy league. young, nice family. >> it may be a mistake to read too much into this and just go with the shallow, superficial explanation. that may be the right one. >> but don't you think someone said this guy believes a signature president should not be indicted. >> i absolutely believe that. i think his base wanted coney barrett, especially the
anti-abortion base. they're very disappointed tonight. i think mike pence is very disappointed. he went with pence to woo the evangelical and catholic base. now that they have not received their ideal nominee, it's clear the president is acting really in his own interest. it may wind up being in the interest of the country, and that would be a happy accident. >> this is what your piece is called today, max. it says, consider the cost of your dream court conservatives. you said, trump is doing long-term damage not just to the country in general but to the rule of law in particular. the same rule of law that judges are supposed to uphold, tolerating his reign of error would not be worth it even if he filled every seat on the supreme court with antonin scalia clones. clearly, your former party, as you said, because you're not a republican any longer, they disagree with this. >> they do, but i think they're turning a blind eye to the damage that donald trump is doing to america and to the world, specifically look at the rule of law.
judges are supposed to enforce the rule of law. that's supposedly what these picks are about. look at the damage donald trump is doing to the rule of law by firing the fbi director to stop an investigation of his own ties to russia to russia, by maligning the attorney general, by proclaiming that he has an absolute right to do what he wants with the justice department, an absolute right to pardon anybody, including himself. he's not somebody who believes in the rule of law. to me, you can applaud this choice, say it's the right choice, the choice that any other republican president would have made, but you have to acknowledge that donald trump is not another typical republican president. he's somebody who's actually a threat to the very values that conservatives claim to champion. i wish that conservatives would at least acknowledge the trade-off that they're making by rooting for donald trump and the huge cost of getting the judges that they want. to my mind, that cost is unacceptably high. >> all right. thank you, gentlemen. i appreciate it. what has kavanaugh said in the past about roe v. wade? we'll discuss that when we come
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supreme court. there are protests going on. it's going to be a little loud. i think we can make it work. so thank you, both, for joining us. steve, you don't love the supreme court pick. why? >> well, you know, don't love might be strong. it was not my first pick. i was public about this. both publicly and privately to the white house said i wanted amy coney barrett to be selected. i think judge kavanaugh is immensely qualified. i do. i think he'll make a terrific justice. i think he is not going to be -- and here's what i would also caution to people on the left or democrats who are going crazy. i don't think he's terribly different from anthony kennedy, for whom he clerked, by the way. i think this is in many ways a continuation of that. and i would say to those on the right, be patient. we're going to -- when donald trump wins a second term, and he will, we're going to nominate a much more originalist, constitutionalist in the second
term. >> this is one from axios. they put together this graphic, and it's based on analysis from political scientists, that kavanaugh is a lot more conservative than kennedy. he's closer to clarence thomas. you're saying that you don't think he's that conservative, steve? >> look, i would disagree with that. i'm not here to trash kavanaugh. i think he absolutely should be confirmed. i think he will be confirmed. i think that was the main reason he was nominated. i think the president looked at the situation. he's a pragmatist, and he said this is the most likely justice who believes in constitutional -- interpreting the constitution as it's written who can be confirmed. i think that's why he nominated him. i would have preferred amy barrett. i would have preferred something more bold, but i'm not the president. >> i have maore questions, but need to bring neera in. is this pick a disaster for democrats? >> no, i think the truth is this picture is a disaster for the
american people. the reality is that trump forces can spin this, but brett kavanaugh is a judge who has voted against -- who has supported essentially opposing roe, who is also unusual in his opposition for particular people like the president to be investigated. that's an unusual decision he's made. also, he has also opposed the affordable care act. from conservatives, from the perspective of conservatives -- it's a real problem. >> sounds like obviously protesters on both sides there. somebody who is saying abortion is murder, overturn roe. then you have people saying the affordable care act is here to stay and shame, shame, shame on the president for nominating this person. >> i'd say the vast majority of people here are opposed to kavanaugh. we do have one or two people who are using the cameras to attack
roe. >> i just want to place something that kavanaugh said about roe v. wade. this was back in 2006 when he was a nominee to the d.c. circuit court of appeals. watch this. >> if confirmed to the d.c. circuit, i would follow roe v. wade faithfully and fully. that would be binding precedent of the court. it's been decided by the supreme court. >> i asked you your own opinion. >> and i'm saying if i were confirmed to the d.c. circuit, i would follow it. it's been reaffirmed many times. >> i understand. but what is your opinion? you're not on the bench yet. you've talked about these issues in the past to other people, i'm sure. >> the supreme court has held repeatedly, senator, and i don't think it would be appropriate for me to give a personal opinion. >> so that was in 2016. that was then. but now we're talking about him actually being on the supreme court. does that change everything? >> are you asking me, don? >> yeah, steve.
>> yes. listen, here's the thing with roe v. wade. while i think that was a terrible decision personally, stare decisis means something. reliance as a principle of judicial review means a lot. i don't think -- the idea that -- i think there's a scare tactic going on from the left. that roe v. wade will be overturned tomorrow if we confirm the next justice that donald trump appoints. i don't think that's the case. i do think what will happen is we will see representative democracy start to work a lot more. >> with all due respect, i understand, i just want an answer relating to what kavanaugh said in 2006 and not what you think is going to happen. do you think this is all different now that he's on the court, that he's going to change or he might actually answer the question a different way, that he won't dodge? that's my question to you. >> i don't think he'll answer the question a different way.
my guess is once he's a justice, he will rule that the states do have rights to restrict and to put some sensible restrictions around abortion, to say that you cannot abort a child a day before birth, which is what roe v. wade instituted in most of this country. so we're going to have a rational, reasonable negotiation and discussion about it. that's where it should be, not five people in black robes deciding for the entire country what is the definition of life. but rather the democratic process deciding it. my guess is, my hope is that's where kavanaugh will land. >> okay, great. thank you for answering that. so neera, please weigh in. i know it's loud. go on. >> yeah, no, i think that just tells you exactly what the game plan is here. the game plan that the right has and kavanaugh will pursue is to say that roe should be up to the states, which is just another way of saying that in 22 states, roe will be overturned. and i think the reality is that kavanaugh, any judge, but kavanaugh in particular, will
try to have a kabuki theater of saying he supports the essential, you know, press dept a -- precedent and things like that, but the supreme court is a critical issue. senators can not let that stand. they have to ask where judge kavanaugh stands on roe v. wade. i think the truth is he's already supported the dissent in roe v. wade. he's argued for its being overturned. he is someone who will likely overturn roe v. wade. >> so i've got to ask you, and i don't know if you saw mitch mcconnell today, the senate majority leader. he was blasting democrats, what he called unfair tactics on the left. he wrote this. there was a press conference and he wrote this. this is a tweet. he said, justice kennedy's resignation letter had barely arrived in the president's hands before several of our democratic colleagues began declaring their blanket opposition to anyone at all that the president might name, #scotusnominee. do you see hypocrisy in this,
neera, in the majority leader tweeting that and saying what he said today given the way he treated president obama's nominee, merrick garland? >> it's ridiculous hypocrisy. the fact that mitch mcconnell totally opposed merrick garland, stopped anyone from actually having a hearing with him, stopped any hearing of his nomination, would not let -- he really discouraged people from even meeting >> makes it more real to people that this is all a game. >> steve, do you see any hypocracy in that. >> i'm no fan of mitch mcconnell. here is why there is a key difference, you had an outgoing president who was term limited, who had nominated a supreme court nominee. that is a very different scenario than right now, whereas donald trump, even if the democrats hold up the
nomination, he's still going to make the next nomination after the elections. if we were to say that we can't have judges confirmed in any election years, that means we can only confirm judges in odd-numbered years? that seems odd to me. at the end of a presidential term, it's a different precedent than we have now. >> this was a manufactured precedent by mitch mcconnell. the reality is, i hate to say that mitch mcconnell broke the rules with the way they traded garland, and i think the fact that -- >> justin -- got to get to the break guys. >> i'll see you next time. we'll be right back. >> in a midterm election year --
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. we are back now with our breaking news. president trump's nomination of brett kavanaugh to the supreme court is the beginning of a huge week. let's get out live. i want to show you what is happening at the supreme court. this is a supreme court now, there are protests going on. most of the people there, we are told by our folks who are on the ground, are opposed to this pick by the president. and there are a few there
obviously who are in support of it as well. as you heard in our last segment, someone saying that roe v. wade should be overturned, because they believe that it is murder. again, this is the beginning of a very long week, a very busy week, because the president leaves tomorrow for a big european trip. that includes the dinner with the british prime minister, sea with queen elizabeth, and the summit with putin a week from today. >> hard truths from a life in intelligence. good to have you on, sir. good evening to you. the supreme court nomination just the beginning, as i said of this really busy week for the president. can his foreign trip deliver the way he has with the supreme court with this nomination? he's facing some big challenges overseas. >> well, yeah, it is a big week. and what i kind of expect is that the juxtaposition of what
has been tradition, long tradition, long history where he'll berate nato, the members that are not stepping up to the 2% threshold, which is in my view somewhat artificial anyway, and be very solicitous of putin and his berating of nato plays to putin's interests. that is what i'm going to be watching and most concerned about. >> how much does this president have the ability to weaken nato? >> well, i think a lot. just the fact that he constantly berates nato, his at one point his recusal to affirm article v,
and i think the mention of dedeploying forces or moving them around makes nato nations very nervous. that is the unease that he creates by, you know, his criticism and frankly his demeaning of the alliance, with has served the interests of this country as well as those in europe for about 70 years. >> so -- >> he seems to be taking that down. >> his schedule, director, while in the u.k. has been planned to minimize exposure to protesters. might be hard to miss some of them, though. what kind of reception, do you think he 's going to get? >> i think it's going to be hard to hide a lot of the opposition and rather strong feeling in many of these chris, notably the
u.k., so i know they are going to try to shield him, insulate him from that. but i think -- i think that is going to be pretty hard. >> i want to ask you about putin here, a meeting with putin has some americans concerned, given how often the president flatters putin, are you worried about what the president might agree to? >> i'm not sure what he would agree to, unless he did something like endorse the seizure of kraimea. which would be a terrible message to the ukrainians. i hope he doesn't do that. i don't expect him to take up the issue of meddling in our election, and meddling in our political processes, given his past demeanor, and interactions with putin, i don't think he's going to do that.
>> given -- >> or if it is it will are perfunctory. >> do you think this is a good time for them to be meeting given what is happening now? >> no, i don't. i don't know why we are having a summit with russia anyway. what has russia done of late to merit a summit meeting with the united states. >> director, thank you for your time, i appreciate it. >> that's it for us tonight. thanks for watching. our coverage continues now with anderson cooper in washington. it is 8:00 p.m. on the west coast, 11:00 p.m. here in washington, d.c., where president trump unveiled the second supreme court nominee of his young administration, and protesters spent much of the evening marching outside the court speaking out on both sides of a single issue, abortion rights. one vote may change after 45 years o