tv MSNBC Live With Hallie Jackson MSNBC October 5, 2018 7:00am-8:00am PDT
evidence to support their allegations. including naming over two dozen witnesses each. unfortunately the limited investigation that was conducted by the fbi failed to interview any one of the witnesses these two women identified who could support her account. let me say that again, they refused to investigate, to talk with any of the 24 witnesses that could have supported their accounts. mr. president, i think it's important to remember why we're here today. we're here to determine whether judge kavanaugh has demonstrated the impartiality, the democrat perment, t me temperament, the even-handedness to serve on this great high court of our land. if confirmed he will join eight
other individuals who are charged with deciding how the laws of our land are interpreted and applied. he would be a deciding vote on the most important issues affecting our country. and every american for generations to come. mr. president, madam president, based on all the factors we have before us, i do not believe judge kavanaugh has earned this seat. thank you. >> i'm hallie jackson in washington, you've been listening to dianne feinstein as all of this goes down this morning for one of the most controversial supreme court nominees in history. we expert to hear from chuck schumer momentarily and then mitch mcconnell as protests erupt on capitol hill and across d.c. buckle up, our a-list team is here for what is expected to be a jam packed hour of news.
we're 30 minutes from that vote. i want to bring in chuck todd who is joining me here. chuck n th chuck, in this moment, we will hear
from chuck schumer, mitch mcconnell, and then the vote goes down. what happens? >> the quartet. we're trying to figure it out. lisa murkowski, susan collins, jeff flake, joe manchin. based on my own reporting, i think lisa murkowski feels least likely to vote for judge kavanaugh. if you recall, there's the native alaskan issue. it feels like manchin and collins will go together. the one i have a doubt about is jeff flake.
i think he's -- i think -- i'm less -- i'm more convinced he votes yes today, but i wouldn't assume a yes today for him would be a yes tomorrow. today, remember, this is just breaking the filibuster. >> this is ending the debate to move on. >> it used to be 60 votes,
today it's 50. flake is the kind of guy -- a lot of senators wished they could split the differences back in the day. i vote yes to end debate but no on the piece of legislation or the confirmation. our political parties have never allowed that to be anymore. they punish people for just voting to shut down a filibuster now. i know one is considered the same, but flake is the one i wouldn't be surprised if he split the difference. >> let's explain briefly here this vote needs to pass for brett kavanaugh to have a chance to move forward, but it's not the final vote. the vote tomorrow is the one -- >> that's what matters here that goes back to this op-ed. i think the reason he wrote this op-ed has do with this issue of
temperament and partisanship. it's clearly bothering more than just those four. you know, there are a lot of uncomfortable yes votes right now in the kavanaugh column. you can see it in cory gardner. >> he's one of them. >> this vote, if he votes yes, will be something he is remained of a lot during his 2020 re-election fight. he's somebody up in 2020. but he's not alone. a lot of the younger senators, senators -- the baby boomer republican senators, they're in one place, they're in one place with gust to, lindsey graham, orrin hatch, chuck grassley. the younger senators, sasse, rubio, gardner. they are uncomfortable. they are going to be yes votes, but this is not -- they wish they could not have to cast this vote. >> chuck, thank you very much. we'll listen to chuck schumer on the senate floor now speaking. >> will go down as one of the saddest most sorted chapters in
the long history of the federal judiciary. the well was poisoned from the outset when president trump selected judge kavanaugh from a list of names pre-approved by hard-right special interest groups for whom the national interest is a trifling concern compared to repealing roe v. wade, cutting peoples healthcare, and achieving a partisan majority on the supreme court. the rot worsened when the republican majority on the judiciary committee shielded the bulk of judge kavanaugh's records from the public, discarding decades of bipartisan precedent and thwarting norms of transparency and fairness. and finally the dam broke under the waieight of credible
allegations that judge kavanaugh committed an assault while in high school. these hearings made the anita hill hearings in 1991 look fair by comparison in this hearing there were no corroborating witnesses on either side. no independent investigation of the facts to inform the questioning. they even hired an outside counsel to put a witness, dr. ford, on trial. only at the 11th hour republicans submitted reluctantly to a one-week investigation of the allegations. an investigation which was then severely circumscribed by the white house. our republican friends blame us for this process. they're always finding a strawman, but nothing could be further from the truth.
first they blame us for delay. knowing full well that majority leader mcconnell has complete control of when nominees are brought to the floor. leader mcconnell could have moved this nominee two weeks ago or one week ago. democrats had no say and don't when it comes to who comes to the floor. but in each case leader mcconnell couldn't move the nominee forward because he was blocked by fellow republicans, not democrats, from moving forward. when it comes to complaining about delay, two words never come from our republican friends lips -- merrick garland. republicans are also saying we engaged in a smear campaign where the politics of personal destruction with this nomination. in reality again, they're using
democrats as a straw man because what they're really talking about is what dr. ford said. democrats did not induce her to come forward. her conscious did. our republican friends -- are our republican friends accusing dr. ford and her deeply held memories of what happened to her of a smear campaign? are they accusing ford dr. ford of a smear campaign? that's who they're blaming. they're decrying her testimony and then trying to blame democrats. i don't blame them. they have a flawed nominee. they don't want the focus on the nominee. when future americans look back at these proceedings, let them draw no lessons from the senate's conduct here. let them look back on this
chapter as the shameful culmination of the scorched earth politics practiced by the hard right in america. people who will stop at nothing to entrench an advantage on our nation's courts. let the confirmation process for judge kavanaugh be recorded as a sorry epilogue to the brazen theft of justice scalia's seat. the end of bipartisan cooperation and consultation on the confirmation of supreme court justices. and for what? for whom were senate republican leaders willing to discard all semblance of fairness to confirm? judge brett kavanaugh certainly a product of an elite education, but also someone with hard-right conservative jurisprudence, far,
far away from what average americans believe. why most democrats opposed his nomination at the outset feels like ancient history now. but let us not forget that most importantly we strongly disagree with a number of judge kavanaugh's views. he's deeply skeptical of unenumerated rights including a woman's right to make fundamentally private decisions about her medical care. he's depositieply skeptical of government's role in protecting americans with pre-existing conditions. he's depositieply skeptical of all rules and regulations that protect consumers, workers, the environment. and the flashing red light warning sign at the center of judge kavanaugh's jurisprudence are his views on executive power
and accountabilities. somehow this conservative judge and scholar of the constitution sees at the heart of american democracy a president whom king, an executive unaccountable to the laws he's sworn to uphold. a head of state who while in office should be beyond the reach of subpoenas, criminal investigations or civil investigations. this moment in american history demands deep skepticism about judge kavanaugh's views on executive power. nominated as he was by an executive who disdains the constraints of his office and who is at this very moment the apparent subject of investigations his supreme court nominee believes should be invalid. i met with judge kavanaugh for almost two hours. i asked him about all of those
issues. his answers were constantly evasive and utterly unsatisfactory. it was deja vu all over again in the first round of hearings when judge kavanaugh deliberately avoided talking about his views on roe, healthcare, presidential accountability and more. there was no legal reason, rule or logic that prevented him from being clear and saying what he thought. he was evasive because he knows that his views are deeply at odds with the progress america has made over the last century of jurisprudence. and at odds with what most americans believe. his performance was not only unfair and frustrating to the senate, it was unfair to the american people. when a nominee refuses to
disclose their views, chances are you have a nominee whose views are far outside the mainstream of america, whether they be far right or far left. my colleagues on the other side of the aisle may not have as grave a concern about these views as we do, but let no american be surprised if judge kavanaugh becomes a decisive vote to restrict the rights and privileges of the american people while stretching the bounds of privilege for the current occupant of the white house. judge kavanaugh's nomination ultimately does not only encompass questions of ideology or credentials, but questions of character. here again judge kavanaugh falls woefully short of what americans expect and deserve in a supreme court justice. he has repeatedly misled the senate about his involvement in
some of the most serious controversies of the bush administration including warrantless wiretapping of american citizens, our policy against torture, the theft of electronic records from democratic senators, and his involvement in the nomination of very controversial judges. faced with credible allegations of various types of misconduct, judge kavanaugh's credibility was again tested and he continued to dessemble about easily refuted facts. beyond the issue of credibility judge kavanaugh precepted to the senate the bitterest partisan testimony i have ever heard coming from a candidate seeking the senate's approval, whether they be for the bench or the executive branch. now there are many who think that what happened when judge kavanaugh was 17 years old should not be dispositive.
even if you believe that, his actions at age 53 in terms of demeanor, partisanship and above all credibility should be dispositive. judges at every level of the federal bench should be held to the highest standard of ethics and moral character. judges at every level should be judicious and credible and independent, but especially on the supreme court. i do not see how it's possible for my colleagues to say with perfect confidence that judge kavanaugh has the temperament, independence, and credibility to serve on the united states supreme court. so i ask my colleagues on the other side of the aisle, why judge kavanaugh? there is no dictate that you have to march blindly forward with a nominee when there are
others available to you. there are many judges who i'm sure conservatives would be happy to have on the court. i'd remind my colleagues the seat that brett kavanaugh aspires to fill was held by a justice who assumed the bench after one nominee was voted down by the senate and a senate withdrew his nomination. but the republican majority has pressed forward blindly on judge kavanaugh. even when brave women came forward to speak truth to power. why? for what cause? for the sake of winning? that's not reason enough. my colleagues on the other side, if you have doubts about judge kavanaugh's credibility, about his ability to tell the truth, about his ability to be impartial and nonpartisan, no
malter wh matter what you think of his jurisprudence or what he may or may not have done in high school and college you should not vote to confirm him to the supreme court. so, my friends, democrat and republican, for all the controversy, all the heavy handedness of the process, all the hyperbole and vilification of both sides, there's always hope that the senate can save itself. we can salvage decency here at the end. if judge kavanaugh's rejected, president trump will select another nominee, likely right of center, probably not to my liking, but without the cloud that hangs over this nominee and we can proceed to consider that nominee in a much less bitter, much better, less partisan way. a bipartisan majority of
senators considering fully the weight of judge kavanaugh's testimony, record, credibility, trustworthiness and temperament, considering fully the heartbreaking testimony of dr. christine blasey ford can vote to reject judge kavanaugh's nomination and ask the president to send the senate another name for the sake of the senate of the supreme court and of america. i hope, i pray my colleagues will do so. >> you've been watching senator chuck schumer, the democratic minority leader speaking on the senate floor. we expect to see majority leader mitch mcconnell any moment, and after that the vote to determine
whether brett kavanaugh move forward or not as the supreme court nominee. i want to go to kelly o'donnell who has some krcritical news. >> i've been talking to multiple sources who have been in contact with jeff flake and they say he has not revealed his decision but he is weighing a lot of concerns and factors. he was at the heart of the one-week pause where there was the expanded background check that has itself been controversial what jeff flake will do is critical. i'm told with people within the last hour who are in touch with him is he's not disclosing his intentions and he's weighing concerns and factors that suggest that perhaps his mind is not yet made up. >> kelly o'donnell, very interesting. i want to briefly go to senator ben cardin, democrat from maryland joining us on capitol hill. so glad to have you on the show. i want to get to mitch mcconnell speaking on the senate floor.
you heard kelly explain our new reporting on where senator jeff make is. how do you believe this vote is going to go? will jeff flake end up voting no on judge kavanaugh, do you think? >> i don't think any of us know. senator flake is a member who is making his own decision on this we respect that greatly. i know he's under tremendous pressure from all sides. he will do what he thinks is right. i hope at the end of the day he votes not to confirm. i just listened to senator schumer, he laid it out well. there's four senators right now that everyone is watching. >> senator, given all of the drama we're watching unfold right now on the senate floor, do you believe this could have been avoided if, for example, senator dianne feinstein had handled the allegation from dr. christine blasey ford was handled differently over the summer. >> i think this could have been handled differently by the republican leadership and the time schedule that was put on
this nomination. there were two sets of hearings, in both cases the investigations prior to those hearings were inadequate, i think that led to the problems. >> senator cardin, thank you. sorry to be so brief with you, we want to get to senator mcconnell on the senate floor. let's listen. >> give nothingtiice that total uncorroborated allegations are officially enough to destroy an american's life, or will it declare our society cannot, must not, will not set the bar so low. so, madam president, today is a pivotal day in the nomination process of this excellent judge. but it's a pivotal day for us here in the senate as well. the ideals of justice that have served our nation so well for so long are on full display.
so let's step back and sample a few choice moments that the senate and the american people have been treated to during the disgraceful, absolutely disgraceful spectacle of the last two weeks. the very night judge kavanaugh was announced as the president's choice, we heard the junior senator from oregon declare this nominee would pave the way to tyranny. his audience, crowds of far-left protesters, still filling in the blanks on their picket signs. they weren't sure who the nominee was going to be yet. we heard the junior senator from new jersey describe judge kavanaugh's nomination as a great moral struggle in which there are just two camps. you are either complicit and evil or you're fighting against it. more recently we heard the
junior senator from hawaii argue her personal disagreement with judge kavanaugh's philosophy met -- listen to this -- he deserved less of a presumption of innocence when it cams to allegations of misconduct. you disagree with her, you're not entitled to the presumption of innocence when it comes to allegations of misconduct. that's from a member of the judiciary committee? that's the definition of due process? apparently you get due process only if you agree with her. even more recently we saw the junior senator from rhode island hold forth with great confidence, great confidence, offering his expert interpretations of goofy jokes and high school yearbooks from the early 1980s. that was incredibly enlightening. innocent jokes? beer drinking references?
oh, no. our colleague was quite positive there must be another hidden or sinister meaning at play. until a number of judge kavanaugh's classmates set him straight earlier this week. so stop and consider these snapshots. the absurd iity, the indignity, this is our approach to confirming a supreme court justice? this is the senate's contribution to public discourse? before the ink dried on justice kennedy's retirement our democratic colleagues made it clear what this process would be about, delay, obstruct, resist. an before the ink dried on judge kavanaugh's nomination,
colleagues across the aisle including democratic members of the judiciary committee were racing to announce they had made up their minds and were totally opposed to his confirmation. mere hours after judge kavanaugh was nominated my friend the dec democratic leader said i will oppose him with everything i got, he said, hours after he was nominated. it was abun dandantly clear hisl was to defeat the nomination by any means necessary. it was right there from the beginning, madam president. a clear declaration, plain as day, nothing could get most democrats to consider this nominee with an open mind. it would be delaying tactics, obstruction, and so-called resistance until the final vote was called. for a few weeks efforts played
out along lines that sad sadly become ordinary around here. there were excuses for delay, those fell flat. there were gross distortions of judge kavanaugh's record that were batted down by outside fact checkers. and there were all the usual phony apocalyptic predictions. hostile to women, hostile to vulnerable, hos tritile to work same old tricks, same old playbook. but here was the problem, the old plays were not working. the distortions were being literally drowned out by the facts. senators received and reviewed more pages of background materials on judge kavanaugh's nomination than for every supreme court nomination
combined. we read judge kavanaugh's 12-year record of judicial rulings from our nation's second highest court, 300 plus opinions. we heard sworn testimony, written accounts from hundreds of character witnesses from all stages of judge kavanaugh's life and career. and the picture painted by these facts was nothing like the caricatu caricature. it was clear the old tactics weren't working. wasn't going to get the job done. the resistance demanded more. try something new, they said. we all know what happened next, uncorroborated allegations of the most sensitive and most serious sort were sharpened into political weapons. one such allegation shared by dr. ford in confidence with the democratic side of the judiciary
committee somehow mysteriously found its way into the press. chairman grassley immediately set out on a sober focused search for the truth. the committee collected testimony organized a new hearing and most recently asked for the supplemental fbi investigation, judge kavanaugh's seventh -- seventh fbi investigation. by any fair standard the facts, the actual facts, proved to be straightforward. no corroborating evidence, none. none. none was produced to support any of the allegations leveled against judge kavanaugh. no corroborating evidence from the fbi inquiry or from anywhere else. nothing. well, that wasn't enough for our democratic colleagues, of course. the facts were not exactly the
point, after all we sort of get it by now, when the very fbi investigation for which they had been clamoring turned up no new evidence, the democrats moved the goalpost yet again. i believe the latest story is that the whole investigation is invalid -- listen to this -- because individuals who had only recently been told secondhand or thirdhand about nearly 40-year-old allegations were not treated as essential witnesses. let me say that again. the latest story is that the whole investigation is invalid because individuals who had only recently been told secondhand or thirdhand about nearly 40-year-old allegations were not treated as essential witnesses. never mind that they didn't actually witness anything. they didn't witness anything. so let's be clear, madam
president, these are not witnesses. these are people supposedly in possession of hearsay that they first heard 35 years after the supposed fact. what nonsense. the people whom dr. ford claimed were witnesses, they have spoken with the fbi. we know that because they through their attorneys put out public statements saying so. what we know now is what we knew at this time a week ago. there is absolutely no corroborating evidence for these allegations. same thing we heard a week ago. if they were, you bet we would have heard about it, but there isn't. so notwithstanding that, madam president, the leak of dr.
ford's letter violating her privacy and wishes opened a feeding frenzy. the weaponization of her letter by the left led to a torrent of other equally uncorroborated allegations. they were dumped on judge kavanaugh and his family. and breathlessly -- breathlessly the media seized on them. the more outlandish the better. americans were informed judge kavanaugh mastermind violent drug gangs as a teenager, until that accuser walked her testimony back. we were informed judge kavanaugh beat somebody up on a boat in a rhode island harbor, until that accuser totally recanted. we heard another tall tale of physical assault until that account was thoroughly debunked by a sitting federal judge. oh, yes, we were informed that juvenile jokes in his high school yearbook were sinister
secret references. all the keystone cops were on the case. keystone cops were on the case, madam president. senate democrats cheered them on. they read parts of this uncorroborated, unbelievable mudslide -- mudslide into the senate record. they cited them in an official letter demanding that judge kavanaugh's nomination be withdrawn. were they true? well, of course that was quite beside the point. quite beside the point. so long as they were convenient. every effort was made to ebb sure t ensure the fact-free verdict and media would win out over the evidence.
make sure the mob prevails. but the uncob greauncorroborate the noise in the senate will not have the final say around here. the senate will have the final say. so, madam president, we're almost at the end of the runway. the cross roads of anger and fear and partisanship have blown strong these past weeks. they harmed a good man and his family, they've tarnished the dignity of this institution, but all of it can end today. the time has come to vote. the senate stands on the threshold of a golden opportunity. we have the opportunity to advance the nomination of an incredibly well qualified and well respected jurist who demands such excellent.
we have the opportunity to put judge brett kavanaugh on the supreme court where his distinguished service will make us and our flags pronation prou years to come. but we have the opportunity to do even more. today we can send a message to the american people that some core principles remain unfettered by the partisan passions of this moment. facts matter. fairness matters. the presumption of innocence is sacrosect. the senate turned their back on these things before, madam president, but never for long, never without deep regret. this institution does not look back proudly on the era of joseph mccarthy, nor on any of the other times when the politics of personal destruction poisoned its judgment. no. no, the senate looks back on those things with shame and with
a conviction that we cannot go down that road again. we know the senate is better than this. we know the nation deserves better than this by confirming judge brett kavanaugh to the supreme court, this brilliant juris it will be charged with upholding the rule of law and honoring american justice. we must hold ourselves to that very statemeame standard, we mu confirm a supreme court justice who make us proud and reconfirm our own commitment to the justice that every single american deserves. >> as a reminder to our guests in the galleries, expressions of approval or disapproval are not permitted. the clerk will report the motion to report cloture.
>> to be an associate justice of the supreme court of the united states signed by 17 senators. unanimous consent. >> is there objection? >> without objection. >> by unanimous consent the mandatory quorum call has been weighed. is it the sense of the senate of brett kavanaugh to be justice of the secure shall be brought to call. >> mr. alexander? >> ay erngs. >> ms. baldwin? >> no. >> you are listening now to the roll call. 30 minutes now the clock starts to thr voe cast of the vote. we are watching three critical people. susan collins came out and ended some of the drama surrounding this particular vote.
she is a yes on the procedural vote to continued forward with the nomination of brett kavanaugh. doesn't mean she will vote definitely for brett kavanaugh, right now she said she will move to proproceed, this cloture vot. so all eyes are on jeff flake, and others. >> susan collins did say she would proceed to the final vote here. as you pointed out we should not look at this as a proxy for how she'll vote in the end. in the case of betsy devoss, she voted to get to the end and then voted against devoss. this is similar to john mccain during the healthcare vote. he voted to get the final healthcare vote on the floor, continued to look over it and
ultimately voted against it. you have these undecided senators who have still been going over this fbi report. one producer saw joe manchin leaving the secure room where that fbi report is being kept a few minutes ago on his way to this vote. so what i think we're probably going to see here are a number of senators who say yes, let's keep this going, yes, let's move the ball forward, but they're not ready to come out and say what their decision is, in many cases they have not made that decision yet. >> here's a look at what senator collins had to say or not say. >> i'm sorry i startled you. from out of the way, thank you. >> excuse us. >> we have to get going. back up. back up. >> excuse us. >> excuse me. >> i will be voting yes on proceeding to the final confirmation vote and i will announce my intentions on how to
vote later today. thank you. >> have you made your mind up, senator? >> as you were hearing from susan collins, jeff flake is a yes to proceed with the nomination. this means that republicans -- this is not over until that gavel goes off in about 30 minutes, but with the support of both susan collins and jeff flake, it means the nomination for brett kavanaugh will proceed to a vote presumably tomorrow. what happens now avenue this vote closes? there will be up to 30 hours of floor speeches, debate, et cetera. one more time on that. i'm sorry. i'm being corrected. jeff flake has not voted yes on cloture. that was significant. if it were true, but we're getting misinformation here. so we're waiting to see what jeff flake does. it doesn't change the timeline here. when this vote ends which should be in about 22 minutes or so, you will see either a no vote, so either the nomination for brett kavanaugh does not proceed or it moves forward triggering a
clock of up to 30 hours, which would essentially put a final vote on brett kavanaugh, if this moves forward right around 4:00, 5:00 tomorrow night. >> likely tomorrow will be the final vote it looks like if this has the votes for cloture, we're waiting to see where lisa murkowski, jeff flake and joe manchin fall on this if one of them votes yes, it appears republicans have 50 votes to move forward. it is not clear if collins votes yes on this, that she will vote yes on the final. lisa murkowski also voted yes on the cloture foreb betsy devoss t voted no on the final. this is not a legal case where brett kavanaugh's freedoms is
being questioned. this is a question on whether he gets promoted from the second highest court to the highest court. heidi heitkamp yesterday red state democrat questioned the hearing called into question judge kavanaugh's temperament, hon neesty and impartiality, an this can what it will come down to. we don't know how jeff flake will go. flake traditionally votes with president trump and his party e especially on judicial nominations. >> you understand the relationships here. chuck todd spoke about the concern he is hearing from sources, casey hunt is hearing this as well, concern of the partisan view that kavanaugh seemed to espoused in that testimony last week. he has that new op-ed out in the "wall street journal" which seems to be a direct shot at saying, hey, i hear your
concerns, let me put those concerns to rest. >> certainly seems to be an effort to assuage concerns. i want to quote from that op-ed. own the eve of the vote, he said i might have been too emotional another times. i know my tone was sharp and i said a few things i video not have said. then he promised to be a fair and impartial judge which he said he has been throughout his career this comes after flake questioned his tone and suggested he was a little too partisan, after heitkamp who voted for neil gorsuch, these are questions that other senators have as well, and this could be a deciding fabe ining . it sounds like kavanaugh wanted to assure senators that that tone that they heard on thursday will not be the tone he has on the supreme court. >> garrett, heidi heitkamp we learned yesterday was a no. she is close with susan collins
and lisa murkowski two critical votes here on the final nomination count for brett kavanaugh. how does that relationship play into this? do you think senators collins and murkowski are feeling the pressure now that heidi heitkamp is a no? >> they might. there was that iconic photo. i think it was taken the night of the healthcare vote of heidi heitkamp and susan collins together in an elevator, they had this moment after all this pressure. there are only seven female the senators total in this body. they are by nature a close group. heitkamp and collins as collins being one of the more liberal republicans, heigtkamp being a more conservative democrat, they work together on a lot of thichgs athichg things and find themselves central on a lot of debates. i think the way they view these
issues are similar if not exactly the same. so, yes, i think heitkamp's personal closeness here -- this is the great thing about the senate. this is a small body, these people know each other. that personal closeness matters. and politically heitkamp's no vote makes it harder for joe manchin. >> i will intervurupt you. as it turns out, we have confirmed jeff flake is a yes on the cloture vote. he has now voted, i'm being told. that's confirmed. he will move forward now along with susan collins to continue -- to move to this final vote on brett kavanaugh. >> hang on. hang on. sorry, i was trying to listen to one other thing. i'm trying to hear what murkowski's vote is here. i'm seeing conflicting things about that. >> murkowski is a no. >> wow. >> murkowski is a no. joe manchin is a yes.
susan collins, jeff flake, joe manchin will move forward that means judge brett kavanaugh will get a shot at a final vote after up to 30 hours of floor speeches from democrats and republicans. he has passed this critical test. he is over this hurdle. incredibly significant for republican republicans, for the president who is watching this from the white house along with the vice president who is there now, i'm told. garrett, jennifer, charlie is with me on set. explain what happens next. we will see 30 hours potentially of republicans and democrats which sets us up for a final vote form nightomorrow night? >> we could see up to 30 hours. reaso reaso republicans, if they feel they have this vote or they could push this to the limit of the 30 hours. talking about the personal nature of the senate, this vote
could go a lot longer than 30 hours because steve daines, a republican from montana has said he'll be walking his daughter down the aisle at her wedding tomorrow in montana, and he may have to fly back sunday morning. they could hold this vote open. the fact that murkowski was a no and flake was a yes is fascinating to me. i've been saying for two days now i thought murkowski was the most likely to vote no here. she's politically bulletproof in alaska. she's been listening closely to women from alaska who have been coming here talk to her about the vote. her governor back at home doesn't like brett kavanaugh. she had a lot of political cavanaugh, itcal reasons. she said i'm setting this avoid now. go ahead? >> let's be very, very clear here. the vote to confirm brett
kavanaugh will now happen. that's what this vote this morning was all about. but this is not a done deal yet. just because these senators, susan collins, joe manchin, jeff flake voted yes on this procedural vote does not mean that they are also a yes to confirm brett kavanaugh. >> oh, no. correct. if i were brett kavanaugh, i would be very, very nervous right now. he already lost one vote of this critical four in lisa murkowski. joe manchin is not going to be the 50th vote in this case. i have zuhave such a hard time imagining if the two republicans vote no that joe manchin would ride to brett kavanaugh's rescue as the only democrat who would vote in his favor. i think that means that republicans have to keep both of these last two wavering republicans home, susan collins who has been shown she has been willing in the past to vote against the president even under enormous political pressure an jeff flake who will be hanging up his spurs in two months and will be done being united states senator. there is nothing the republican
party can do to jeff flake if he does not vote the way they want him to on this. again, this is a little bit of tea leaf reading, but bear with me, the fact that flake last friday was a yes on brett kavanaugh until he asked for this investigation, the fact he came out yesterday and said he was reasonably satisfied with the thoroughness of the fbi report and the fact he has not gotten to a full yes yet sits oddly with me. if he was comfortable before, he was comfortable with what the fbi has done, why is he not a full yes yet? that would make me if i was brett kavanaugh sitting at home watching this very nervous. >> at 10:48 eastern time, 7:48 pacific, we have a couple more minutes before this vote officially closes. senators can still change their vote. we don't expect that to happen, but we're not calling this thing until it's done. at this point senator susan collins, senator jeff flake, senator joe manchin are all yes
to move forward for a final vote on brett kavanaugh's nomination. that means if this vote holds in the next 20 minutes here that will happen. lisa murkowski, the republican senator from alaska is a no. those were the four we were watching. those are the four most important senators right now in this process. as we've been talking about what happens now? you can see lisa murkowski, this is video of her before walking into the capitol. what happens now? up to 30 hours of speeches. you'll see republicans and dechdechl democrats speaking on the senate floor. neither has to take that entire time. the expectation is they will. that sets up a final vote for brett kavanaugh tomorrow. we don't know if these three senators will be a yes for brett kavanaugh today. they could vote differently tomorrow than they are today. kelly o'donnell is at the white house where they have been watching extremely closely this vote. don mcgahn is in the senate
chamber, he has been watching this procedural vote go down. >> yes. we expect the president has been watching this carefully and we're told some of the people who have been allies in the process for brett kavanaugh have been in the gallery allies for brett kavanaugh are in the upper level that's not seen by the cameras that are controlled by the senate gallery, and they are watching this in realtime. we don't believe that judge kavanaugh is there. that would not be unusual for a nominee not to be present when this is unfolding. i think part of what has to weigh in to what's happening today is typically when you have senators who voted one way for cl cloture to end a debate, often it's about legislation where there's an opportunity between votes one and two to change things. when it's a confirmation vote, it is still the same individual with the same facts and the same political atmosphere to be considered, so that weighs on this as well. as you very clearly explained,
today's vote is not an absolute, a precursor to what we'll see tomorrow, but it is not the normal situation in legislation where there might be a reason to say, let's all consider it, but there's opportunity for change. at the same time, everyone wants to see a final vote, politically that is necessary. a final vote in terms of what all sides politically want to know. there has to be a real end point for brett kavanaugh whether he's elevated to the court or not. that makes sense that people who may vote a different way tomorrow would want to see the process go forward. so from the white house, this is a pins and needle wait and see time. we've seen the president in the past sometimes get ahead of himself and comment early. i don't necessarily expect that now. >> hallie. >> kelly o'donnell. kelly, stand by for us here. we're going to channel our inner cspan for a moment. we expect one more vote that needs to be cast, but at this point the four key senators have made their views clear. senator collins, flake, mansion,
all a yes to move forward with a final vote on brett kavanaugh's nomination. let's listen. >> are there any senators in the chamber who wish to change their vote? as a reminder to our guests in the gallery, expressions of approval or disapproval are not permitted in the senate galleries. on this vote, the yeas are 51. the noes are 49, the motion is agreed to. >> that's the gavel, and that
means that a final vote to potentially put judge brett kavanaugh on the supreme court will happen. up to 30 hours of floor speeches are about to begin from both democrats and republicans. if both sides take their full time, they don't have to, but if they do, that sets us up for a final vote tomorrow afternoon. i'm joined now by a whole burchl -- bunch of reporters and panelists and analysts. let me go to the hill, back to garrett haake. senators are beginning presumably to file out. i know we don't have much reaction just yet. you're up in the russell rotunda. who are you looking for? i assume lisa murkowski is top of your list. >> reporter: i think lisa murkowski is going to do what lisa murkowski does so well is not talk about this decision. she will talk to alaska press first. she is very, very focused on her home state at all times. that's why she makes a lot of the decisions that she did. remember, she voted for the tax bill and went home and told everybody she voted to open anwar, getting oil access in
anwar was why she voted for the tax bill. she is the most local senator you could possibly imagine. i want to talk to jeff flake. i've been fascinated now. i think he's the next most critical person here. he's the person with the least to lose politically on any vote he decides to make. he's a person that seemed the most comfortable voting yes. this is now the second yes vote he's cast for brett kavanaugh. he voted in committee to move him to the floor. he continues to vote to move him forward but also continues to not come out with a full statement of support. i think he's probably the next most interesting person to talk to here. and jeff flake in the pantheon of senators up here is normally one of the most accessible people we deal with, and he has been a ghost over the last 36 hours. >> his wife, garrett, i understand, is in the chamber. she has joined him in the gallery looking over him, and we're getting word of sort of what was going down behind the scenes when this was happening. she was there when jeff flake, his name was called. he didn't stand. he just said i.
lisa murkowski said her no vote apparently so inaudibly that reporters in the room wondered did she just say no because it was so quiet. when you talk about jeff flake, i want to bring in somebody that has been sitting with us watching this vote, anna maria archie la. she is one of the women that confronted jeff flake in that infamous elevator video. jeff flake moving forward for a final vote on judge brett kavanaugh. still some questions about whether he'll change his mind for the final vote tomorrow. >> he has a tremendous opportunity to demonstrate that men have a role in helping change the culture that allows sexual violence to be so prevalent. the experience of dr. ford is not hers alone. thousands and thousands and thousands of women are telling their stories to allow the country to look at us, to look at ourselves in the mirror and say is this who we want to be. he has an opportunity to say, no, this is not who we want to
be. >> what kind of pressure will jeff flake face over the next 24 hours given that last week, if you flash back to the end of last week, jeff flake announced he was going to be a yes vote on judge brett kavanaugh, walked into that judiciary committee hearing but before he got there was stopped by you and somebody else that you know who shared your very personal story of sexual assault. >> yes, he's going to -- there are hundreds of people today in the senate building trying to have conversations with senators. we think it is fundamental that they remember that this is not just about brett kavanaugh. this is about our democracy working for people. what the lesson that i want to draw from the moment in that elevator is that when we force human connections with elected officials who almost never practice listening to us, we can actually help them make better decisions. the decision that senator flake made on friday was better for the country. he said the country needs an investigation, and now he can -- he has an opportunity to yet
again listen to that way of govern by listening. >> the president talked about these protesters and seemed to allude to you frankly in a tweet. he said the very rude elevator screamers are paid professionals only looking to make senators look bad. he said also look at all the professional made identical signs paid for by sorros and others. these are not signs made in the basement from love. are you a paid professional? >> i work for a community organization. i work for a network of community organizations. i've spent my entire adult life building spaces where regular people can collectively act so that politicians listen to us. that's my job. i showed up to the capital with hundreds of people that my organization and other organizations brought so that we could tell our stories, but when i was talking to senator flake in that moment, i was a woman. i was a mother. i was a survivor, and i was someone who believes that we can connect and through those
connections make better decisions for each other. >> i want you to elaborate on that. prior to the president's tweet this morning, there were some articles, some news pieces on fox, elsewhere, places we know he watches talking about you. talking about this moment, saying in both of these instances they were seemingly organic powerful protests but in both instances the women have come from a nonprofit that has received funding from george soros. they mentioned you as the group's coexecutive director. perhaps that is where the president is trying to draw this link? >> if the president wants to know whether i work for a social justice organization. the answer is yes, and i've worked for a social justice organization since i was 23. that's not news. come on. what is news is that women across the country are doing something that's really powerful. we're sharing our stories. it took me 30 years, and i've been doing social justice work for the last 20. it took me 30 years to tell my story, and i did it because i think we have an opportunity to
be better. >> before we wrap up the show, i want to get over to kimberly crenshaw, one of the law professors who signed on to a letter against judge brett kavanaugh's confirmation. she also assisted anita hill's legal team during the clarence thomas hearings. kimberly, as you've watched this unfold, incredible drama on the senate floor over the last 45 minutes. >> yes, absolutely. and i think it's important for all listeners to recognize this is not over until it's over. i was involved in the confirmation of clarence thomas. i do know that the republicans and the white house claim that he had all the votes before he did, so this is going to go down to the wire. as it does so, it's important to recognize that over 2,500 law professors in an unprecedented act called upon the senate to not confirm judge kavanaugh, basically on the argument that he was unqualified to be elevated to the supreme court.
one of the things to remember is aside from smarts you have to show judicial temperament, and everything he did showed he did not have that temperament. >> thank you for coming on the show. i want to thank all our guests and panelists who have been with us. craig melvin, you have a lot to unpack. the final vote will move forward now on judge brett kavanaugh's confirmation to the supreme court. hallie, thank you. good morning to you. craig melvin here at msnbc headquarters in new york city. we are glued to the floor of the u.s. senate just a few moments ago as hallie indicated there, judge brett kavanaugh passing that key hurdle for confirmation to the supreme court. slim vote, 51-49 on that procedural vote. three of the four key senators voting to end debate and proceed to a final vote. collins, flake, mansion, all yes. senator lisa murkowski, though, a no. remember, though, this is the first of two big votes and there