tv Dateline MSNBC October 6, 2018 2:00am-3:01am PDT
collins' vote. maine, and america, deserve better, period. to be clear susan collins is not running for election next month, but she is up in 2020. like i said, oh. watch this space. that does it for us tonight. we will see you again on monday! watch this space. >> that does it for us tonight. we will see you again on monday. now time for the last word. >> it's one of those things you hold it and look at it and wonder how many times do i have to read this before i see that it's fake or something? but, yeah, really strange. >> i
immediately started googleing susan rice connections to maine, susan rise, maine. >> that was like sticking the toe in the letter of history. two letters, m-e. >> the clarification, everybody is like, dude, you should, you totally should after all that, her clarification clearly laying a predicate, this is not a
terrible idea. maybe you should keep an eye on her. that was a whole new idea. >> this was it was one of those days. one republican senator voted against brett kavanaugh. alaska lisa murkowski said she decided how to vote on her way to the senate chamber to cast her vote. now, senator murkowski had women fly down from alaska to try to influence her vote and it seems as though they've succeeded. we will be talking to two of those women later in this hour. senate rules allow the video camera shots of individual senators only when those senators are on their feet
speaking. and so there is no video of senator murkowski as she entered the senate chamber, having just made her decision on the way. as she was sitting there waiting on the senate floor and as that vote was approaching. we have no video of senator murkowski after she voted.
steven dennis of bloom burg was able to keep an eye on her from the press goalry above the senate floor in the senate chamber, looking down on senator murkowski when she was on the floor. here is what he described in the tweet. watch murkowski entire time. her demeanor changed a bit after collins and flake voted aye -- her vote no longer the deciding vote. she looked down for a while, closed her eyes, blinked a bunch, then looked up we are solve. when her name was called, she stood and said, no softly. senator murkowski did not fully explain her vote until tonight on the senate floor. senator murkowski's explanation was an echo from yesterday from former justice paul stwheemps said he changed his mind personally about the suitability of brett kavanaugh because of the way he behaved in last
week's judiciary hearing in which brett kavanaugh claimed through tears and rage that he was facing an attempted rape allegation because of a democratic party conspiracy that included what brett kavanaugh called revenge on behalf of the clintons. justice stevens was horrified by what brett kavanaugh had to say, not in brett kavanaugh's denial of the accusations against him. but in the accusations that brett kavanaugh made about so many people who were out to get him and justice stevens said that that meant that brett kavanaugh could not be trusted to be an impartial supreme court justice on cases that might involve the large range of people in organizations that brett kavanaugh attacked in his own confirmation hearing. senator murkowski did not mention john paul stevens and what she had to say tonight. but surely every member of the senate knows exactly what
justice stevens said yesterday, because it's the first time a retired supreme court justice ever publicly opposed the nomination of a new supreme court justice. here is some of what senator murkowski had to say. >> i have a very high bar for any nominee to the supreme court of the united states. the code of judicial conduct rule 1.2, this is one that many, many people in this body know, but it states that, quote, a judge act at all times in a manner that promotes public confidence in the independence, integrity and impartiality of the judiciary and shall avoid impropriety and the appearance of impropriety and after, after the hearing that we all watched
last week, last thursday, it became clear to me or was becoming clearer that that appearance of impropriety has become unavoidable. and i have been deliberating, agonizing, about what is fair? is this too unfair a burden to place on somebody that is dealing with the worst, the most horrific allegations that go to go to your integrity, that go to everything you are and i think we all struggled with how we would respond, but i am reminded, there are only, there
are only nine seats on the bench of the highest court in the land and these seats are occupied by these men and women for their lifetime and so those who seek one of these seats must meet the highest standard in all respects at all times and that is hard. >> when republican senator susan collins announced her decision for brett kavanaugh today she became the deciding vote against brett kavanaugh's nomination. susan collins spent 45 many wants to get to the point she would vote for brett kavanaugh, but the it was obvious from the start when she began praising his record and most importantly when she announced the standard that she used for evaluating dr. ford's accusation against
brett kavanaugh. >> in evaluating any given claim of misconduct, we will be ill served in the long run if we abandon the presumption of innocence. >> senator collins claimed that we should always presume that someone is innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt which we all know is true in a criminal trial but has never been true in the united states senate and susan collins, herself, does not believe in that standard in the united states senate. susan collins is one of the senators who said that al franken should resign from the senate, even though sexual harassment accusation against him had not been investigated at all. al franken, himself, immediately asked for a senate ethics investigation before any other senator asked, he asked for a
senate ethics committee investigation in which if we are to believe susan collins today, susan collins would have given him the presumption of innocence, but susan collins did not give him the presumption of innocence, said he should resign, without one minute of investigation, susan collins threw that presumption away and said senator franken should resign. the senate has never used the presumption of innocence standard with nominees. never, for any position. many nominees have been forced to withdraw for much less than what brett kavanaugh was accused of and so senator collins' attempt to attach her vote to a sacred principle of presumption of innocence in the occupation senate was not really what she was doing today. presumption of innocence was a convenient tool for her to cite today. don't expect susan collins to use the presumption of innocence
tomorrow if a democratic senator faces accusations. senator collins reviewed brett kavanaugh's denial of dr. ford's accusation as if the denial was a fact because brett kavanaugh said it under oath. >> judge kavanaugh forcefully denied the allegations under penalty of perjury. mark judge denied under penalty of felony that he had witnessed an assault. >> so dr. ford accused two people of committing a crime, two people of attempting to rape her, brett kavanaugh and mark judge and susan collins is very impressed by the two accused criminals denying the crime under oath. that's what accused criminals do every day. susan collins did not just give brett kavanaugh the presumption of innocence. she also gave him the
presumption of honesty. she presumed brett kavanaugh was telling the truth and possibly even worse, she presumed that mark judge was telling the truth. a man who has said that he was a blackout alcoholic in high school at the time of this accusation and, therefore, obviously was involved in and participated in all sorts of events in his life that he does not remember. republicans always knew that in order to confirm brett kavanaugh, they were going to have to keep mark judge invisible. they were going to have to make sure that the other person who was in the room during the attack, according to dr. ford, was not brought into the room where dr. ford and brett kavanaugh testified. republicans feared that no one would be able to believe mark judge about anything that he claims to remember or not remember and so the suppression of evidence, the refusal to call witnesses was an important part
of the republican plan, so that a senator like susan collins in casting the deciding vote in this nomination can stands up in the united states senate today and treat the accusations against brett kavanaugh as a closed case. but it could some day be a reopened case, if democrats in the house of representatives would decide to investigate. the fbi investigation of brett kavanaugh that was never a real investigation. leading off our discussion now, former federal prosecutor and msnbc analyst joe banks and msnbc contributor liss' graves the former chief counsel for nominations for democrats on the senate judiciary committee and the former deputy assistant attorney general in the department of justice. lisa, you know more about supreme court nominations than any of us. you have been with us on our coverage of this every night we have been on it. i just want to give you the floor tonight. i don't presume to even ask you
a question or guide you in any direction. i just want to know what you are feeling, what you are thinking tonight. >> well, thank you, lawrence, so much for having me on and be a part of this dialogue with you with our country the past couple weeks. it's been a real roller coaster ride, there have been tremendous hope and disappointment in the way the process has been so railroaded by republicans. right now i have tremendous sorrow for the court and for the nation for this man being put on the court when he is so manifestly unfit for that role. he fails every high standard that's set to that court in terms of impariality, fairness, trust worthies in and internment. i think he said e held -- when he was talking to fox news, he wasn't screaming. he was screaming at democratic members of that judiciary committee a performance most
unbecoming for a judge. but i have great hope that the american people have witnessed this sham that the republicans have put together to install him on the court and that they will hold him to account. they will hold the politicians to account that's tried to sweep the testimony on eyewitness testimony of dr. ford under the table. and i think that there are going to be a great surge in activity by women and men across the country at is this tremendous injustice. and i also think there will be an asterisk besides every decision that justice kavanaugh issues in favor of the people who helped install him on that court and against the interests of the american people. >> i want to listen to president trump when he announced what he thought the standard of proof should be in this situation, this case, if we want to call it that the judiciary committee. because we always knew, one of the first things i discussed on this program, it was going to come down to a standards of proof in evaluating the evidence
presented to the committee by dr. ford. let's listen to what donald trump said. let's listen to how much doubt donald trump said was tolerable in this case. >> i feel that the republicans, and i can speak for myself, we should go through a process. because there shouldn't even be a little doubt. there shouldn't be a doubt. >> joanne banks, no one on the republican side agreed with that. none of them aploo i'd the standard of no doubt. they went with reasonable doubt and gave the benefit of the reasonable doubt to brett kavanaugh. >> actually, i don't think they even used a standard of reasonable doubt. that's what you would use in a criminal trial. this was a job interview. this was for a promotion from the circuit court to the highest court in our land a lifetime appointment. and the standard is not that of a criminal case the standard is was he at all believable? did he display judicial
temperament? as lisa just said, his performance in front of the senate last thursday showed that he is temperamentally unsuited for any court. he attacked the judges. i'm sorry, he attacked the senators who were questioning him. he acted in a way that was completely not appropriate for any candidate for the supreme court or for any candidate. who would hire anybody who behaved that way if it was a corporate position. no one would. it was not the right standard and susan collins today said it wasn't a beyond a reasonable doubt standard. she used a much lower standard and gave him a pass on it. but no one would have believed them. people believe that men who come forward saying they were attacked in a sexual manner by a priest, they come forward 30 years later and no one questions whether they're telling the truth. so why is it when a woman comes forward and has a very credible
case to make and says things, they won't even investigate. anita hill had more of a sympathetic hearing in the sense that at least the fbi did more of an investigation, not adequate and the senate didn't allow corroborating witnesses who were there to testify. here they didn't even look for them. of course, you can't find evidence if you are told not to interview the people who have the evidence. that was wrong. >> and the senate brought in 22 witnesses to testify about anita hill's accusations. of course, we sue they didn't bring in any witnesses beyond dr. ford. and here, this brings us to james roach's tweet. james roach is a i don't rememberer yale roommate of brett kavanaugh. he tweeted tonight he has been tweeting about this thing regularly. he said i just heard about another classmate at yale who reached out to the local fbi field office to describe kavanaugh drinking, a nasty
drunk, definitely blackout and gambling, no reply. and that's one of what now is several people from yale who had information and wanted to bring it to the fbi? yeah. i think lisa and jill are absolutely right. i would say it's even worse than we are talking about it right now. they didn't even imply a presumption of innocence to kavanaugh. they implied a presumption they were going to approve him no matter what. and that point, lawrence, is the most important, that they intentionally ignored evidence that someone who was being considered for the highest court of the happened may have actually lied to them under oath. they refused to look at it. when they said they would reopen the fbi background check, they tied the hands, they literally. not they the white house, let's be clear, they handcuffed the fbi, so we're talking about a democratic process that lacked all democracy.
but it didn't even apply any standard because a standard would have said that we will actually even if we were presuming innocence, we will look at the evidence to ensure that that presumption actually applies. they did not do it. >> and, lisa, senator murkowski seemed to accept justice john paul stevens' standards of evaluateing this and who would be better at evaluating that? no one knows more about the supreme court than he does. but susan collins, it's like she didn't hear a word that justice stevens said. >> that's right. i think she in es tens sense didn't want to hear a word from him and others to those to credit brett kavanaugh as truthful because he testified under oath ignores the mountain of evidence that he repeatedly testified falsely under oath in 2004, 2006 the beginning of september, 2018 and at the end of september and so he was, not
until any such presumption. in fact, under the rules of evidence, if they were applicable. everything he says is presumed to be false and falsely exonerateing. >> thank you for starting our discussion tonight. when we come back from this break, if you think that the united states senate did not serve the majority of the people today, you are right. and that is what the senate does all too frequently. and later, two women who traveled all the way to alaska to try to be heard by senator lisa murkowski, they were definitely heard by senator m murkows murkowski. welcome to the xfinity store!
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sickening. >> that is the word i kept hearing this week from sexual assault survivors who felt they were being ignored by the majority in the occupation senate. >> that is the word i kept hearing from women who never experienced sexual assault but felt the majority in the united states senate does not believe the word of a woman is of equal value to the word of a man. sickening is the word i kept hearing from the people that opposed bres kavanaugh's information, which is a much larger group of people than supporters. brett kavanaugh is the least popular supreme court nominee in history and is on his way to becoming the least popular nominee ever actually confirmed. he's the least popular nominee to get confirmed. the last nominee with brett kavanaugh's polling numbers was defeated in the senate vote.
in that case, the united states senate followed the express will of the people. not today. and that adds something profoundly disturbing to to proponents of the kavanaugh nomination have tonight. there is an unfortunate truth at the base of what most people are feeling tonight and that truth is that the senate is not a democratic institution. that is the sickening core of what we feel deep down, the senate degrees the american illusion of democracy as it was designed to do. we are allowed to ignore that uncomfortable truth most of the time. but not now. the founders deliberately created an anti-democratic institution and called it the united states senate. that was not the founder's only antidemocratic design. the founders did not believe in democracy.
they experimented with it. they did not allow most people to be voters. their experiment in democracy was to only allow voting among men, white men. >> that group of white republican men you saw sitting in the senate judiciary committee was the founding father's idea of what democracy was supposed to look like. that's what senators were supposed to look like. that's what voters were supposed to look like. most adults would not be allowed to vote in the founder's design. most of them. no women were ever supposed to be allowed to vote according to founding fathers. that's why there were no founding mothers. no black people were ever supposed to be allowed to vote because slaves were never supposed to be allowed to vote. no uneducated people. no poor people. different states stud different rules about how much happened you had to have or how much you literally had to pay in a poll tax so that you could cast a
ballot. but even that favored white male minority that was allowed to vote was not allowed to vote for a president and they were not allowed to vote for united states senators. they were only allowed to voted for electors who would then meet in an electoral college and those electors would decide who a president would be and those electors were free to vote for anyone they wanted to be president the founding fathers didn't think mere citizens would ever be wise enough to vote for a occupation senator so that was left to the state legislatures to decide who they would be. the founding fathers did not believe in democracy. they never believed in one man, one vote and they certainly never believed in one person, one vote. and so when it came time to design the united states senate, since they were not believers in one man, one vote, each state
would get two senators. the big states would get two. the tiny states would get two. i can see how that was fair at the time. they never dreamed there would be one day a state call to california with the population almost the size of england and that delaware would become even smaller in relative size to what it was then compared to the big states, when it was a founding member of the united states of america. the population gap between the big states and the small states is bigger than ever and keeps getting bigger all the time, so the votes of new yorkers and californians become worth less every day in the united states senate compared to the votes of people in the dakotas and wyoming and most of the confederate states and so the senate is now deeply undemocratic ally getting worse every single day. people who live in countries that have never really pretended
to be fully democratic don't feel the disappointment and sickness that americans feel when democracy so obviously fails. people in those countries are realists about the limits of their so-called democracies, an american realist knows that the federal government has never even tried democracy, not for one day. and so today, in the occupation senate the senators who represent 55% of the american people lost an important senate vote. again. i love the senate when i worked there. just loved it. everyone did. and everyone was proud to work there like everyone else in the senate, i looked down on the unruly house of representatives with its gerrymandered districts. but after my first few years working in the senate, it was slowly donning on me that the
senate was an unfixable crime against democracy. and that is truly sickening. >> that is at the base of what people are feeling today. you live in a country where the founders believed you would never be smart enough to vote directly for a occupation senator. and they were wrong about. that they were wrong about a lot. but it does mean that you have to wok much harder in this country if you really do believe in democracy. if you want to elect a united states senate with a majority that actually represents a majority of the people then you and everyone you know who feels that way has to work much harder than the founding fathers ever believed that you could or you would. and that means that every election matters, whether it's a mid-term election or a presidential election year and it means most importantly in
every state that every vote matters. the vote for united states senate, that the founding fathers never wanted you to have today is the day you're going to get motivated... get stronger... get closer. start listening today to the world's largest selection of audiobooks on audible. and now, get more. for just $14.95 a month,
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and your first audiobook is free. cancel anytime and your books are yours to keep forever. audible. the most inspiring minds. the most compelling stories. text "listen5" to 500500 to start your free trial today. . >> how do you think history will judge the u.s. senate? >> poorly. >> i think that remains to be seen. and we'll know a lot more in november, but i don't think that the millions of women who have been protesting and calling
their senators offices are going to be particularly happy if we see a confirmation vote. >> joining our discussion jennifer palmieri, former communications director for president obama and hillary clinton's campaign. jennifer, i want to give an open floor to simply react to what you saw today. >> it is very distressing, on the one hand, we see someone that proves himself unworthy to be on the united states supreme court in many ways is likely to get confirmed tomorrow. but i think what we have seen watching happening in the country today is history. the segment that you just did sort of set up this question that we are wrestling with, which we are coming to the terms that power has been held in this country by men, by white men. while we had a great idea about the country being created of all
people being equal, we enfranchise a small number of people and disenfranchise a large number. because that only applied if you were white, a man and owned land and that bill is due and as distressing as it is to know that brett kavanaugh is likely to be on the court, i look at the progress that we've made in just the last 30 years. you look at the anita hill hearing and what she underwent and despite that, and despite seeing how the president of the united states, the president of the united states treats women who have accused him of sexual assault, christine bureaucracy ford had the courage to come forward and say this man assaulted me, i am sure of it. i oom sure it was this man. here's some things i don't remember about it, but i am sure of. that i am sure i was assaulted by him and it was he who did it. i am willing to say it in front of the occupation senate and all the world. in turn, you have seen an outpouring of thousands and
thousands of women come forward to say the same. you see these women in the capitol who confront senators with rage and fear and i am happy to say 'pride about talking about their assault and expecting that they are going to be heard, believed and respected. and no matter what the outcome is tomorrow, that's not going to change. a year ago today the "new york times" wrote the first story about harvey weinstein and really ignited me too. harvey weinstein, matt lauer, charlie rose, mark halperin. al franken. you know the list goes on and the occupation senate, that may be one place where people in that chamber on the republican side and i'm sorry to say one democrat don't get it. but the voters do. and that's what i think you will see the reaction coming in november. >> let's take a look at the polling that jennifer just mentioned between the difference
between the clarence thomas situation and the brett kavanaugh situation. i think we have it up on the screen, but more people actually believed clarence thomas over anita hymn. anita hymn was only believed by 24%. clarps thomas by 40% 27 years ago. now, christine blasey ford is believed by 45% of all the four people, the person who has been believed the most in real time when it was happening. 45%. brett kavanaugh, fewer people believed brett kavanaugh than clarence thomas, down to 33%. so lisa that is a kind of grim polling picture of a very slow progress. i think what you pointed out before we have a senate disliked by most american people to an institution of the supreme court not subject to real democratic
checks by the people. and on the nation of what we have seen, even with the fears i think many people had after the election in 2016 of donald trump and the potential vacancy of the supreme court, i don't think yoen anyone thought they would find a man in terms of his image in terms of the lying and being accused of sexual assault and partisanship and putting forth a baseless conspiracy theories. here we stand. i think the american women in this country and men are not going to stand for. that i think we are seeing a rising asurge. i think in 2018 and 2020 women and men will unite to repeople, repudiate what's happening today this weekend in washington and what's happening to deny our democracy, the full measure of our democracy through many of these senators in that occupation senate and that injustice that they're doing right now. >> as the accident of timing would have it, sonio sotomayor and alana kagan appeared and
were graduates of princeton. justice sotomayor talking about the institutional reputation now for the supreme court and how the court holds on to legitimacy in this atmosphere and what a challenge that is. let's listen to that. >> i think we have a chance of holding on to our legitimacy. as elena says, though, we are each going to have to think about how to do that and how to implement and support our institutional reputation. >> and, jennifer that institutional reputation seems like more of a challenge than ever. >> yeah. so sobering to hear her say we have a chance to hold on. >> just a chance. >> just a chance and the one thing that i have not been able to move beyond is understanding that when brett kavanaugh walked into the hearing room last week,
he thought he was done. he spoke of his nomination in the past tense. he talked about what, when i still believed there is a chance i would be confirmed so one piece he left out of his op-ed to the journal was the truth. which was that the aryan i gave in the judiciary committee was when i thought i was going to lose. even he thought the republicans would not confirm. after what they heard. but despite what they heard from christine blasey ford and despite the very partisan and what i found truly shocking testimony that he gave on last week, the republicans continued on and gave them their approval. and, you know, now you are in a situation where you have a occupation supreme court justice sonia sotomayor saying we have a chance of holding on to that integrity of the court. >> thank you both for joining
nomination. >> there is an emotion that really has been unleashed in these recent weeks and these are discussions that we need to have as a country. we need to have these as a country. we need to bring survivors to a place where they feel that they can heal, but until you come out of the shadow and know and do so without shame, it's pretty hard to heal. >> senator murkowski's office was flooded with women trying to talk to her, at least people that traveled from alaska in the hope of being heard by their senator. here is something that lisa murkowski heard from them. >> i have met with so many survivors. and i know that every single one of us has. we've heard those voices.
we've heard those voices and i hope that we have all learned something, that we owe it to the victims of sexual assault to do more and to do better and to do it now with them. >> two women who traveled the 4,000 miles from alaska to washington, d.c. to speak to lisa murkowski to talk about brett kavanaugh will join us next. start listening today to the world's largest selection of audiobooks on audible. and now, get more. for just $14.95 a month, you'll get a credit a month good for any audiobook, plus two audible originals exclusive titles you can't find anywhere else. if you don't like a book, you can exchange it any time, no questions asked. automatically roll your credits over to the next month if you don't use them. with the free audible app, you can listen anytime, and anywhere.
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but that didn't stop some women from alaska from making the trip in the hope of being heard by their senator lisa murkowski. two of those women are joining us now. carrie, tell me when you decided to go to washington and how long did you plan to be there? this is the kind of trip where you can't quite be sure how long you're going to be needed there? >> hi, lawrence. thank you for having me. i just decided on tuesday night when i heard that there were over 100 women coming to d.c. with the aclu, and i jumped at the opportunity to be able to
talk to senator murkowski even if there was a glimmer of hope we could influence her decision on the vote. >> what has it been like for you visiting the united states senate and trying to have an influence there? >> thank you so much, lawrence, for inviting us, first. actually, this is my first time, yes, in the senate and trying to go through this procedure. it has been very, very uplift ing and also it has been very very hard to see what is happening in our judicial system. >> carrie, what did you tell senator murkowski when you had your chance? >> i told senator murkowski that
i believed dr. christine blasey ford and i watched brett kavanagh demonstrate that he doesn't have the tech ramt mper be a supreme court justice. i asked her to be brave and vote her conscious for all the women in the whole united states, i asked her to please vote no. >> what did you tell senator murkowski when you got your chance? >> i came to washington, d.c. as a teacher, as a mother, as a grandmother to see senator murkowski. and i have to thank her immensely for being so kind to accept our visit and to invite us to her office and to listen to each one of us individually and take her time to listen to such stories that they were heart wrench iing.
as a teacher, i have to say the vote to confirm judge kavanagh, it tells our survivors of physical and sexual abused victims that they have absolutely no rights in our judicial system. senator murkowski was so kind to listen to us, but i was appalled today in the senate what i witnessed. >> carrie, did you have a feeling that lisa murkowski was going to vote against the nomination? did you at any point get the feeling that you knew what she was going to do?
>> when we were in the meeting with her, you could tell she definitely cared what we had to say. it was obvious that she was willing to listen to us, and you could tell that the stories that people shared in the office with her really meant something to her. i have been hopeful all along, but i did have hope after that meeting that she would vote no. i told her during that meeting that she had a chance to truly be a hero for women if she would vote no. tonight's last word is next.
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for tonight's last word, we turn to two members of the united states supreme court who spoke today at princeton university. >> i don't believe that you can be part of the working world without having a moment, a story, if not more than one, about being treated differently because you're a woman. >> this is a really divided time. part of the court's strength and part of the court's legitimacy depends on people not seeing the
court in the way that people see the rest of the governing structures of this country now. in other words, people thinking of the court as not politically divided in the same way, as not an extension of politics, but instead somehow above the fray. >> justice sonia sotomayor and justin elena kegan get tonight's last word. tonight, it's all over but the final vote. the confirmation of brett kavanagh seems certain after an epic day in the senate. susan collins of may solidified mitch mcconnell's pledge to plow right through. what about dr. ford's testimony and the millions of americans she spoke for?
and at the white house tonight, euphoria and relief, we're told, after their second court pick of this presidency and this will leave a mark. we have breaking news from the "new york times" tonight. we're standing by to talk to one of the reporters breaking the story in just a moment. his confirmation isxp