Daines slams Dems' 'desperation tactics' against Kavanaugh

This is a rush transcript from "Your World," September 24, 2018. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

NEIL CAVUTO, HOST: Man, oh, man, I have a feeling Thursday is going to be a very busy day. That is today Christine Blasey Ford states her case about what the judge did or didn't do to her when they were teenagers.

That is also the day that Rod Rosenstein faces the music, more to the point, the president of the United States, when they sit down for chat at the White House.

Welcome, everybody. I'm Neil Cavuto. And this is "Your World," and what a fast moving world, at that.

John Roberts traveling with the president in New York ahead of his U.N. speech tomorrow -- John.


A lot of drama earlier today, when Rod Rosenstein, the deputy attorney general, on his way to a pre-scheduled meeting at the White House, let slip to some of his colleagues that he was expecting that when he arrived at the White House, he was going to be fired.

Of course, it was nothing of the sort. And President Trump a short time ago, meeting with Moon Jae-in, the president of South Korea, said he's looking forward to meeting with Rod Rosenstein and having a conversation with him about everything that happened last week on Thursday.

Listen here.


PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: I'm meeting with Rod Rosenstein on Thursday, when I get back from all of these meetings. And we will be meeting at the White House. And we will be determining what's going on. We want to have transparency. We want to have openness. And I look forward to meeting with Rod at that time.


ROBERTS: Just a little bit of background to all of this.

After that story came out in The New York Times last week that Rod Rosenstein allegedly was trying to drum up support for a 25th Amendment removal of the president, even suggesting he might wear a wire when he went to meet with the president, Chief of Staff John Kelly pulled him into the White House, asked him about it.

After that meeting on Friday, Rod Rosenstein issued a stronger denial than the statement that he had previously issued. He and Kelly, apparently, according to Jake Gibson, our Department of Justice producer, had a couple of conversations over the weekend, during one of which apparently this idea of resignation was floated.

But it looks now like Rod Rosenstein continues as the deputy attorney general, at least until Thursday, when he has an opportunity to sit down and meet with the president. The president said that he spoke with Rosenstein earlier today. So if he hasn't fired him on the spot, there is a chance that Rosenstein might survive.

You heard Trace Gallagher talk about the other big headline of the day. Judge Brett Kavanaugh on his wife, Ashley, will be appearing tonight on "The Story With Martha MacCallum" to talk about the allegations, the many allegations now that have been leveled against Kavanaugh.

Kavanaugh earlier today set another letter up to the Senate Judiciary Committee, in which he said, among other things, of these new allegations, all the allegations, in fact -- quote -- "These are smears, pure and simple, and they debase our public discourse, but they are also a threat to any man or woman who wishes to serve our country. Such grotesque and obvious character assassination, if allowed to succeed, will dissuade competent and good people of all political persuasions from service."

So, again, tonight, with Martha MacCallum on "The Story." You know Martha MacCallum be a tough interviewer, so I imagine that she is not going to let Kavanaugh off the hook here, that she will ask some very probative questions -- Neil.

CAVUTO: John, Mitch McConnell made it very clear a vote will happen up for the judge, yea or nay. He didn't indicate the exact timing of that vote. What are you hearing?

ROBERTS: I don't know what the timing is. But, typically, they invoke a three-day rule. So if the hearing is on Thursday, the earliest they could have a vote would be probably on Tuesday, because it's three business days.

Certainly, Judge Kavanaugh has said that he is not going to withdraw. They're going to fight this out before the Senate Judiciary Committee. And -- Grassley, rather, said it last week. He said, we will have to be the jury. We will have to listen to the evidence, weigh the evidence and be the jury.

So I wouldn't be surprised if McConnell's prediction comes to pass, and there is a vote, and that would likely be early next week -- Neil.

CAVUTO: All right, John Roberts, thank you very much.

To Karl Rove right now, the former White House deputy chief of staff, bestselling author.

Karl, where do you think this is going?

KARL ROVE, FORMER SENIOR ADVISER TO PRESIDENT GEORGE W. BUSH: Well, I think it's going to depend heavily upon the presentation of the two individuals on Thursday, Dr. Ford first, and then Brett Kavanaugh.

I'm a little biased here because Brett is a personal friend. And I have great admiration for his intellect and his character. And I think at the end of the day, look, the Senate Judiciary Committee is likely to bring him out, and the country will be unnecessarily divided over this.

There will be a group of people who will never become accepting of his nomination. But my sense is, at the end of the day, he's sitting on the Supreme Court, where over the years ahead he will do an exemplary job.

CAVUTO: Some have looked at the Democrats who are up for reelection in big Trump-winning states that they have little more cover now to vote no.

And if that were the case -- I don't know if you agree with that -- if that were the case, then he would have to rely -- that is, the judge -- on yea votes from every Republican, maybe could afford to do without one, but after that, it's over. What do you think?

ROVE: Yes, look, I'm not certain I agree with the assumption that every Democrat now has the ability to say in a state like West Virginia, where President Trump won by 42 percent, 42 points, that -- or North Dakota or Missouri or Indiana.

I think it's interesting. Claire McCaskill came out last Friday and said she's against Kavanaugh's. She's in a red state, and Trump won it by 18 point. She's in a terribly close race. But she didn't say I -- in fact, she went out of her way to say it's not because of Dr. Ford's allegation, because I'm afraid of where he's going to be on so-called dark money. I want a pledge, in essence, she was saying, that he will overturn the Supreme Court decision of Citizens United.

So they will find -- they may not vote for them. They will find something, in my opinion, other than -- other than this current controversy.

CAVUTO: All right, the reason why I mentioned the fact that then he can afford to lose only one Republican, Jeff Flake comes to mind, that he might force the issue. You add Susan Collins to that, conceivably, it's over.

But a lot of people think that that can be avoided with the vice president breaking a tie. Would it ultimately come that close?

ROVE: It might, because you're talking about a 51-49 Senate.


ROVE: But my gut tells me that, at the end of the day, this ends up being a 53 or 54-46 or 47 vote. I think there will be almost universal, if not universal Republican support.

And then with that, when they're -- when they're at least 50 Republican votes, then they're going to be a couple of Democrats who say, I'm in a red state, I'm Doug Jones, or I'm Donnelly of -- Joe Donnelly of Indiana, or I'm Heidi Heitkamp or Joe Manchin, or I'm -- I'm in a state that leans right, and I'm going to -- I'm going to go for him.

CAVUTO: How much of an issue is this looking like it's going to be in the midterms?

ROVE: Well, I think, ironically enough, it's which side loses.


ROVE: If Republicans fail to confirm Kavanaugh, then I think it's going to dispirit a lot of Republicans. There will be anger at the one or two Republicans who didn't support him, but they will take it out on everybody.

And, similarly, if the Democrats come up short, their expectations have been raised so high, they have been ginned up so much -- I'm -- for some inexplicable reason, I seem to be on every Democrat's fund-raising e-mail list.


ROVE: And you have Kamala Harris. I just got one from Mazie Hirono of Hawaii on behalf of MoveOn.org. These things are so over the top.

They have ginned up their base. And regardless of -- regardless of whether it's justified or not, if the Democrats fail to block him, this will anger some of their base, and they may take it out on some Democrats.

But we ought to be thinking about what's right for the country. And the fact of the matter is, we have gone from a time when -- when Bill Clinton nominated Ruth Bader Ginsburg, 95 percent of Republicans voted to confirm, 75 percent, 74 percent voted to confirm Steve Breyer.

Only 50 percent of Democrats turned around and voted for Judge Roberts -- 10 percent, only 10 percent of Democrats voted for Judge Alito. And then we saw, with Neil Gorsuch, I mean, even though he was an incredibly accomplished individual, almost every Democrat voted against him.

So we are in a place that this hyperpartisanship that was engendered first by Ted Kennedy in savaging Robert Bork, and then furthered by Harry Reid in trying to stop a George W. Bush from naming people to the Supreme Court and the appellate courts is not helping our country and is not in the best long-term interest of either political party.

CAVUTO: Karl Rove, thank you very, very much.

ROVE: Thank you, Neil.

CAVUTO: I would be remiss, in the middle of all of this vacuum and craziness, we had stocks selling off today.

A lot more had to do with trade, but taking a look at the corner of Wall and Broad. And we will be exploring this in more detail. We're down about 181 points, again, concern that the trade thing is accelerating here and that you're going to be looking at more expensive shopping prices as a result during the busy holiday season.

That was weighing on things. A whole lot weighing things -- after this.


CAVUTO: All right, been a busy day on Capitol Hill, protesters arrested in the Senate, as a second wave of women came forward right now with sexual misconduct allegations -- or one woman has, I should say -- against Brett Kavanaugh.

Kavanaugh firing back, calling these allegations smears, pure and simple.

It has divided the parties immensely here.

Mike Emanuel on Capitol Hill with the latest -- Michael.


Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell on the other side is equally fired up. He says he's committed to bring Judge Brett Kavanaugh's nomination up for a confirmation vote.


SEN. MITCH MCCONNELL, R-KY., MAJORITY LEADER: Judge Kavanaugh will be voted on here on the Senate floor, up or down. On the Senate floor, this fine nominee to the Supreme Court will receive a vote in this Senate in the near future.


EMANUEL: The Republican senators to watch on this nomination, Susan Collins of Maine, Jeff Flake of Arizona, and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska.

If they say they are no votes, the nomination would be in jeopardy. Chairman Chuck Grassley sent a letter to Professor Christine Blasey Ford today, after she sent him a note over the weekend.

Chairman Grassley writing -- quote -- "I'm writing to say that I'm committed to fair and respectful treatment of you, as you have requested. I have worked to make certain that committee I chair handles all individuals involved in hearings in that manner. And you deserve the same."

A red state Democrat told us just moments ago that he's looking forward to hearing from both Judge Kavanaugh's and his accuser.


SEN. JOE MANCHIN, D-W.VA.: Whoever or however many, they will have a right to speak. And we will look forward to that as quickly as. And he also has a right to clear his name. He truly does. And that's what I'm hoping.

We can get to that as quick as we can this week or whatever it takes.


EMANUEL: And with emotion and anger building here on Capitol Hill, a lot of Republicans want to get through this quickly and get it up for a confirmation vote -- Neil.

CAVUTO: Mike Emanuel, thank you very, very much.

Well, a lot of questions now about this second woman and her charges of misconduct and worse on the part of Judge Kavanaugh at the time when they were college students.

Now, The New York Times wasn't able to corroborate these latest allegations. So what are we to make of where things stand right now?

Sidney Powell, a former federal prosecutor.

Sidney, where do you see this going?

SIDNEY POWELL, FORMER FEDERAL PROSECUTOR: I don't think it's going to go anywhere, Neil.

The woman herself said she wasn't even sure it was Brett Kavanaugh. So, The New Yorker scraped the bottom of the barrel to come up with this. The New York Times wouldn't publish it because it couldn't be corroborated. There's nothing there that can be believed whatsoever, when she doesn't even believe it herself.

CAVUTO: So this comes. And the timing is interesting, because it all is, of course, ahead of Dr. Ford's testimony later this week before Congress. Do you think that was deliberate?

POWELL: Yes, I do.

In fact, I have heard that the Senate had this information or at least some senators did a week ago. And, of course, we already know that Senator Feinstein withheld the other issue for as long as six weeks. None of that bodes well for either of the two women that claim to be making these allegations or the veracity of them.

I mean, there are not enough details of time, place or anything else for these things to have been investigated if they had been reported when they occurred.

CAVUTO: Now, questions...


POWELL: They're just completely...

CAVUTO: Right, Sidney, but I think to corroborate even what Dr. Ford is going to be alleging before senators on Thursday, you -- you have to have instances and names or, at the very least, individuals who support what you were saying and charging.

And that has not come through. Now, maybe it might. But what is your sense of what we're looking at on Thursday?

POWELL: Well, so far, everybody that's been asked about it has said it didn't happen, they know nothing of it, Brett Kavanaugh wasn't a party to any of it.

So I would expect Thursday simply to be a polite questioning of Dr. Ford and questioning of Brett Kavanaugh. And there's not much he can say, other than, I don't know anything about this.

CAVUTO: Now, if -- I don't -- they still haven't worked out the order of events and how it's going to go.

Her lawyers were first insisting that the judge go first. So that would be obviously difficult, because he has to respond to charges that haven't formerly been made. So I don't know how they sort that out.

But there is a fear certainly among a lot of Republican senators that they look like all white man and they're interrogating a woman who is trying to recount events from decades ago, and they're in a kind of a no-win situation.

POWELL: Well, I think they might engage the services of a woman attorney perhaps who has been involved in this kind of case before to serve as the person questioning both witnesses. That would make a lot of sense to me.

CAVUTO: All right, we shall see.

Sidney Powell, former federal prosecutor.

I do want to take you to New York right now, some developments concerning the president. And he intimated as much in his meeting with the South Korean leader, the South Korean trade deal that he hopes would be sort of like a model for other trade deals going around.

Surrounded by his economic team and the vice president. Let's listen in.


TRUMP: Mr. President, I'd like to thank you very much.

I'd like to thank our great Vice President Pence for joining us today for the ceremony, and U.S. Trade Representative Bob Lighthizer for his incredible efforts. He's worked very, very hard on this.

Thank you as well to Treasury Secretary Mnuchin and Director of National Economic Council Larry Kudlow for their tremendous work. Everybody has worked very, very hard. This is long in coming, many years, actually, I will say, in coming.

In a few moments, we will sign a document pledging that our countries will take the additional necessary steps to implement the new United States- Korea trade agreement.

I want to express my gratitude to President Moon and his entire team for their dedicated efforts to reach, really, what we would call a historic milestone in trade, something that most people thought was not going to be happening.

From day one, I promised the American people that I would renegotiate our trade deals to ensure that our agreements were fair and reciprocal.

For decades, politicians have talked about fixing broken trade deals, only to do absolutely nothing about them. My administration is the first to actually keep our promise and deliver.

And in addition to this deal, we have many in the works, and they're fair deals. They're reciprocal deals. And they make a tremendous difference to our workers, our companies, and to the United States as a whole.

The new U.S.-Korea agreement includes significant improvements to reduce our trade deficit and to expand opportunities to export American products to South Korea. In other words, we are now going to start sending products to South Korea.

These outcomes give the finest American-made automobiles, innovative medicines, and agricultural crops much better access to Korean markets. I think our farmers are going to be extremely happy.

It was very limited as to what they could do and what they could send. And now it's a open market, and they're going to be sending a lot more farm products. That makes me feel very good. I love our farmers.

As a part of this agreement, we have also secured increased access to America's auto industry. South Korea will double the annual number of American cars sold within. In other words, we used to sell a maximum of 25,000, and we wouldn't even get to that number, and now we're going to 50,000. We're doubling it per manufacturer. And that's a doubling. So it's 50,000 per manufacturer -- cars. And that's each year.

So that's a doubling of the cars per manufacturer that can enter its market, meeting U.S. safety standards. So we're going with now a U.S. safety standard. The standard was at a point that you couldn't get cars in. So we're going to the U.S. safety standard. Very important to understand.

This agreement will reduce bureaucracy and increase prosperity in both of our countries. Workers in South Korea and America will find new customers and new opportunities to expand and grow. Our teams will be working hard to ensure that the terms of the deal are fully implemented.

President Moon, I just want to tell you we've developed a great relationship on many different fronts. This one is on trade, but we're working very well on North Korea. A lot of very positive things are happening with Chairman Kim of North Korea.

And you'll be hearing about that over the coming weeks. But I think some really, really important things are happening.

As I said just a little while ago, we have an agreement to work out another summit. And we look forward to doing that. I'm going to be meeting with Chairman Kim in the not-too-distant future. The location is being worked on, the time is being worked on. And we'll be announcing it.

As far as these negotiations, our two countries have set an example of friendship and cooperation for trade that rarely you see in this age.

And I just want to tell you I'm very honored to be a part of it, and I'm honored to call you a friend. And I'm honored to say that the United States and South Korea have a great friendship together. Thank you very much.

Mr. President, thank you very much.

CAVUTO: All right, we're monitoring this here.

Suffice it to say the United States has struck an accord with South Korea. This is building upon an earlier agreement, you might recall, when they wanted to address that, as the White House wanted to address what they thought was unfair treatment when it came to overpriced washers and dryers from South Korea that were making their way into this country.

This has vastly expanded to include automobiles and like, an agreement he says that is in both countries' interest and levels the playing field.

Again, if we hear more on this and the details of this, of course, we will pass it along.

All of this at a time tensions have risen, ironically enough, with the Chinese, where we're making no progress there. And, in fact, both sides have implemented tougher tariffs on a number of goods and products that go there from the United States and come here from China.

Let's get to read from Montana Republican Senator Steve Daines.

Senator, thank you for taking the time.

Do you think this sets the stage or could for a Chinese deal?

SEN. STEVE DAINES, R-MONT.: Well, this is good news.

South Korea is a very important market for Montana farmers and ranchers, for American farmers and ranchers. It's a big market for our grains, for our beef. And the more we -- the faster we move forward on these bilateral agreements, the better off we will be in terms of negotiating with China.

This is good news for American farmers and ranchers, good news for the American economy.

CAVUTO: All right.

I would be remiss if I didn't mention, back to the Brett Kavanaugh controversies and where you stand on all of this. Of course, we will get to see when Dr. Ford gets a chance to testify this week, on Thursday.

But a number of your colleagues, we're told, are reportedly getting a little bit antsy. Are you?

DAINES: Neil, we have got a step back and remember who we're talking about in Judge Kavanaugh, a man who's authored 307 opinions, served with distinction, with an impeccable record for 12 years on the second highest court in the land.

Here's the real situation. Hours after it was announced that Judge Kavanaugh was President Trump's nominee, Chuck Schumer went to the floor of the U.S. Senate and said, we're going to do everything within our -- within our power to stop this nominee.

That's exactly what's going on right now. This is a smear campaign against Judge Kavanaugh. Look at these latest allegations The New Yorker put in print here most recently, in the last 24 hours.

The New York Times says news that's fit to print, The New York Times wouldn't even carry that story. So, there are -- these are desperation tactics right now. It is creating great dishonor to this process.

And we need to stand and allow Judge Kavanaugh and Dr. Ford on Thursday to be heard. They both should be heard. We then should vote up or down in the United States Senate.

CAVUTO: And if there are no other allegations that come forward from other women -- and you're quite right -- after this New Yorker article, a lot of people say, well, what else could happen?

And you would say, let's vote, one way or the other, let's vote?

DAINES: It's been thousands of pages, hours of testimony, 65-plus different interviews with U.S. senators, six FBI background checks.

This man is ready to serve as a United States Supreme Court justice. We need to hear both sides on Thursday. Very important, very important that Dr. Ford is heard, that Judge Kavanaugh then is heard.

But look at what Judge Kavanaugh just wrote here today. He is doubling down, doubling down. He's anxious to get before the United States Senate Judiciary Committee and clear his name.

CAVUTO: All right, you do want to hear both sides, but, just to be clear, you have already made up your mind?

DAINES: Well, I want to hear both sides. So I will wait and hear what both sides have to say on Thursday at this point.


DAINES: Then we need to have a vote.

CAVUTO: All right, are you concerned that, right now, this is getting in the way of some of the good news that Republicans have been trying to rally around, including, today notwithstanding, Senator, the good markets, the good economy, low unemployment rate?

And in these mockups right now showing who do voters prefer to run Congress -- and these are very volatile, I grant you. But in the latest one, it's sort of a year-wide gap of 12 points in favor of Democrats.

Now, I don't think these are worth the paper they are printed on, but it's the only paper we have got for the time being. Are you alarmed by numbers like that?

DAINES: Well, I will tell you what.

Bringing it back to the Kavanaugh discussion, this is why the Democrats are delaying. This is all about pure political calculus and power. It's not about truth. It's not about justice. It's about political power.

They want to delay this, so it affects the elections in November of 2018. Look, the numbers at this time, you look at what this economy is doing, we're doing on jobs, on economic growth, you look at regulation has decreased, and you look at 26 circuit judges, hopefully a second Supreme Court judge, these are lifetime appointments, this president has done more in two short years working with the Republican Congress than any president I can remember in my lifetime.

This is good news. And we are very prepared to take that message to the American voters and let them decide what happens in November. They will get the final word.

CAVUTO: All right.

This Thursday, also, the president is going to be meeting with Rod Rosenstein, the deputy attorney general. And there had been a lot of talk as well that maybe, maybe he was going to fire the guy. Do you think he should?

DAINES: All I know is that the president and Mr. Rosenstein are meeting on Thursday. We will wait and see what happens.

CAVUTO: Would you fire him?


DAINES: I don't have all the details on that. I have concerns.

I also have great confidence in President Trump. He knows how to build businesses. He knows how to create great teams. I have complete confidence he will make the right decision on Thursday.

CAVUTO: All right, Senator, thank you very, very much.

DAINES: Thank you.

CAVUTO: Stick around. We will have more after this.


CAVUTO: These are protesters outside Republican Arizona Senator Jeff Flake's office, the one Republican they think they can get to vote no on Judge Kavanaugh.

With a crowd like that, are they succeeding?

After this.


CAVUTO: All right, well, he won't be muscled are pushed out of town. Judge Kavanaugh making that very, very clear. He is going to put up the good fight.

And Thursday is the day for that fight. And it's having almost like a pay- per-view fight feeling to it, where his accuser is going to outline her charges that he attacked her, assaulted her when they were in high school. Of course, he has denied that heavily. Of course, that will all be playing out on live TV on Thursday.

Ahead of that, let's get the read from GOP pollster Lee Carter, Hadley Heath Manning with the Independent Women's Forum, and former Democratic Congressman Jason Altmire.

Congressman, let me end with you, because a lot of the friction we have seen has been very polarizing, the Democrats on one side of this, Republicans on the other side, very, very little overlap here. And it hearkens back to what you have written about and talked about, that it is a very poisoned well and it's coming into real-time play here.

What do you make of it?


I tweeted out on the anniversary a couple of days ago, when Sandra Day O'Connor was confirmed 99-0, it didn't used to be that the minority party, whoever it was, automatically came out against the nomination for the Supreme Court.

And then you have these protesters that you see, very toxic atmosphere. It appears that this New Yorker article that was talked about over the last 24 hours might be unraveling. So it may very well come down to Thursday.

I think both witnesses have every right to be heard, and we will see what happens. But it's just unfortunate that the nomination has been mired in this type of toxicity.

CAVUTO: You know, The New York Times, which didn't run with the New Yorker piece, Hadley, had argued that there was very little, actually no corroboration of the charges.

And I'm wondering. There's not much more on the part of Dr. Ford, if you think about it here. But, nevertheless, she is going to be able to state her case, and maybe that comes through in the back and forth here. But where -- where is Thursday going?

HADLEY HEATH MANNING, INDEPENDENT WOMEN'S FORUM: Oh, Thursday is a big day in Washington. That's certainly true.

It's going to be very difficult for Dr. Ford or any other accuser to prove the allegations that they're bringing against Judge Kavanaugh.

On the flip side, it's almost impossible for Judge Kavanaugh to disprove these allegations. That's what's so ugly about our politics. People are retreating to their corners, believing what they want to believe.

And as the congressman mentioned, what's wrong with our politics when it comes to the Supreme Court, the Supreme Court outstepping its role, overstepping, stepping into policy-making, that's what's brought us here. That's why the confirmation process is so politicized, even to the point of politicizing allegations over something as serious as sexual misconduct.

CAVUTO: Lee Carter, obviously, our own Martha MacCallum has a chance to talk to Judge Kavanaugh and his wife. I look forward to that on her fine show.

In the meantime, he has put out a number of statements today, tweets, whatever, to sort of argue his position that he's not giving up the good fight here.

But, again, Republicans, or at least those questioning Dr. Ford, are damned if they do, damned if they don't. They can appear as chauvinist bores if they tried to go into or pick apart her allegations. So what do they do?

LEE CARTER, GOP POLLSTER: Oh, that's -- that's the million-dollar question.

I mean, this is a very, very difficult position to be in. The fact that all Republicans that are on the Judiciary Committee are sort of middle to older-age men, we don't have any females that can go in and make these questions seem software or make them seem that they have any empathy, I think it's going to be a really, really challenging position.

My hope is that they -- they enter into these conversations with compassion and with understanding, maybe even telling their own stories as they're asking the questions of experience that they have had, whether it's daughters or wives or friends who have come forward to them, because the truth of the matter is, one in three women has experienced some kind of a sexual assault or victimization.

And so we all are surrounded by this. And I don't want in any way, shape or form -- the last thing we want to see happen is women become afraid to tell their stories because this goes the very, very wrong way.

We don't want -- we want the truth to come out, and I don't want it to become a political game, a political show. And I don't think anybody does.

But, right now, what we're seeing out there is a third of Americans have already decided that Kavanaugh's guilty. A third have decided that they already support forward. And there's only a third out there who are waiting to find out what we hear on Thursday.

And that's really dangerous. The fact that we're looking at a state of affairs where somebody is presumed innocent until -- the whole notion that you're presumed innocent until otherwise proven guilty is -- is at play here, and we're at odds with that.

And I think it's really, really concerning. And I think that the senators -- senators have a huge responsibility going to Thursday.

CAVUTO: Well, I'll tell you what. I don't know if it's moving any needles here. And Congress, maybe that's the issue.

Every senator I have had a chance to talk to on this issue, even those I haven't, but they commented on it, let's say on the Republican side, very fine senator at the top of the show who said, I'm going to make sure this woman has her say, but making very, very clear that Judge Kavanaugh has his vote, again, unless something stunning happens.

Democrats have been saying, we want to make sure we hear from Judge Kavanaugh to respond to these charges, but making it equally clear that they're a no-vote anyway.

So, is -- is this just, like, Kabuki theater here?

ALTMIRE: When you have a 51-49 majority, of course, you can only lose two. And there are at least three or four that are in play, it appears, on the Republican side.

So if Dr. Ford gives a very credible testimony on Thursday, and makes it difficult for two out of those three or four, then it's possible the nomination could go under because of it. We will just have to wait and see what happens on Thursday.

CAVUTO: All right.

I mentioned earlier, guys, that our Martha MacCallum had a chance to sit down with Judge Kavanaugh and his wife and raise the issue whether this was pushing them to the brink. Take a look.


MARTHA MACCALLUM, FOX NEWS ANCHOR: Did you guys ever look at each other and say, I'm out, this is enough, this just isn't worth it?

BRETT KAVANAUGH, SUPREME COURT JUSTICE NOMINEE: I'm not going to let false accusations drive us out of this process.

And we're looking for a fair process, where I can be heard and defend the - - my integrity, my lifelong record, my lifelong record of promoting dignity and equality for women, starting with the -- the women who knew me when I was 14 years old.

I'm not going anywhere.


CAVUTO: Hadley, I don't want to read too much into that, but given their original pause, I thought it must have crossed their mind.

HEATH MANNING: You know, Lee mentioned all the victims of sexual assault and sexual harassment in this country.

We don't know -- as I said initially, we can't prove or disprove some of these accusations. And we can't adjudicate all the facts of the case here, but if the accusations are false, let's remember that false accusations have victims too. And it's not fair to just side automatically with one party or the other when it comes to cases like this.

You hear from the Kavanaugh family. Certainly, they too are experiencing a lot of pain as a result of this nomination process.

CAVUTO: All right, guys, I want to thank you all very, very much, with all the breaking news on the trade front.

And that trade thing, by the way, is official as well,with the South Korean. Whether it paves the way for any sort of the deal ultimately with the Chinese is anyone's guess, because we're nowhere near on that front.

But we are getting closer to some sort of closure, some would say, with the Kavanaugh situation and whether he ever makes it from judge to Supreme Court justice -- after this.



SEN. CHRIS COONS, D-DEL.: Slow down this process, have the independent professionals of the FBI actually investigate these concerning new allegations.

TRUMP: People have come out of the woodwork from 36 years ago and 30 years ago, never mentioned it, all of a sudden, it happens, in my opinion, it's totally political.


CAVUTO: All right, the president convinced that a lot of these allegations are politically motivated, they're out to get his candidate to be on the Supreme Court, and they found a convenience excuse to do.

Francesca Chambers joins us right now. She's the White House correspondent for The Daily Mail.

First time seeing you in person.


FRANCESCA CHAMBERS, THE DAILY MAIL: It's so great to be in New York.

CAVUTO: Usually, you're on the little box there. Good to have you.


CAVUTO: Where is this going? And is the administration worried? Is this thing looking dicey? What?

CHAMBERS: Well, I think the fact that we're going to hear directly from Brett Kavanaugh on your colleague's show this evening shows you that the White House is worried.

In the past, we have just heard from White House spokespeople denying the allegations. But now we're hearing directly from Brett Kavanaugh.

And I think even the president's rhetoric over the past few days on this issue has changed dramatically. First, it was, she deserves to be heard, I believe that he will still be confirmed. Then it was, this is a political attack, this is a smear campaign, this is the left trying to run down my nominee.

And I think those two things are very different.

CAVUTO: All right, obviously, they're worried about how close this vote could be.

You could make the argument that, for the Democratic support they thought they might get, those senators might have cover now not to vote for him. There's also talk -- I was looking at these protesters outside Jeff Flake's office, the outgoing Republican senator, looked like hundreds of them -- I could be wrong -- but they're obviously trying to tip his vote.

All of a sudden, now you're talking over a very, very dicey prospect, where you have 50 Republicans, and that's it. And then you have the vice president in the role of a tiebreaker here.

What do you make of that?

CHAMBERS: Well, you bring up a really important point, Neil.

It's not just whether the president still stands behind his nominee. Ultimately, the decision resides with senators as to whether Brett Kavanaugh will get confirmed. And there are just a few that could potentially swing this vote.

Most Democrats are going to vote no. Most Republicans are going to vote yes.

CAVUTO: Do you see any Democrat voting yes, even those -- you always hear about the Manchins and the Donnellys, you know, in states that Trump won big, that they might consider it, but now less so?

CHAMBERS: This gives them cover.

CAVUTO: Right.

CHAMBERS: And it's not just the first allegation. It's the fact that there's a second allegation.

And then Michael Avenatti seems to have potentially a third allegation. And that gives Democrats a lot of cover at this point to say, I was thinking about it, but this is why I didn't or couldn't vote for him.

So it really does then potentially come down to those Republican swing votes, like Jeff Flake, and what they will be doing. And that is who Brett Kavanaugh will be speaking to tonight.

CAVUTO: You mentioned these other women who have come forward.

Of course, The New York Times said it would have a tough time corroborating the story that was in The New Yorker and that it might be giving people another pause here, especially the one where Avenatti was involved here, where they're saying, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, wait a minute.

Could it boomerang on Democrats?

CHAMBERS: Well, at the same time as you're saying, it's possible that Brett Kavanaugh could come forward, and not just America can hear from him tonight on FOX, but also on Thursday, when both Dr. Ford and Brett Kavanaugh are due to testify, that they could hear what he has to say and believe that he is the one who has the more credible story.

But, again, I think that it will take until Thursday, when both of them are in the same -- not the same room at the same time, but back to back.

CAVUTO: What is your feeling on that?

Before you were born, of course, and we had Anita Hill on the Hill, she made a very credible case. He still got in there and got approved and all.

CHAMBERS: You don't know that, Neil.



CAVUTO: All right, I'm joking.

But you know what I mean? Like, all of the sudden, to the accuser goes the tie in that event. You have always heard that, that hurts the person being accused.

Do you buy that, that all of a sudden she makes a credible case, whether people believe her or not, it puts him at a disadvantage?

CHAMBERS: Well, again, I think that the administration and the White House, based on their change in strategy, are very concerned at what could happen not just at the...


CAVUTO: Do they have a backup plan if something goes wrong here?

CHAMBERS: Not as far as we know.

The president says that he is standing by Brett Kavanaugh.

But that is a very real question as to whether or not at this point they're sorting out potential other names if something -- if they did start to get the sense that this is going to go south.

CAVUTO: Do you know if they are?

CHAMBERS: I don't personally have any knowledge of whether they are or not.

I think that as another point today, we haven't had that many opportunities personally to interact with the president, except for those few bilateral - - bilaterals, like with Moon Jae-in that we saw there.

And at a briefing today, we...

CAVUTO: Right.

CHAMBERS: It was all -- it was almost all foreign policy, except for Rod Rosenstein, which is a whole other topic area, Neil.

CAVUTO: That's another one.

CHAMBERS: A lot on North Korea, a lot on foreign policy today, as we're here at the United Nations.

CAVUTO: Great seeing you again.

Francesca Chambers follows this very, very well for The Daily Mail.

By the way, an update on the trade front here. No update on the trade front. It is still an outright trade war with the Chinese. They're not bending, even though it looks like the South Koreans were kind of blinking.

Why that could be a problem for the markets, not Kavanaugh, not Rosenstein, trade -- I will explain after this.


CAVUTO: All right, markets abhor uncertainty.

And, today, the markets were dealing with a lot of uncertainty, but not have of political variety here, more the trade variety. I'm not saying they're ignoring what could happen to Judge Kavanaugh, if he never becomes Justice Kavanaugh. That would be a worry.

And it's not as if they're pushing aside the whole Rod Rosenstein mess and whether he ultimately gets fired and complicates the whole investigation, and you name that. But they don't think either of those are possibilities.

What they do worry about is trade quickly turning into an expensive proposition for American consumers, especially during the holiday season, as China and the United States go tit for tat going after each other's goods and hiking up the price of those goods.

The read now from financial analyst Heather Zumarraga, Fox Business Network's Charlie Gasparino and Deirdre Bolton.

Deirdre, the argument is, this gets worse before it gets better on the trade front, that we have to brace ourselves for pricier products. Do you buy that?


And what we learned over the weekend and today, right, is that China is actually not going to, as of this moment, sit in the same room. Trade talks have been canceled, more or less, right, and China saying it will not negotiate with a gun to its head.

And then today also symbolic because 10 percent of tariffs worth of $200 billion on Chinese goods went into effect today. We know that number goes up to 25 percent at a certain point. And then, of course, China retaliated, putting 25 percent tariffs on $16 billion worth of U.S. goods.

This on the same day that oil settled. You were talking about the consumer strength, right. It settled around $72 a barrel. We haven't seen this in a while. It seems as if OPEC is signaling that it's going to let the price go up a little bit.

So, as we all know, that is the ultimate tax, in addition to tariffs and trade consequences, on American consumers, Neil.

CAVUTO: Heather Zumarraga, does the trade stuff worry you?

HEATHER ZUMARRAGA, FINANCIAL ANALYST: It does worry me -- $250 billion now worth of goods at a 10 percent tariff, another $200 billion added today out of that 250, does worry me.

It worries the markets. Markets are down. For the most part this year, markets have shaken off trade disputes. But I think, as trade tensions escalate with China, this could get -- this could -- this could get worse, Neil.

CAVUTO: Let me give you the political variable. And that is on politics stuff and the investigations, Charlie Gasparino.

Rod Rosenstein is fired, many people don't -- don't seem to think that's going to happen, that the president will keep him on when he meets with him at the White House on Thursday, but explain the fallout there.

CHARLIE GASPARINO, FOX NEWS SENIOR CORRESPONDENT: Well, I mean, the general uncertainty involving Rosenstein goes back to Mueller.

And I will tell you, the markets have been trading off on anything negative that Mueller may or may not have on the president or the people around him.

And I'm just saying this. Here's where the political stuff, I think, played in today. Yes, China, people -- there's trade fears. There's algorithms that whenever there's a negative China story about trade, the markets trade off.

But the overall emphasis is this, that Rosenstein, Mueller, the Brett Kavanaugh brouhaha, that this is all bad for the Republicans. It's going to lead to Democrats taking the House and maybe the Senate. And that will stall the Trump economic agenda. And that's pretty bad.

I will say this, though. The trade numbers have not really showed up in GDP just yet. I mean, we haven't seen the latest GDP clip, but they're not really in the numbers.

And one of the things is this. I don't think most people, particularly traders, are worried as much about China, because they know China is a perennial bad player.


ZUMARRAGA: But they're worried today. They're worried today.

GASPARINO: Well, they're worried today, and they were worried yesterday.

But I'm just saying that they will trade off on the headline. The algorithm is -- by the way, it wasn't down that much. We didn't lose like 1,000 points today. We lost...


BOLTON: Actually, backing up what Charlie is saying as well, right, we hit the record highs on Friday for the Dow and S&P 500. So, today is a bit of give-back.


GASPARINO: My point is this.

I think they're more worried about is sort of an unconcerted effort, sort of an un -- that the Trump administration goes nuts on trade, attacks everybody, and doesn't isolate China.

I think that's the worst of all worlds here.

CAVUTO: So, in other words, trade dictates a lot of stuff.

Heather, let me ask you something about Kavanaugh, if you don't mind. If he fails at becoming a Supreme Court justice, it just falls a vote or two shy, and he -- and they have to start from scratch, for the markets, would that have any impact at all?

This was a conservative judge, of course, with a very big pro-business bent. They like that sort of thing. Or does it move the needle at all? More trade? What do you think?

ZUMARRAGA: Absolutely it matters. Markets don't like uncertainty, whether it be politics, political uncertainty from the executive branch or uncertainty out of escalating trade tensions with China.

And if Democrats take over the House and the Senate, then the markets will go down, because the Trump agenda, including tax -- tax reform and deregulation across the board, which is pro-business -- this is the biggest pro-business president we have had in a very long time, perhaps ever -- then the markets will go down because the Trump agenda is off the table.

CAVUTO: All right. We don't see that happening just yet. But we will keep a close eye on it.

Guys, I want to thank you very, very much.

And, by the way, Judge Kavanaugh and his wife have spoken to our Martha MacCallum. And if you think they -- they are not going down here without a fight, and promising a fight that will ultimately claim victory, well, you are wrong.

Right now, they are full-bore ready to take on any challenge or accusation and respond to it in a public hearing, beginning with Martha -- after this.


CAVUTO: All right, it's very clear from these bits and pieces we're getting from Martha MacCallum's exclusive interview with Judge Brett Kavanaugh and his wife tonight at 7:00 p.m. Eastern time -- that's when you will see it -- that they're going to put up the fight of their lives.


KAVANAUGH: I want a fair process where I can defend my integrity.

And -- and I know I'm telling the truth. I know my lifelong record. And I'm not going to let false accusations drive me out of this process.

I have faith in God, and I have faith in the fairness of the American people.


CAVUTO: That will all be on display tonight in that interview and, more importantly, on Thursday in the ultimate job interview of his life and his accuser's.

Stay with Fox.

Right now, "The Five."

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