Kavanaugh: I never sexually assaulted anyone

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

MARTHA MACCALLUM, HOST: Tonight, Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, breaks his silence for the first time. Since being accused of attempted rape, and a second woman accusing him of an assault while at Yale. You will hear his story in his own words exclusively in moments.

Good evening, everybody. I'm Martha MacCallum, live from Washington and this is "The Story." Judge Kavanaugh is standing firm in his denial telling us he will not be intimidated into withdrawing that nomination to sit on the highest court in the land.

His wife, Ashley, also speaking out tonight for the very first time about the accusations against her husband, the threats against their family, and whether she has struggled with doubts about him.


BRETT KAVANAUGH, JUDGE, DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA CIRCUIT: I am looking for a fair process. A process where I can defend my integrity and clear my name. And all I'm asking for is fairness and that I be heard in this process.

MACCALLUM: Ashley, what has this been like for you the past couple of weeks? I know you've had death threats and all kinds of things coming your way. How does that feel?

ASHLEY KAVANAUGH, WIFE OF BRETT KAVANAUGH: This process is incredibly difficult. Harder than we imagined and we imagined it might be hard. But at the end of the day, our faith is strong and we know that we're on the right path. We're just going to stick to it, so.

MACCALLUM: Let's get into some of these allegations because you've responded to them in statements but you haven't had a chance to respond them -- to them in a fuller way. And Christine Ford is expected to testify on Thursday that you at a party in high school pinned her to a bed, held your hand over her mouth.

She said she was afraid that she could (INAUDIBLE) be killed at that moment. She says that you tried to take off her clothes and she believes that you would have raped her if Mark Judge hadn't climbed on top and everyone tumbled to the floor. And then, she had an opportunity to get away.

Now, she doesn't remember the date and she doesn't remember the place. But what she does remember that I just detailed is very specific. And other assault victims say that they've had similar memories where they remembered exactly what happened, but they didn't necessarily remember the events surrounding it.

You have categorically denied that this happened. Did anything happen?

B. KAVANAUGH: No, I've never sexually assaulted anyone. Not in high school, not ever. I've always treated women with dignity and respect. Listen to the people who have known me best through my whole life. The women who have known me since high school. The 65, who overnight signed a letter from high school saying I always treated them with dignity and respect. This is a --


MACCALLUM: But with regard to Christine Ford, do you know her?

B. KAVANAUGH: I may have met her. We did not travel in the same social circles, she was not a friend, not someone I knew.

MACCALLUM: You don't remember ever being at parties with her ever?

B. KAVANAUGH: I do not, and this is an allegation about a party in the summer of 1982.


B. KAVANAUGH: At a house near Connecticut Avenue in East-West highway with five people present. I was never at any such party. The other people who are alleged to be present said they do not remember any such party.

A woman who was present -- another woman who was present, who is Dr. Ford's lifelong friend --


B. KAVANAUGH: -- has said, she doesn't know me and never remember us being at a party with me at any time in her life. All I'm asking for is a fair process where I can be heard.

MACCALLUM: Understood. And to this date, no one has corroborated the story that she has told as you accurately point out. But is there -- so there's no chance that there was something between the two of you that maybe she misunderstood.

The exchange that you had nothing ever physical, you never met her, never kissed her, never touched her, nothing that you remember.

B. KAVANAUGH: Correct. I never had any sexual or physical activity with Dr. Ford. I've never sexually assaulted anyone in high school or otherwise.

MACCALLUM: So, where do you think this is coming from, why would she make this up?

B. KAVANAUGH: What I know is the truth. And the truth is I've never sexually assaulted anyone in high school or otherwise. I am not questioning, and have not questioned that perhaps, Dr. Ford at some point in her life was sexually assaulted by someone in some place.

But what I know is I've never sexually assaulted anyone in high school or at any time in my life.

MACCALLUM: So, when she says, there is no doubt in her mind that it was you. Because she was asked that is it possible that you may be confused him, maybe it's mistaken identity, maybe it was someone else. She said, absolutely not.

B. KAVANAUGH: I've never sexually assaulted anyone. I was not at the party described. I was not anywhere at any place resembling that in the summer of 1982. The other people alleged to be there don't say anything like that. And the woman who's alleged to be there, who's her friend says that she doesn't know me and doesn't recall ever being at a party with me in her life.

MACCALLUM: Right. So, let me ask, Ashley. When this came out, what did you say to your husband? Did you question him and have moments where you wondered if he was telling you the truth?

A. KAVANAUGH: No. I mean, I know Brett. I've known him for 17 years and this is not at all character, it's really hard to believe. He's decent, he's kind, he's good, I know it's hard. This is not consistent with a threat.

MACCALLUM: So now, over the weekend, you've got new allegations. And obviously, these other allegations, they say that they are standing up basically in support of Christine Ford. That they wouldn't have come forward. Otherwise, but they don't want her to be made up to look like a liar.

And Deborah Ramirez was a freshman at Yale. She says she was at a dorm party and this happened, quote, "Brett was laughing, I can still see his face, and his hips coming forward, like when you pull up your pants. I'm confident about the pants coming up, and I'm confident about Brett being there."

She was initially uncertain it was you, they write in this piece. But after six days, she's confident enough she says. Should the American people view her as credible?

B. KAVANAUGH: I never did any such thing. Never did any such thing. The other people alleged to be there don't recall any such thing. If such a thing had happened, it would have been the talk of campus. The women I knew in college and the men I knew in college says it's inconceivable that I could have done such a thing.

And then, New York Times has reported that just last week, the person making the accusation was calling other classmates, saying she was not sure that I had done this. Again, again, just asking for a fair process where I can be heard and I can defend my integrity.

MACCALLUM: Yes, as you say, other Yale classmates were asked by her if they recalled the incident. And told some of them that she couldn't be certain that Mr. Kavanaugh was the one who exposed himself.

So, she appears to be expressing some uncertainty. Given the doubts, are you surprised that the New Yorker published this account?

B. KAVANAUGH: I'm not going to comment on the New Yorker's journalistic practices. The New York Times said they could not corroborate this story and said that the person making the accusation had been calling around last week two other classmates indicating her uncertainty about whether I had ever done such a thing.

Again, I'm just asking for a fair process where I can be heard and defend my integrity and defend my family's integrity.

MACCALLUM: It was one roommate, I think, his name is Roche, who said -- you know, that he could see this kind of thing happening. That you drank a lot in high school, drank a lot in college. And although, he hadn't seen or heard this incident himself that it added up to him that, that it made sense that you treated women that way.

B. KAVANAUGH: I've always treated women with dignity and respect. He does not corroborate the incident at all. The incident did not happen.

MACCALLUM: You remember him, he was your roommate?

B. KAVANAUGH: I do remember him.

MACCALLUM: So, why do you think he would say that?

B. KAVANAUGH: What I know, I'm not going to speculate about motives. I know I never did that. If I had done that it would have been the talk of campus. We have the report saying that even as late as the last few weeks, she was calling around and not certain. What I know is I've always treated women with dignity and respect.

Listen to the women who've known me my whole life. A letter from friends I knew in high school, produced overnight. 65 women who knew me in high school. Women I knew in college, who said how much I supported their women athletics. Their letter and their -- and their goals.

When I worked in the Bush White House, 84 women signed a letter saying that in the pressurized environment of the West Wing, I always treated them with the quality and promoted women's events and --

MACCALLUM: We've heard from them, and we spoken to a couple of those women on our show who signed that original letter, who stuck up for you. Unequivocally, that is absolutely true.

B. KAVANAUGH: And it -- and it -- and --

MACCALLUM: And now, you've been -- now you've got more allegations. So, you've got this sort of attempt to kind of swarm a number of people who are putting at least enough doubt out there. So that this process will be stymied so that it will take longer. And so, that they will get the investigation that they're looking for.

Michael Avenatti says that he has significant evidence and another accuser who claims that you and Mark Judge at multiple house parties in the Washington, D.C. area during the 1980s would participate in the targeting of women with alcohol and drugs to allow a train of men to subsequently gang rape them.

There are multiple witnesses that will corroborate these facts and each of them must be called to testify publicly. Did you ever participate in, or were you ever aware of any gang rape that happened at a party that you attended?

B. KAVANAUGH: That's totally false and outrageous. I never done any such thing, known about any such thing. When I was in high school and I went to an all-boys Catholic High School, a Jesuit High School where as focused on academics and athletics. Going to church every Sunday at Little Flower. Working on my service projects and friendship. Friendship with my fellow classmates and friendship with girls from the local, all-girls Catholic schools.

And yes, there were parties. And the drinking age was 18 and yes, the seniors were legal and had beer there. And yes, people might have had too many beers on occasion and people generally in high school, I think all of us have probably done things. We look back on in high school and regret our cringe a bit.

But that's not what we're talking about. We're talking about an allegation of sexual assault. I've never sexually assaulted anyone. I did not have sexual intercourse or anything close to sexual intercourse in high school or for many years thereafter. And the girls from the schools I went to, and I -- were friends.

MACCALLUM: So, you're saying that all -- through all these years, that are in question, you are a virgin.

B. KAVANAUGH: That's correct.

MACCALLUM: Never had sexual intercourse with anyone in high school?

B. KAVANAUGH: Correct.

MACCALLUM: And is through what years in college since we're probing into your personal life there?

B. KAVANAUGH: Many years -- many years after. I'll leave it at that. Many years after. And this -- the people I went to high school with. The girls and the boys. Now, men and women that I went to high school with. You know, I was good friends with them and we remain good friends. That's how 65 people in a moment's notice, 65 women.

Its 220 people, total men, and women who knew me in high school. I would say, fair process, let me be heard. Fair process here from both sides, and listen to me and the facts I've described. And listen to the people have known me throughout my life. The men and women, the women have known me throughout my life was known me best.

And in my job as a judge for 12 years. I've been promoting women's equality. And there was a problem with women law clerks getting hired at the Supreme Court, I am the leading federal judge in the country, the leader in the entire country of promoting women law clerks to get Supreme Court clerkships.

For the last seven years, I've been coaching girls' basketball. Ask the moms.

MACCALLUM: So, what do you think is happening? What's happening?

B. KAVANAUGH: I don't know, but I want to -- I want a fair process where I can defend my integrity. 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. America is about fairness and hearing from both sides. And I didn't do this or anything resembling this. These are -- this is wrong.

MACCALLUM: So, you are going to be pressed on something that you just said about. People do things in high school and you are all drinking. Were there times when perhaps you drank so much? Was there ever a time that you drank so much that you couldn't remember what happened the night before?

B. KAVANAUGH: No, that never happened.

MACCALLUM: You never said to anyone, I don't remember anything about last night.

KAVANAUGH: No, that did not happen.

MACCALLUM: Did you ever have any sense that any kind of the description of the behavior that I just described with these -- you know, women being taken into rooms and raped or having sex with a number of men consensual or otherwise that, that was going on at the parties that you were at?

B. KAVANAUGH: I never saw any such thing. Any such thing. I certainly, never participate in any such thing. But I never saw or heard of any such thing. And we were -- I was focused on trying to be number one in my class. And being captain of the varsity basketball team, and doing my service projects, going to church.

The vast majority of time I spent in high school was studying or focused on sports, and being a good friend to the boys and the girls that I was friends with. We have these great lifelong friendships that are fantastic and supporting each other through the ups and downs of life. And you know, they're an awesome group of people.


MACCALLUM: When we come back, much more from what President Trump told Judge Kavanaugh about what happens, next.


MACCALLUM: Do you believe that President Trump is going to stand by you throughout?


MACCALLUM: Today as the controversy surrounding Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh reaches an all-time high, the Judge a call from the President himself. He is about to describe that phone call and what this whole thing has been like for his family, his children, and his wife.


MACCALLUM: So Ashley, when you're here women say you know that they repressed the memory, that they've been struggling with their whole life. They never wanted to say anything, they were embarrassed to even tell their parents or their friends what had happened. But years later in this situation, Christine Ford says you know, I felt that I wanted to submit what I knew about Brett Kavanaugh into his file because I did hear that he was up for this very important position and I wanted to make sure that my story was in there. I didn't want to come forward but I want to make sure that they had that information because she thought that was really important that they know.

ASHLEY KAVANAUGH, WIFE OF JUDGE KAVANAUGH: I truly -- I don't understand it. I know Brett. I know who he is.

MACCALLUM: But do you sympathize with the idea that some women would suppress a memory or wouldn't want to share it or would not be able to talk about it until many years later?

A. KAVANAUGH: I don't under -- I don't know what happened to her and I don't even want to go there. I feel -- I feel badly for her family. I feel badly for her through this process. This process is it's not right.

MACCALLUM: Do you believe there should be an FBI investigation into these allegations and that a pause should happen and you know, sort it all out? If there's nothing to worry about and nothing to hide, why not have that process? Ashley and then I'll shoot up Brett.

KAVANAUGH: I mean, I've said all along and Ashley too, I want to be heard. I was first to interviewed last Monday the day after the allegation appeared by the committee staff under penalty of felony and I denied this categorically and unequivocally and I said twice during that. I said I want a hearing tomorrow, last Tuesday, a week ago. I want an opportunity, a fair process. America is about fairness, I want a fair process where I can defend my integrity and clear my name as quickly as I -- as I can in whatever form the Senate deems appropriate.

MACCALLUM: When you hear senators who are on the committee Senator Mazie Hirono and then you hear from others you know, the New York Senator Gillibrand, she says I believe -- I believe this woman. I believe all of them. They're credible and we all have to believe them. When you hear United States senators who are making judgments, final judgments what does that make you think about the presumption of innocence in this country?

B. KAVANAUGH: In America, we have fairness. We hear from both sides. I've spent my life in the judiciary, that our judicial system. And part of the judicial system as I've said during my first -- my hearing was process protects you. That's what judges believe. That's what our systems built on the rule of law, about fair process.

MACCALLUM: Do you feel unprotected by the process?

B. KAVANAUGH: Fair process means hearing from both sides and I think the process -- I want to have an opportunity to defend my integrity and clear my name and have a fair process. A fair process at a minimum, at a bare minimum, requires hearing from both sides before rushing to judgment.

MACCALLUM: Let me ask you this. Separately from of these allegations, is it fair to judge someone on something they did before they were 18 years old when they were 17 years old, should anything they did then follow them later in life or should it enter into any decisions made about them later in life?

B. KAVANAUGH: What I'm here to do is tell you the truth. And this allegation from 36 years ago --

MACCALLUM: But separately from what you're being accused of, just as a judge, is it -- if you were looking at this case as apart from what you're going through and someone said this person do that at 17 years old, is it fair to judge them on something like that when they're in their 50s, 60 years old.

B. KAVANAUGH: I think everyone's judged on their whole life. I'm a good person. I've led a good life. I've tried to do a lot of good for a lot of people. I am not perfect. I know that. None of us is perfect. I'm not perfect but I've never, never done anything like this.

MACCALLUM: So in terms of the process now and what happens now, when you look at how all of this -- where all this generated from, do you have thoughts is this about Roe v Wade, is this about people who initially right off the bat said they wanted to see you never take the spot on the Supreme Court? Where's this all coming from?

B. KAVANAUGH: I don't -- I just want a fair a process where I can be heard.

MACCALLUM: You don't have any thoughts on what's -- where is this is coming from?

B. KAVANAUGH: I just want a fair process where I can be heard, defend my integrity, defend the integrity of my family. I've -- I'm telling the truth.

MACCALLUM: You don't want to talk about where you think this is coming from?

B. KAVANAUGH: I just want an opportunity of fair process where I can defend my integrity.

MACCALLUM: All right. Ashley, how has this been for the girls, for your family? What have you guys -- give us whatever window you feel comfortable saying about what this has been like for you as a family.

A. KAVANAUGH: This -- it's very difficult. It's very difficult to have these conversations with your children which we've had to have, some broader terms for our youngest, but they know Brett and they know the truth. And we told them at the very beginning of this process this will be not fun sometimes. You're going to hear things that people feel strongly and you need to know that and just remember you know your dad.

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

B. KAVANAUGH: 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 women who knew me when I was 14 years old. I'm not going anywhere.

MACCALLUM: Do you believe that president Trump is going to stand by you throughout?

B. KAVANAUGH: I know he's going to stand by me. He called me this afternoon and said he's standing by me.

MACCALLUM: All right. Thank you both very much. Good to speak with you today. Thanks for taking the time.

B. KAVANAUGH: Thank you.


MACCALLUM: All right, here now Marsha Catron former Press Secretary for Senator Dianne Feinstein, Carrie Severino Chief Counsel and Policy Director for the Judicial Crisis Network, a group that has spent millions of dollars defending Judge Kavanaugh, and Marc Thiessen, American Enterprise Institute Scholar and Fox News Contributor. Mark, let me start with you. How do you think he did?

MARK THIESSEN, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: I think he did very well in your interview. I think what we saw as a man who was deeply pained by these horrible accusations that are being made against him without a shred of corroboration of evidence and has -- he can't prove a negative. There literally has been no corroboration. And I think the issue for the Senate, Martha, is can -- and allegations with no evidence be the standard by which we destroy a man's reputation and his career.

Do we -- do we now want to live in a world where allegations with no corroboration are the -- are the new standard by which we destroy people. I don't think the United States Senators want to live in that world because the same tactics that are being used to destroy Brett Kavanaugh's reputation can be used to destroy them. Joe Manchin said today there has to be more than allegations. He's right. There has to be more than allegations. No corroboration, the Ford story, there's been no -- all the people who supposedly were there say not only were they -- did it not happen, they don't even know the about the gathering.

The Ramirez story, the New Yorker, this is their article. The New Yorker has not confirmed with other eyewitnesses that Kavanaugh was present at the party. How do you go forward with a story? What kind of journalistic ethics do you go forward the story where you have is zero corroboration? The New York Times refused to publish this. They said that she said to her classmates that she wasn't sure if Kavanaugh was the person involved.

How are we talking about this? How does this become the issue on which the United States Senate and the United States Supreme Court hangs in the balance in a man's life and reputation? Hangs in the balance, it's outrageous.

MACCALLUM: Marsha, let's ask you that question. Are you comfortable with how this has come about and these uncorroborated allegations that have led to this -- to where we are now, where we're Brett Kavanaugh is now?

MARSHA CATRON, FORMER PRESS SECRETARY OF SENATOR FEINSTEIN: No. That's why I think that we need a fair hearing just like he called for every time that you asked him in this interview. And you both of them repeatedly if they would agree to an FBI investigation and neither of them answered your question.

MACCALLUM: Yes he did. He said -- because I went back because I had the same question after that. He said America is about fairness, I want a fair process where I can defend my integrity and clear my name in whatever form the Senate deems appropriate.

CATRON: Then why haven't they opened up in themselves to an FBI investigation? They did it for Anita Hill in Clarence Thomas --

MACCALLUM: -- Brett Kavanaugh to call for Brett -- for an investigation of himself. That's not -- that's not his role.

CATRON: The Senate can definitely call for an investigation as President Bush did when Anita Hill had her claims. And it took three days for the FBI to investigate then and look where Clarence Tomas is now. So why not open themselves up to an investigation --


MACCALLUM: You know, you look at even the publications and the stories that Marc just referenced. Even within the New York Times and The New Yorker, they -- the New York Times didn't print the piece because they didn't have enough evidence. The New Yorker went ahead and printed it even though they had no corroborative evidence, does that bother you? Are you comfortable with that standard of journalism? And if that doesn't hold up, so you know, then the FBI is going to dig into it?

CATRON: Absolutely. What I don't -- what I want to hear from Judge Kavanaugh is not your show, although I do love it. It's not the New York Times, it's in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee.

MACCALLUM: He's going to do that. For two week he's been begging to do that.

THIESSEN: Senator Feinstein didn't object it.


MACCALLUM: -- which is probably one of the reasons that he wanted to make sure he had his --

CATRON: This weird prebuttal that we had today was just clearly a P.R. move, you know. We haven't seen Dr. Ford do any media --


MACCALLUM: I'll speak to her tomorrow, absolutely. Go ahead, Carrie.

CARRIE SEVERINO, POLICY DIRECTOR, JUDICIAL CRISIS NETWORK: She's had every opportunity. She chose to release this through the Washington Post. Ramirez chose through that through the New Yorker article. That's every opportunity that if they wanted to put their story out there. But what I think is the biggest travesty of justice here is that we had Senator Feinstein in particular but really the Senate Democrats in general so profoundly mishandling this.

As Marc was saying, this is this is trashing someone's reputation in a way that can't get it back. It's had a huge impact on Dr. Ford as well. I'm sure it's going to have on Miss Ramirez. That's not how it's supposed to go. And if the Senate Democrats in particular Senator Feinstein had not held on to these allegations for six whole weeks and refused to do anything to look into them, that's the time when an FBI investigation may have been appropriate because it would have been confidential. That's when the Anita Hill investigation happened and that's appropriate.

But at that point, after it became public, there wasn't an FBI investigation, that's when the Senate does its investigation. All week they have been performing an investigation under penalty of felony asking all of these witnesses. Senate Democrats have been so busy going up and screaming about it in the media --


THIESSEN: I mean, but that's not just the FBI investigating. Senator Feinstein sat on this for six weeks. There is a process. Both of us worked in the Senate so we know how the Senate works.

There is a process in the judiciary. The judiciary committee goes through hundreds of judicial nominations. And there are allegations like this made all the time without any corroboration.

And there are professional investigators who are both nonpartisan whose job it is to create a confidential process by which a person can be interviewed and discuss, and Senator Feinstein did not do any of that.


MACCALLUM: Why didn't she do any of that?

THIESSEN: She just sat on that for six weeks until the end.

MACCALLUM: Why did she--

THIESSEN: -- until Kavanaugh going forward.

CATRON: She said herself and responded to President Trump that she kept it confidential at the request of Dr. Ford. And it wasn't until it leaked to the media?


THIESSEN: How did it leak? How did it leak?

CATRON: I can't answer that question.

THIESSEN: It wasn't Republicans.

SEVERINO: But it wasn't just (Inaudible) Senate staffer on the Democratic side, so that, you know, that's pretty--


MACCALLUM: Let me ask -- let me ask you this because I think we did got a little bit of a preview of what we are going to see on Thursday from Brett Kavanaugh. Do you think he was strong enough, Marc?

THIESSEN: I think that he is trying to be very restrained and not -- someone made a very serious allegation against him. You could see he wants to defend his name but he doesn't want to go after her. Because the Republicans have gone out of their way unlike the way the Democrats are treating Brett Kavanaugh where dragging his name through the mud with no corroboration.

He doesn't want to attack her personally. Because as he said, she might have gone through something and she might be mistaken. He doesn't want to - - so he doesn't -- he can go on the offense but he doesn't want to go on the offense. But it's part to defend himself.

MACCALLUM: But you know what, he can be indignant about the process. And I asked him several times if he felt that this was politically motivated at all and he, for whatever reason, decided not to go there, not to play that kind of blame.

But I was watching last night this moment from Clarence Thomas and he called out the member of the Senate judiciary committee. And this is how he did. I just want to play this as a reminder to everybody. Let's watch.


CLARENCE THOMAS, ASSOCIATE JUSTICE, UNITED STATES SUPREME COURT: I think that this today is a travesty. I think that it is disgusting. I think that this hearing should never occur in America. This is a case in which this leads this dirt was searched for by staffers of members of this committee and this body validated it and displayed it at prime-time over our entire nation.


MACCALLUM: What a parallels there, Marc.

THIESSEN: Absolutely. And look, the same thing is happening here. I mean, Ramirez said and the New Yorker said, that Ronan Farrow said, rather, didn't Ramirez didn't want to come forward. And that she -- it was the Senate Democrats who approached her and goaded her into making this accusation when she went to, when she first talked to the New Yorker she didn't want to come forward and she couldn't remember if it was Kavanaugh.

And only after six days of consulting with her lawyer, which means consulting with Senate Democrats and with their politicized lawyers who are leading this charge against Kavanaugh that she finally come forward and say this.

But she spoke to her own friends and classmates saying she wasn't sure if it was Kavanaugh. So this is a politicized attack. Because the big -- what was the big charge against when Blasey Ford came forward with the allegation? The defense was there is no pattern, right? There is nobody else has come forward to say that he did this so they found somebody else to come forward.


SEVERINO: Yes. Yes found somebody else and they actually created the story it seems.


SEVERINO: Because again, this is something that she wasn't even sure had anything to do with him from the beginning. It took six days to work their way into these charges.

It has been a true travesty of justice. When you look at this man's entire life and reputation that was really unequaled I think in the federal courts both for his integrity and legally. And then remember the ABA which leads to the left who said about his integrity, not just a plus, a plus-plus to have that drag to the mud.

MACCALLUM: Final thought, Marsha. Lot of arrows being swung at Democrats in their handling of this, what do you say?

CATRON: I would say let's think about the victims and the women coming forward in this case. Whether they come forward today or 30 years from now that doesn't -- that shouldn't dissuade what actually happened to them?

THIESSEN: But you need corroboration. You need to have corroboration.

CATRON: And let's hear it.

THIESSEN: And I'll tell you this.

CATRON: On both sides.

CATRON: I am the father of two daughters. I support the Me Too movement because I don't want my daughters to be subjected to that kind of treatment. But at the same time, I don't want people to be falsely accused without evidence and have their lives destroyed because we do know in past cases that there have been cases where it turns out the allegations were not true.

If there is proof of some kind, absolutely. Bring it out and let's have it. But I don't -- we cannot destroy a man's life with no corroboration or no evidence whatsoever. That can't be the standard.

MACCALLUM: Thank you all.


MACCALLUM: Coming up next, the future of the Deputy Attorney general Rod Rosenstein and what the Kavanaugh controversy might have to do with it.


MACCALLUM: Big night. Also breaking this evening in the midst of all of this drama surrounding Brett Kavanaugh, another big story manage to break through involving the future of Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein.

For hours today, it appeared that he might quit. There was also word that he was going to be fired. Or then there was the story that he was not leaving at all. And at this hour it is pretty much anybody's guest.

Chief national correspondent Ed Henry joins me with the story on this. Hi, Ed.

ED HENRY, FOX NEWS CHIEF WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Martha, great to see you. Right, it's a strange day when our Justice Department producer Jake Gibson has to put an e-mail assuring all of us. "Rod Rosenstein is still the deputy attorney general, he wrote, and then quickly added "right now."

A source close to Rosenstein tells Fox, in fact, he went to this meeting today at the White House expecting he was going to be fired by Chief of Staff John Kelly. But then he and Kelly emerged together from that meeting as if to say all is well for now.

During the meeting Kelly put Rosenstein on the phone with the President Trump who is in New York for the U.N. meetings to discuss the bombshell report in the New York Times that at a May 2017 meeting after FBI director James Comey was fired, Rosenstein discussed with then acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe and others the possibility of wearing a wire to record the president to document chaos in the West Wing, potential rally cabinet members to invoke the 25th Amendment and remove the president from office.

Rosenstein says he was being sarcastic. And U.S. Ambassador to the U.N., Nikki Haley, today, said she's never once heard any conversation in the cabinet about the 25th Amendment leading some of the president's advisors to urge him to stay calm. Because this might have been a false flag designed by Andrew McCabe to get him to over-react and play into the hands of Democrats like Adam Schiff who would used the Rosenstein firing to build the case for impeachment.

Now remember, Rosenstein appointed the special counsel Robert Mueller now oversees his budget the scope of the probe and one of the president's lawyers today already says this might mean a pause to the probe. Watch.


REP. ADAM SCHIFF, D-CALIF.: This looks to me like a low moving Saturday night massacre. It seems like the only question is whether these steps take place now or they take place after the midterms when the president believes he'll pay less of a political price for it.

JAY SEKULOW, MEMBER, PRESIDENT TRUMP'S LEGAL TEAM: I think it's a review that has to be thorough and complete, and a review that has include an investigation of what is transpired with all of these statements and all of these allegations going back to the Strzok and Page and Bruce Ohr. And basically a time out on this inquiry.


HENRY: If Rosenstein exits next in line overseeing the probe is Noel Francisco. If he has to recuse himself then Steven Engel next in line. The key being both of these are seen that's being more conservative perhaps than Rosenstein, maybe may be more favorable to the president. Rosenstein will learn his only fate Thursday at the White House.

I feel like there is some other stuff, Martha, happening here in Washington on Thursday.


HENRY: There's a big Kavanaugh hearing, as well as Rosenstein.

MACCALLUM: There's a little hearing going on with Brett Kavanaugh and his accuser Christine Ford. It's incredible. You just wonder if Hagen (Ph) essentially going to step in.


HENRY: Yes, a dramatic few days.

MACCALLUM: All those people.

HENRY: And we don't know the half of it yet.

MACCALLUM: All right. Thank you very much, Ed.

HENRY: You, too.

MACCALLUM: So joining us now Florida Congressman Matt Gaetz, a Republican and member of the House judiciary committee. Good to see you, Congressman. Thank you very much for being here.

What do you think about the Rod Rosenstein situation? Do you think he's there -- you know, how much longer do you think he is there. Or do you think he should be fired or do you think he should leave on his own?

REP. MATT GAETZ, R-FLA.: Well, no matter what the president does, Martha, the Congress has an obligation to exercise our oversight rule. Rod Rosenstein needs to be in the witness chair this week to explain the circumstances of this discussion.

Let's take Ed Henry's report in the like most favorable to Rod Rosenstein that he was sarcastically joking about wearing a wire on the president. That is an inappropriate thing to do when you got subordinates and colleagues at the Department of Justice in your presence.

That's the eco system that allows this type of nefarious activity to occur in an administration. Any member of Congress can call up Rosenstein's impeachment and it must be voted on within two days. If we don't have Rosenstein in the witness chair, Mark Meadows and I are prepared to do just that and keep the Congress in town to do its oversight work.

MACCALLUM: Yes. I mean, you said on Friday, I believe that you thought an investigation needed to be undertaken into this. And there was some speculation that the reason that Rod Rosenstein might have decided to throw in the towel is that he doesn't want to go through that process. Do you think that's true?

GAETZ: I don't know. I know that Rod Rosenstein has been very evasive in answering questions to the judiciary committee. An appropriate context here, Martha, is that this is the same Rod Rosenstein that signed the FISA warrant, it's the same Rod Rosenstein that hired Robert Mueller the day after Donald Trump told Mueller he was not going to be the FBI director, and the same Rod Rosenstein that has withheld documents from Congress.

So this isn't someone who has a great reputation with the judiciary committee at this time. And I think we ought to know what happened under oath so that it's not just speculation. And if he joked about these things, I just don't think it's appropriate for him to continue in his job.

MACCALLUM: Do you think that those things that you mentioned because it's long been discussed that there is a conflict here. Because he is also a witness in this investigation.

Are there are reasons, substantive reasons that are now being discussed more seriously that they were before that would say that it's simply isn't right for him to be overseeing this investigation when he is a potential witness?

GAETZ: You are right that there is a cumulative effect to the bias and conflicts that we see in Rod Rosenstein. Whether it's the fact that he wrote the memo authorizing the firing of James Comey which could potentially be very importance evidence in the obstruction of justice case, or whether he's the person that defines the four corners of the Mueller probe while he signed the FISA warrant to allow collection of information on the Trump camapaign.

So this -- those two circumstance provide that context, but this seems to be even more grave. If people are sitting around at justice joking about undermining the Office of the Presidency, that's very different than what Jim Mattis described at DOD, where he said if anyone was discussing this type of thing they would immediately be fired. We need that same standard across the entire federal government.

MACCALLUM: Let me ask you this. Take the temperature of how you see the White House reaction to this and the discussion of well, it's going to wait until Thursday and then the president will meet him. And whether or not it makes political sense for the president to move on this now or to maybe avoid the issue for the moment and wait until after the midterm elections? Politically how do you read it?

GAETZ: I think the president has excellent political instincts. And I also think that, you know, it's very -- it's very inappropriate for us to act base solely on Andrew McCabe's assertions because as Republicans we've called McCabe a liar rightfully and repeatedly. So you can't just pick the things about McCabe that you think are honest and then discard those that you think are dishonest.

So politically speaking, I don't know. I just know this is a bold president that doesn't think about the next election. He thinks about what's right or wrong. And I would be surprised if Rod Rosenstein made it to the midterms. I really would. Because I don't know how you can allow someone to continue if you feel they're even joking about trying to destabilize an administration that is working so hard.

MACCALLUM: Maybe so. John Brennan was tweeting again, and here is what he said. "Any attempt by the White House to subvert or manipulate law enforcement should be resisted. Rather than resigning, officials should stand their ground and wait to be fired. Resisting abuse of presidential authority is not a policy difference, it is about adhering to the rule of law." Your thoughts?

GAETZ: You have to reject the premise of Brennan's tweets. No one here was protecting the country. There was no argument by Rosenstein that the president was being destabilizing. He was apparently joking about wiretapping him.

And so I think that there is no predicate of that that would justify such a tweet from Brennan. But Brennan is really moved from being an intelligence official to being a political hack doing everything he can to try to make the country turn on Donald Trump. I don't think that he is really viewed with the same degree of objectify that he was when he was serving the Obama administration to sort of going to defend.

MACCALLUM: Congressman Maetz, thank you. Always good to see you. Thanks for being here tonight.

GAETZ: Thank you.

MACCALLUM: Coming up next, Judge Andrew Napolitano here with what he thinks should happen to Rod Rosenstein. Also his take on my sit down with Brett Kavanaugh and his wife and whether he thinks the Supreme Court nominee can survive the incoming.


MACCALLUM: So what do you think is happening? What's happening?

KAVANAUGH: I don't know. But I am -- I want a fair process where I can defend my integrity. And I know I'm telling the truth.




KAVANAUGH: I think everyone is judge on their whole life. I am a good person. I've lead a good life. I've tried to do a lot of good for a lot of people. I am not perfect. I know that. None of us are perfect, I'm not perfect, but I've never, ever done anything like this.

MACCALLUM: Do you believe that President Trump is going to standby you throughout?

KAVANAUGH: I know he is going to stand by me. He called me this afternoon and said he standby me.


MACCALLUM: More now with my exclusive interview with Judge Brett Kavanaugh. And he said the president will stand by him as he categorically denies claims that he sexually assaulted anyone. Particularly the two women who have raised this issue more than 30 years ago.

The Supreme Court nominee says he wants a fair process which you heard him say many, many times. He wants to be heard which he also said repeatedly today. And we do expect that we're all going to get that opportunity to hear from him and also from Dr. Christine Ford on Thursday.

Joining me now, Judge Andrew Napolitano, Fox News senior judicial analyst. Judge, let's start with Judge Kavanaugh, how do you think he did in supporting himself today?

ANDREW NAPOLITANO, FOX NEWS SENIOR JUDICIAL ANALYST: I thought your questions were better than the answers. The questions were riveting and thorough and fair. I'm not just saying that because we're friends and colleagues but they were. There were times when I cringed because the questions were so strong.

But he restrained himself from answering literally many of your questions. Because I don't think he wants to give the Democrats on the Senate judiciary committee other areas of his personal life and his personal thinking to interrogate.

I also thought he was very measured in his answers for the same reason. I did not see -- and I think you ran this earlier in your show -- the righteous indignation, the towering voice of God that you heard from Clarence Thomas when he was similarly outrage.

Now we may see that on Thursday. But we didn't see it with you.


NAPOLITANO: My other thought about the interview is God have mercy on Dr. Ford if she submits to an interview with you.

MACCALLUM: Well, we would love to have her on. Because if she wants to have an opportunity to speak before Thursday, she should certainly let us know and we are happy to do that with her. We reached out to pretty much everyone in this story over the last couple of weeks.

I want to play one sound bite with regard to Roe v. Wade and get your thought so n how he responded to this, judge, and then I want to ask you about Rod Rosenstein.


MACCALLUM: Is this about Roe v. Wade, is this about people who initially right off the bat said they wanted to see you never take a spot on the Supreme Court? Where is this all coming from?

KAVANAUGH: I just want a fair process where I can be heard.

MACCALLUM: You don't have any thoughts on where this is coming from?

KAVANAUGH: I just want a fair process where I can be heard and defend my integrity and defend the integrity of my family. I've -- I'm telling the truth.


MACCALLUM: That is not a Clarence Thomas type answer, judge.


MACCALLUM: He went after the Senate judiciary committee, Clarence Thomas as we saw a little while ago just ripping them to shreds and saying the whole thing was a travesty.

NAPOLITANO: That was a frustrating answering. But he is being very circumspect and judicial, if you will. If he says to you, what I believe and what many people watching us now believe, of course it's about Roe versus Wade. He opens up a can of worms for the Democrats on the judiciary committee to enter. And he doesn't want to do that.

I am sure he has thoughts on this, I'm sure they've analyzed those thoughts till the cast come home over at the White House with him but he doesn't want to be seen publicly articulating them. Tremendous, tremendous self- discipline on his part.

MACCALLUM: With regard to -- I want to get your thoughts on Rod Rosenstein. Because as you point out, there was a draft, you know, there was discussion that he was leaving the office. And as you point out there was even a draft that came out of the DOJ which talks about what the succession plan would be. That is not in effect as of right now.

NAPOLITANO: I'm wondering if the White House hasn't telegraphed Attorney General Sessions to say that Rod Rosenstein's last day on the job will be Thursday.

Now Jonathan Swan whom we both know from Axios has taken some heat for some of the things he's reported on this. He reported about seven or eight minutes ago that Attorney General Sessions has drafted a statement which congratulates Deputy Attorney General Rosenstein, names Attorney General Sessions as chief of staff as the new COO of the Department of Justice and puts Noel Francisco, the solicitor general in charge of the Mueller investigation as Mueller's boss.


MACCALLUM: Well, we will see if indeed that is in effect. Judge, thank you very much. Great to talk to you tonight Thanks for being here.

NAPOLITANO: Of course.

MACCALLUM: OK. Quick break. We'll be right back.


MACCALLUM: That is our story on this Monday night. Let me know what you thought of our interview of Judge Brett Kavanaugh. You can tweet me at Martha MacCallum using the hash tag TheStory, or you can e-mail thestory@foxnews.com.

We will be back here in D.C. again tomorrow night covering all the breaking developments. Tucker Carlson is up next and I'll see you on his show as well, later tonight. Have a good night, everybody.

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