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ANDERSON COOPER 360 DEGREES
Judiciary Committee Sets Vote on Kavanaugh Nomination for Friday; Interview with Senator Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut; Interview with Attorney for Second Kavanaugh Accuser. Aired on 8-9p ET
Aired September 25, 2018 - 20:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[20:00:12] ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST: Good evening.
Today, one of the biggest celebrities of the last half century was handcuffed and taken to prison for sexually assaulting a woman. Yet Bill Cosby's sentencing, a landmark in so many ways, is not our lead story. It is part of a larger conversation about women, and justice, and politics and the perception so many people are having right now.
We begin with another part of that conversation, and the stakes could not be higher. We're talking, of course, about the fight over Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh and the two accusers who say he assaulted them.
Now, late today, Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee who control the process scheduled their first vote on the nomination for 9:30 a.m. on Friday, a day after Thursday's testimony from Judge Kavanaugh and his first accuser, Christine Blasey Ford. Now, we should note just a few minutes ago, they added a caveat. They're only potentially going to vote. But nonetheless, it's been added to the schedule, and it certainly tracks with what many Republicans have been saying about the need to vote and the refusal to hear public testimony on Thursday from anyone beyond those two witnesses.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. MITCH MCCONNELL (R-KY), MAJORITY LEADER: I'm glad we'll be able to hear testimony from both. And then I look forward to an up or down vote on this nomination right here on the Senate floor.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Now, late today in a letter to ranking Democrat Dianne Feinstein, Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley declined to postpone Thursday's hearing in light of allegations from the second accuser Deborah Ramirez. Also late today, Senator Lindsey Graham told CNN's Manu Raju he's got, quote, zero patience, his words, for Democratic demands that others testify.
Again, the committee's first vote is now set for Friday with further action expected over the weekend. And as they push forward, the GOP's language toward the process and the accusers seems to be changing. Listen to the tone early last week.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KELLYANNE CONWAY, COUNSELOR TO THE PRESIDENT: So let me make very clear. I've spoken with the president. I've spoken with Senator Graham and others. This woman will be heard.
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: They'll go through a process and hear everybody out. I think it's important. I believe they think it's important. I'd like to see a complete process. I'd like everybody to be very happy.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Well, that was the 17th when it was only Professor Ford's accusations that were in the public domain. And for nearly four days, the president tweeted not one word about it. On the 21st, he did, at first only raising questions about the process, not the accuser.
Judge Brett Kavanaugh is a fine man with an impeccable reputation who's under assault by radical left-wing politicians who don't want to know the answers, they just want to destroy and delay. Facts don't matter. I go through this with them every single day in D.C.
Now, he posted that at 8:56 a.m. Then he needed, apparently, he felt the need to say more. So 18 minutes later, at 9:14, he raised his first question about Professor Ford. Quote: I have no doubt that if the attack on Dr. Ford was as bad as she says, charges would have been immediately filed with local law enforcement authorities by either her or her loving parents. I ask that she brings those filings forward so that we can learn date, time and place.
Again, that was Friday. Yesterday after "The New Yorker" published the article with allegations made by Deborah Ramirez, this is what Kellyanne Conway said.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CONWAY: This may be the first time we've ever heard of allegations against someone as a teenager who did not prey upon women thusly as he became powerful. I just don't think one man's shoulders should bear decades of the #MeToo movement.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Well, also yesterday, key Senate Republicans were ramping up some of their rhetoric.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MCCONNELL: Democrats wouldn't let a few inconvenient things like a complete lack of evidence or an accuser's request for confidentiality to get between them and a good smear. It's despicable.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: There was more today talking about Ms. Ramirez, though not by name. President Trump said this. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: Oh, gee, let's not make him a Supreme Court judge because of that? The second accuser has nothing. The second accuser doesn't even know -- she thinks maybe it could have been him. Maybe not.
She admits that she was drunk. She admits time lapses. There were time lapses.
This is a person and this is a series of statements that's going to take one of the most talented, one of the greatest intellects from a judicial standpoint in our country, going to keep him off the United States Supreme Court?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Well, tonight that's a question that for the president at least answers itself.
Now, in just a few moments, you'll be hearing exclusively from one of the attorneys for Deborah Ramirez. We invited every Republican member of the Judiciary Committee to come on the broadcast tonight, got no for an answer. Right now, we are joined by Democratic member, Senator Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut.
Senator Blumenthal, so the fact the committee has now tentatively scheduled its vote for not even 24 hours after Thursday's hearing, I'm wondering to you what does that say about this process?
SEN. RICHARD BLUMENTHAL (D-CT), SENATE JUDICIARY COMMITTEE: Scheduling this hearing even before hearing Dr. Blasey Ford on Thursday demonstrates exactly the disregard and disrespect for assault survivors that shames and silences so many before they come forward.
[20:05:16] And the message is very clear. They are less interested in the truth, in the facts and evidence, than in putting ideological extremists on the court. And these insulting, demeaning, disrespectful comments by the president, by the majority leader are an insult not only to Dr. Blasey Ford and Deborah Ramirez but to the entire survivor community.
COOPER: The flip side of that, of course, from the Republican standpoint is if Judge Kavanaugh, if people are lying about him, doesn't he deserve to have a vote one way or the other?
BLUMENTHAL: He deserves to have a vote, if it is concluded he's telling the truth, if his veracity is established after this hearing. But even before the hearing, if he really wanted to clear his name, he would demand that the White House order an FBI investigation of these serious credible allegations. If he really wanted his name cleared, he would demand that Senator Grassley schedule other witnesses like Mark Judge, who was in the room when this credible allegation of assault occurred.
And he would also do other kinds of steps that would get at the facts and evidence. But in fact, the pattern here is one of concealing and hiding. Even before these allegations came forth, they concealed and hid millions of pages of documents that bore on his credibility. And that's one of the central issues, his veracity, his truth telling or lack of it that will be at issue this Thursday.
COOPER: We should point out Professor Ford is alleging that Judge was in the room. Obviously, we don't know that for a fact.
The hearing on Thursday, do you have any understanding as to how it's going to work? I mean, the choreography of it? Because when your colleague senator Dick Durbin was asked about it today, all he could say was that, quote, the table and chair situation has been resolved.
BLUMENTHAL: We know more about it now. But still, the details are unresolved in final form.
But here's the way it probably will work. The sexual assault survivor Dr. Blasey Ford will appear and be questioned by a prosecutor selected by the 11 male Republicans. She is said to be a woman. We have no idea as to exactly who she is.
And we as Democrats will do our constitutional duty. We will be asking questions of both her and then of Judge Kavanaugh. And there will be five-minute rounds for each of us as senators, which is barely adequate. In fact, it should be much longer. And it will be carefully choreographed.
But the really significant news tonight is scheduling this vote the day after, literally the day after this hearing, leaving no one really time to consider the testimony and no time for witnesses including Deborah Ramirez, who has just come forward, let alone the FBI investigation, which really should be done before a hearing, let alone a vote.
COOPER: Do you think it's appropriate that it's not going to be Republican senators asking questions but what they described as a career sex crimes prosecutor?
BLUMENTHAL: The question really is, Anderson, why are our Republican colleagues hiding behind a prosecutor? And the answer I think was given earlier today by Bob Corker, our colleague, who said they feared saying something insensitive I think was the word they used that would then be repeated 24/7.
We're not afraid of questioning witnesses. That's our constitutional duty. I think that they should do their job.
COOPER: You know what Republicans will say, though, that look, if it was all-male Republicans asking Professor Ford questions, that Democrats would have been critical of the fact that there were no female Republican senators on the committee to ask questions.
BLUMENTHAL: The lack of diversity on that committee is their doing, not ours. And there is nothing about that excuse that justifies their ducking their constitutional duty. What's really important, though, is the goal of uncovering the facts and evidence. If Republicans were really serious about that goal, they would have
asked for an FBI investigation. I know that it seems like common sense, but no prosecutor, and I was a prosecutor for many years before coming to this job, would put a witness on the stand, not to mention a crime survivor, without first investigating the allegation. And all of the facts, because we ought to have a common goal of investigating the facts.
And this process now has become so partisan, sadly and regrettably, it is almost another nail on the coffin of a non-partisan Supreme Court. And it will I fear stain and cloud not only this nomination, Brett Kavanaugh, but the court itself.
COOPER: Senator Blumenthal, I appreciate your time. Thank you very much.
BLUMENTHAL: Thank you.
COOPER: In a moment our exclusive interview with one of the attorneys for the second accuser, Deborah Ramirez, whose identity was revealed in "The New Yorker."
Joining us right now is CNN chief legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin, CNN legal commentator Ken Cuccinelli, and CNN political analyst and "New York Times" White House correspondent Maggie Haberman.
The fact that the Judiciary Committee is possibly taking Kavanaugh's nomination to a vote on Friday, I mean, it certainly shows their desire to move forward as quickly as possible.
MAGGIE HABERMAN, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Yes, and I think they've actually been quite blunt about that publicly. I think that you take the aggregate of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's comments on the floor, you heard what the president said today, which was wildly off script and not what he had been advised to do and I think he had a variety of reasons for doing that, and the fact that he needed -- they need to set this hearing I think three days ahead of time.
So, they had to do it today if they wanted to do it Friday. They can always postpone it. But yes, it says -- you heard Lindsey Graham say this on Sunday, you have heard other senators say this, that basically they've made up their minds about the vote.
COOPER: Why do you think the president wanted to make those comments today?
HABERMAN: I think the president has gotten two reasons. I think the president was frustrated because he had laughed at UNGA after -- during his speech shortly beforehand --
COOPER: The U.N. General Assembly.
HABERMAN: U.N. General Assembly. And I think he took his frustration for one forum and turned it toward another.
I think that he has been frustrated over days and days and days of watching the allegations against Brett Kavanaugh. He confided to a number of people around him after Brett Kavanaugh's interview last night that he didn't think it was particularly strong. That -- and most White House officials shared that view.
He has been anxious about this getting through since last week. And I think he is at the point where he would just like to know already one way or the other so they can figure out what to do next if it doesn't work.
COOPER: Ken, what kind of a message if any do you think it sends Professor Ford that Republicans are already planning to possibly take a vote the day after the hearing?
KEN CUCCINELLI, CNN LEGAL COMMENTATOR: Well, I don't find anything unusual about it for the committee. I mean, the key is getting this hearing done and hearing from these two individuals. That is going to happen. And remember, even in addition to the delay introduced by the initial confidentiality, which is understandable, but the later delay when Dr. Ford surfaced and said I want to do this and then the negotiation back and forth.
I have never seen a committee chairman give a witness so much room, so many options as Chairman Grassley gave to Dr. Ford, and yet it still got delayed even beyond the week that the rules call for and so forth. I think that the Friday vote is understandable in that context because remember, this is already a delayed process. And the key is going to be Thursday.
COOPER: Jeff, how do you see this possible vote on Friday?
JEFFREY TOOBIN, CNN CHIEF LEGAL ANALYST: Well, you know, I'm thinking about the hearing and I'm thinking about this prosecutor. I think this presents a lot of peril for Ms. Ford. I mean, you know, think about the questions you could ask her if you ask like a prosecutor.
You know, who else was present? I don't know. What day did it take place? I don't know. What house did it take place? I don't know. Who did you tell? I don't know. I didn't tell anyone.
COOPER: Are those questions that should be asked?
TOOBIN: Well, yes, they are. But a skilled prosecutor could make this witness look pretty bad. Senators are notoriously terrible questioners. They like to talk.
TOOBIN: They don't like to answer -- they don't like to ask questions. And I think this decision to bring in a prosecutor is well within the rights of the Republican majority. And I think it could turn out to be a very clever and effective strategy.
CUCCINELLI: Can I comment on that, Anderson?
CUCCINELLI: First of all, I agree with Jeffrey. But I want to make a broader point.
If truth is the goal in any House or Senate hearing, it is amazing the number of times that utilizing one questioner who's a professional would get so much farther down the road more professionally and frankly better for the committee members, better for the witnesses, and better for truth itself. I wish there was more of this done by both sides of the aisle. I don't think it's partisan in the sense that it's a good practice.
And truth is the most important thing on Thursday, no matter how one comes to it, whether you come as a Republican, a Democrat (AUDIO GAP) and as to these two individuals.
[20:15:03] Truth is the goal. And I think single questioner helps get to that better.
COOPER: Maggie, Ken makes a good point. It's rare, though, that you have politicians not wanting to be on camera being seen as asking questions.
HABERMAN: This is potentially very fraught for people questioning Ms. Ford. You could end up looking among the male members of the committee, you could end up looking as if you're bullying her depending on how the questions are asked.
I agree with Jeffrey that I think it is a potentially shrewd move, especially because we do know that there are clearly missing pieces of her story. I think the flip side of that is that -- and this is what I have heard privately, concerns among Republicans about and some in the White House, is if she is -- if she is giving her testimony and she is describing what she described to the "Washington Post," which is a hand covering her mouth and this pretty grim attack or grim attempted attack, it might be hard to puncture that even with shrewd questioning.
That can be a pretty powerful statement politically, and it can be pretty hard, again, even for a skilled prosecutor. They're doing their job as a prosecutor. That doesn't necessarily play as well in a Senate hearing.
COOPER: Jeff, I mean, even if the judiciary committee does take Judge Kavanaugh's nomination to a vote on Friday and he doesn't get the votes, it wouldn't be the end of the road for him, right? Justice Clarence Thomas wasn't fully endorsed by the committee and still ended up getting confirmed --
TOOBIN: It was a tie vote. The majority leader runs this process, Mitch McConnell. And Mitch McConnell, this is his mission as majority leader -- the courts generally and the Supreme Court in particular. This is the most important thing he will do in his entire career, which is shift the Supreme Court to a 5-4 heavy-duty conservative majority.
This is what he has dedicated his life to. He is going to put pressure on Susan Collins, on Lisa Murkowski to the extent he can. And it's not -- you know, his power is not complete. But he is going to do absolutely everything he can, not least because the election is coming up and the Republicans may lose the majority, in which case they'll get no one.
So, I mean, the stakes for Mitch McConnell could not be higher.
COOPER: Jeff Toobin, Ken Cuccinelli, Maggie Haberman, thanks very much.
Coming up next, a 360 exclusive, one of the lawyers for Deborah Ramirez joins us to react in part to the president's characterization of his client.
Later, Bill Cosby's journey from America's dad to convicted sex offender and what his sentencing today says about fame, justice and the pain that so many women say he inflicted on them.
[20:21:46] COOPER: With the Senate Judiciary Committee now seemingly determined to vote on Brett Kavanaugh and vote by Friday morning, at least beginning Friday morning, criticism by the president about the allegations made in "The New Yorker" by Debra Ramirez have ramped up. He spoke today about her drinking and what he called time lapses.
As you know, Ronan Farrow and Jane Mayer of "The New Yorker" reported Sunday that Ms. Ramirez who attended Yale with Judge Kavanaugh says she remembers him exposing himself to her at a dormitory party. He denies it.
We should also point out here that Republican staffers on the Senate Judiciary Committee spoke today on a conference call with Judge Kavanaugh who again denied the allegations. Democratic staffers were also on the call but asked no questions. That's according to sources familiar with the call.
And with all that said, here's my conversation, which we recorded just before air time with John Clune, attorney for Deborah Ramirez.
COOPER: Mr. Clune, you heard what President Trump said about your client. I'm wondering, first of all, what your reaction was to that today.
JOHN CLUNE, ATTORNEY FOR DEBORAH RAMIREZ: Well, it's obviously disappointing to have anybody taking an attack on your client. But I feel like the politicians are going to say what they want to say but it doesn't mean what Debbie disclosed is not true.
COOPER: What is the current status of any discussions or negotiations you've had with the Senate Judiciary Committee? Because as recently as a few hours ago, Chairman Grassley said that Ms. Ramirez's legal team was just referring the committee to the "New Yorker" article and giving no other comment. And he also said and I'm quoting: If Ms. Ramirez submits testimony and evidence to the Senate Judiciary Committee which committee investigators have requested, we can decide how to proceed.
CLUNE: Yes, I don't know where the senator is getting that information from. We've had a number of e-mail communications with the committee so far, but the difficulty is every time we try to set up a phone call, the majority party either changes the rules of the phone call or they want additional information as a condition of even having a phone call with us. We finally had a phone call scheduled for 7:00 Eastern this evening. We got on the phone and only the minority party showed.
So, it feels like there's a lot of game playing that's going on right now by the majority party, and we just want to be able to talk to them and find out what is it they're contemplating about how this will be investigated or how Debbie could provide her information to the Senate.
COOPER: When you said they're changing the rules of the phone call or how to set up the phone, can you be more specific?
CLUNE: Sure. So, for example, we had a phone call scheduled and then they sent us an e-mail and saying, for a condition for us to even have the phone call, you need to give us a list of all the evidence that you have and break it down for us before we'll even talk about by phone. And, you know, we responded obviously saying we're really concerned, we have a client we want to protect and, you know, we want to make sure that whatever process you're going to do is going to be fair and respectful of her and then they don't have the phone call with us. So, I don't know what else we can do if they're not going to engage but blaming us for being non-cooperative is just flat out not consistent with how things had gone and what the e-mails showed.
COOPER: So, disregarding what Grassley -- the direct quote that he said, that if Ms. Ramirez submits testimony and evidence to the Senate Judiciary Committee which committee members have requested, we can decide how to proceed, you're saying your client is willing to do that if you can what, guarantee -- or get information in advance about the questions? Or what specifically?
CLUNE: Oh, no. You know, I think the first thing that's critical, Anderson, is that this has to be investigated by meaningful law enforcement.
[20:25:05] This is not something that can be done via the Senate or some hired gun prosecutor that wants to cross-examine (AUDIO GAP) you know, either Ms. Ford or Ms. Ramirez. This has to be by FBI who can investigate the matter with the threat of perjury.
Our client's willing to do that. I'd be very interested to see whichever witnesses Judge Kavanaugh has remaining who are willing to talk, if they'd be willing to do the same thing.
So, if we can get a meaningful investigation by the FBI, there are all sorts of ways that our client would be willing to provide information to the Senate.
COOPER: So if there is no FBI investigation and it was just a matter of submitting testimony and evidence to the Senate Judiciary Committee, to committee investigators, that's not something you recommend that your client do?
CLUNE: I wouldn't recommend she do that, no. I mean, that's -- you know, if it's just a matter of her disclosing information to them, that would be one thing. But if they're intending to have either (AUDIO GAP) grilling from the senators or grilling from some other individual, that kind of cross-examination cannot be a replacement for a meaningful investigation.
COOPER: As you know, Senator Grassley has again raised the idea that talking to "The New Yorker", you can lie to reporters, talking to Senate investigators is under oath. The implication obviously being that your client doesn't want to talk to investigators because it's under oath.
CLUNE: Well, I mean, that's belied by the fact that she has stated very publicly that she's willing to be investigated and actually tell her information to the FBI, which is also something that is punishable by the penalty of perjury. So an FBI individual, somebody who is a trained law enforcement investigator, somebody who are trauma informed, somebody who understands sexual assault investigations and certainly can't be replaced by the individuals on the committee (AUDIO GAP) and staff members they hire.
COOPER: Would there be any advantage to having a preliminary interview with your client, giving a preliminary interview to Senate investigators and then hoping that that would spark an FBI investigation?
CLUNE: I don't know. Maybe. If we could get the majority party on the phone to actually talk about these things, you know, would be a lot better to consider these things and talk about them with our client. But right now, we can't get any information from them.
COOPER: So, they literally were not on the phone call that you had scheduled?
CLUNE: Correct. The minority party was there. And the majority party did not show.
COOPER: One of the suspicions that's been raised obviously about your client which I want you to be able to respond to is that it took Ms. Ramirez six days after she first talked to "The New Yorker" to actually name Brett Kavanaugh as the person who allegedly exposed himself to her. Can you -- and that she consulted with attorneys. I'm not sure if it was with you directly.
Can you explain why it took her six days?
CLUNE: Yes. It was not with me directly. It was with another attorney. But, you know, the interesting thing about Ms. Ramirez, is she is very, very careful and very deliberate, that she's not putting information out there. She realizes the gravity of the situation in which she's coming forward. So, she wanted to be very, very careful. It's 35 years old. She
wanted to make sure that what she was actually going to be disclosing publicly was information that she could rely on and she could stand by and it was accurate.
With the passage of time, you know, she went through those memories and there are some things she believed were probably true but she didn't disclose those because she wasn't completely convinced of their accuracy. So, that's the only reason why she did the work with the attorney and spent the six days to make sure that information she did put forward was indeed accurate.
COOPER: Some people have implied that perhaps the attorney she spoke to may have been politically motivated or politically connected and encouraged her to specifically cite Judge Kavanaugh even though her memory was not full on that. And last night on Fox News, Judge Kavanaugh cited a "New York Times" report that said Ms. Ramirez had recently contacted former Yale classmates, told them -- or told some of them that she wasn't sure it was Kavanaugh.
Is that true, that she had done that?
CLUNE: No, I wasn't representing her at the time that was going on. So I wouldn't be able to answer that question.
But in regards to the information about the attorney that she hired, she hired Stan Garnett (ph), who is a career prosecutor. He's somebody who until just recently was the elected district attorney for Boulder County, Ms. Ramirez's home county. So, he was the perfect fit.
And for anybody who knows Mr. Garnett, there is no way that he would play politics with some sort of information like this. He cares about victims of sexual violence and he wouldn't put forth information that was not accurate.
COOPER: And just so I'm clear, you're saying you would not have asked your client whether, in fact, "The New York Times" reporting was correct that she called up former Yale classmates and to some expressed that she wasn't sure if Kavanaugh was involved?
CLUNE: I haven't asked her about the information in the "New York Times" article, no.
COOPER: If that in fact was true --
COOPER: Sorry. Go ahead.
CLUNE: Yes. I mean, if that's true, it would be more evidence of the fact that she wanted to be very, very deliberate about what was being put forth. I mean she is probably the most careful and conscientious client that I've ever represented. She is very adamant that she's not going to put forward information that she doesn't actually recall and doesn't think it's something that she can rely on. And to the extent that she was, you know, looking for any additional information. I mean that was just smart investigation to make sure that, you know, she wasn't remembering things inaccurately or by the passage of time.
COOPER: Mr. Clune, I appreciate your time. Thank you.
CLUNE: Thanks, Anderson.
COOPER: Well what you just heard from John Clune, that which that interview was taped right before we went on air that no Republican staffers were on tonight's conference call. We asked Chairman Grassley's office to respond. We received a chain of e-mails. This chain of e-mails here which goes back several days. Got no direct answer to our question about no Republicans being on the call.
I do -- we have just been going through this while we were playing that interview and it seems like they're talking past each other. Mike Davis a number of times asks over the last several days Mr. Clune saying "before we discuss a phone call or any other next steps we need to have the following information. One, does Ms. Ramirez have any other evidence including other statements in addition to those that are contained in the "New Yorker" article. And two, is Ms. Ramirez willing to provide her evidence including her testimony to committee investigators." They're saying they want that before they discuss having a call and repeatedly also Mr. Clune in response is basically saying in response to the first question, there are certainly more witnesses in the article. That's why we want an FBI investigation. We don't see how you can get to the root of the matter without that.
As for your second question, we couldn't answer without learning more from you about the details of whatever process you are contemplating. After hearing more we would advise the client accordingly and she could decide.
So they seem to be talking past each other on this. There's certainly a lot to talk about. Kirsten Powers and Amanda Carpenter were listening to that interview. We'll get their reaction after a quick break.
[20:35:28] COOPER: A moment ago you heard from the attorney for Debra Ramirez. John Clune says he was on a Senate Judiciary Committee conference call tonight in hopes of speaking with Republicans on the panel. However, he said only the Democratic members were on the call. We received an e-mail chain sent to us by the GOP folks on the Judiciary Committee who essentially say they have been asking for any information that Ms. Ramirez has on whether she'd be willing to talk to Senate investigators from Mr. Clune. There -- he's unwilling to give that information until they talk and find out more details about what specifically the GOP side wants.
Joining us now is CNN political analyst Kirsten Powers, also Amanda Carpenter author of the new book "Gaslighting America: Why We Love It When Trump Lies to Us." Kirsten, I'm wondering what you make of this kind of back and forth from the attorneys, from Ms. Ramirez and also the GOP folks on the judiciary committee, the investigators.
KIRSTEN POWERS, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, I mean what it sounds like is that they don't trust the Republicans to investigate this. And I think that's a pretty good judgment to make based on the behavior that we've seen, that they don't seem interested in getting to the truth and she's asked for an FBI investigation. People typically don't ask the FBI to investigate their made-up stories, because they could go to jail for it. And the Republicans have refused to have an FBI investigation of her or of Dr. Blasey Ford, which to me is the most suspicious thing and all of this.
And even Lisa Murkowski said, tonight, I think Manu Raju is the one who asked her about it, you know, should there be an investigation of these allegations that she said by the FBI and she said well that certainly would clear everything up, wouldn't it? So, it's pretty obvious that is what is needed, that these people need to be put under oath and questioned, not just giving statements. People can craft statements that are very carefully worded and give them to the Senate, which is what's happened. That most of them say they don't remember it, it's very different when you're being questioned by the FBI.
And as the lawyer was saying, who has expertise in that area, knows how to ask these questions, knows how to deal with trauma victims or alleged trauma victims. And so I think what they're doing is actually very reasonable.
COOPER: Amanda, should the GOP side agree to an FBI investigation or have the White House ask for one?
AMANDA CARPENTER, FMR COMMUNICATIONS DIRECTOR: I've always thought from the beginning a limited investigation with the key players with a timetable made sense. But that doesn't seem like that's going to happen. And here's what I would tell Ms. Ramirez or Dr. Ford, you know, take the politics out of it. If these were my friends, I would say listen, if you want to go through this process, it is going to be painful. If your goal was to have your story told go to the media, maybe go to another outlet. But if your goal is to change votes because you really can't live with the fact that this guy might be on the Supreme Court, then you're going to have to find the will to go to Congress and tell your story, however uncomfortable that may be.
Because there are deadlines at play, manufactured or not. There's a very strong power play going on right now by the GOP. Mitch McConnell's calling the vote on Friday. I mean, he's trying to make this seem like this is said and done, doesn't really matter what Dr. Ford says, they're going to move on. It's no coincidence that Brett Kavanaugh did that interview on Fox News, that Donald Trump is talking about it. That Mitch McConnell said over the weekend we're going to plow through.
And so if these women want to go through with it, it's going to be very hard and they're going to have to show up on Thursday. Otherwise, their failure to show up is going to be painted as a concession.
COOPER: I mean obviously, Kirsten, Ms. Ramirez is not invited Thursday, and obviously it seems like, you know, the GOP side is saying they want more information before figuring out, you know, next steps if there are in fact anybody to Amanda's point, it doesn't seem like there's going to be -- I mean there's no appetite for an FBI investigation on the Republican side or the White House.
POWERS: That doesn't mean people shouldn't continue to ask for it. I think that we should still expect them to want to get to the truth. The fact that they're so transparently don't want to is a problem, and I think we have to talk about that. The fact that they're saying they're going to have a vote and have all but said he is going to be confirmed shows us that they're not interested in getting to the truth. They're not interested in taking these accusations seriously. And I think the reason that this has been scheduled for Friday is because they're afraid more information is going to come out. It's not just -- it's not just that they don't want to get truth.
And so I think they know the truth. And I think that's what's becoming concerning, is that they are -- they would only be moving so quickly if they thought more things were going to come out that were going to be problematic.
[20:40:06] Otherwise you at least go through the motions of saying we'll do it next week. You don't have it the very next day.
COOPER: Amanda, why does there need to be such -- I mean if there is a rush, why does there need to be the timing that the Republicans are pointing out? I mean Kristen saying that it's clearly they're just afraid of more stuff coming out.
CARPENTER: Well, I mean I think you can look at the events of the last week with what Michael Avenatti has threatened and not really at least come through in the last 24 hours to show why you'd want to put an end to this. But I think we'd have to look a little more globally at the importance of the Supreme Court seat.
Republicans made a calculation in the 2016 election that they would back somebody who bragged about sexual assault on camera to get the Supreme Court seat. And so unless there is some kind of evidence that comes forward that is indis -- undisputable, I don't think this thing is going to slow down. That said, I think it is important to the legacy of the seat that Republicans do move forward with confidence and clarity about Brett Kavanaugh.
And over the past week, you know, I have questions about the sexual assault. I am certain that he witnessed at least as a student at Georgetown Prep and then continuing on his career. And I want to know did he ever stand up to it? What did he do about it? What did he think? And those are legit questions aside from everything else that do have to be resolved.
COOPER: Yes, Amanda Carpenter, Kirsten Powers, I appreciate it. Thanks. Another unprecedented moment today for President Trump. He was speaking at the UN boasting about his accomplishments, and then this happened.
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF UNITED STATES: Didn't expect that reaction, but that's OK.
COOPER: People laughing. The President had a different take on that. Just a few hours later. We'll talk about it and much more with Lieutenant Colonel Ralph Peters, next.
[20:45:50] COOPER: President Trump often points out his accomplishments at rallies. He did it just the other day in Las Vegas. Today he tried the same thing at the United Nations and the room full of world leaders proved to be a slightly tougher crowd. Take a look.
TRUMP: In less than two years my administration has accomplished more than almost any administration in the history of our country. America's -- so true. Didn't expect that reaction, but that's OK.
COOPER: Well, you just heard the President say he didn't expect the reaction but then hours later when asked about the laughter the President had a different take. He told the reporters, "That was meant to get some laughter." The President's now trying to play off the moment as if he was making a joke and wanted them to laugh. You'd think he wouldn't want that. After all, for years he's been critical of the work on the world stage by his world predecessor using a key phrase over and over.
TRUMP: The world is laughing at us, folks.
They're laughing at us. At our stupidity.
They laugh at us.
They're laughing at us. It's just crazy what's going on.
Everybody's laughing at us.
They're laughing at us. We don't know what we're doing.
They're laughing at us because they think we're stupid.
The whole world is laughing at us. They're laughing at us. At what's going on in our country.
The world laughs at us, folks. The world laughs at us.
COOPER: Well they were certainly laughing today at the UN. Joining us is strategic analyst and author retired Lieutenant Colonel Ralph Peters.
Colonel, thanks for being with us.
LT. COL. RALP PETERS, (RET.) U.S. ARMY: Hi, Anderson.
COOPER: Just on this kind of minor moment of the President being laughed at in front of the UN general assembly, I wonder what you make of it. But I'm not sure I've seen that before.
PETERS: Well, I think it tells you that the nations of the world and their leaders and governments have priced Trump into the strategic marketplace, as it were. They feel like OK, this is Trump, we know it's going to be bad, but we're going to get through it. And it's pretty grim. Pretty grim. When the world is indeed laughing and mocking -- laughing at and mocking a U.S. President. But that's where we are, Anderson.
You know, when I listened to the speech this morning, there was much to worry about. But I have to say that at the end of the day I was a little bit relieved because you though, instead of getting the Black Death we just got influenza.
COOPER: You were expecting from what you're saying, you were expecting worse. The -- I mean the President's message today, it seemed to be fairly consistent to what he said last year or obviously not using, you know, Kim Jong-un, calling him rocket man. You know, he actually thanked him for what he described as his courage.
PETERS: Yes. Which was just plain nutty. But, you know, when the U.S. President speaks, it matters. The words matter. And beyond all the braggadocio and the clown show antics, there were two tracks today. One was the immediate -- immediate problems facing us. And the other, though, was much deeper. And I think a lot of people missed it. When Trump kept going on and on and on about patriotism and sovereignty. Patriotism and sovereignty.
Words mean different things to different people in different countries and cultures. To us patriotism, we think defending our country. It's a good thing. Sovereignty. Well, of course we want a sovereign nation with controlled borders. But in much of the world when we say -- when Trump says patriotism and sovereignty they hear nationalism and basically they're impermeable to blame, that they can get away with whatever they want within their own countries. And you know, there is a line somewhere out there. It's little fuzzy. Between honorable patriotism and rabid nationalism.
And when Trump preaches what amounts to extreme nationalism, you're dragging the world back toward the 20th century, back to the 1920s and '30s. Nationalism, extreme nationalism, as opposed to honest patriotism was the plague that bursting out of the 19th century, just ravaged the 20th intend with extreme ideologist, communism, nazism, et cetera.
[20:50:15] COOPER: And your saying --
PETERS: So, he doesn't know this. He doesn't get it.
COOPER: Gives -- it gives freedom to other countries to make that same argument.
PETERS: Yes. I certainly it does.
COOPER: I guess license I should say.
PETERS: Yes, exactly. It gives them license. And here -- again, it's unleashing the demons, that last seven decades of peace have largely contained, at least in the more economically developed world. And when he talks about sovereignty, again, to us, that means one thing. But to the bad actors around the world that means, I can do whatever I want within my borders. I can kill whoever I want, I can imprison whoever I want.
And so again, his speech writers are mediocre at best. They have no command of the language. They don't pay attention to the layered meanings of the words. And he was essentially as you said giving license to people to act very, very badly as long as they do it within their own borders. So I was worried about that -- and on the more immediate level of today's problems
Trump actually has some good impulses. But he totally -- he shoots himself in both feet immediately. For one example among many, China. The world is mad at China about its trade cheating, intellectual property theft, bullying, extortion of loans in the third world. Had Trump gone after China? First and foremost, he could have had the EU, Australia, Japan, North Korea, Southeast Asia, all on our side. Instead he attacked all of them and then went off on China. And now it's us, you know, Washington versus Beijing. And we don't have allies and nations --
PETERS: -- need allies.
COOPER: Yes. Colonel Ralph Peters, I appreciate your time. Thank you. Good discussion.
Coming up, a far different story book. Cosby in hand cuffs. Cosby sentence to three to 10 years in state prison for sexual assault. We'll take a look at the case and the conclusion, next.
[20:56:24] COOPER: Well, tonight Bill Cosby is behind bars. He was sentenced today for drugging and assaulting Andrea Constand 14 years ago. Here was the only case that was within the -- hers was the only case I should say within the statute of limitations, although dozens of women came forward to say that Cosby had done the same to them for some of his accusers today, its consequences, for Cosby came up after decades of waiting to be heard and believed.
Jean Casarez has more.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Mr. Cosby, any comment sir?
JEAN CASAREZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): In a dramatic scene, Bill Cosby leaves a Pennsylvania courtroom in hand cuffs. Once America's dad, now prisoner. Judge Seven O'Neill sentencing the disgraced comedian three to 10 years in state prison.
KEVIN STEELE, ATTORNEY, MONTGOMERY COUNTY DISTRICT: For decades the defendant has been able to hide his true self and hide his crimes using his fame and fortune. He's hidden behind a character created Dr. Cliff Huxtable. It was a seminal character on TV and so was the family but it was fiction.
CASAREZ (voice-over): Cosby has been under house arrest since April after being convicted of drugging and sexually assaulting Andrea Constand back in 2004.
Today, Constand and her family watching from the first row of a packed courtroom. In her victim impact statement, she, saying quote, "Bill Cosby took my beautiful, healthy young spirit and crushed it. He robbed me of my health and vitality. My open nature and my trust in myself and others."
Judge Steven O'Neill telling her, "The jury heard your words. I heard your words". Then speaking directly at Cosby. Mr. Cosby, this has all circled back to you. The day has come. The time has come. He also said, no one is above the law.
Other women who say Cosby also attacked them, watching from the gallery. Embracing Constand after the sentence was read. Tamara Green was one of the first women to come forward after Constand.
TAMARA GREEN, COSBY ACCUSER: But today is the day that we've been waiting for. Today is the day when we got to, I got to witness the fact that Bill Cosby was rendered helpless by being taken out of courtroom by policemen.
CASAREZ (voice-over): Cosby declining to address the court but after court his publicist defending him and likening him to Jesus.
ANDREW WYATT, COSBY SPOKESMAN: Cosby is doing great. And Mr. Cosby knows that God is watching over him. He knows that these are lies. They persecuted Jesus and look what happened. Not saying Mr. Cosby is Jesus but we know what this country has done to black men for centuries.
This has been the most racist and sexist trial in the history of the United States. CASAREZ (voice-over): Cosby's lawyers saying they will appeal. But tonight he is spending his first night in prison.
CASAREZ: And Bill Cosby was sentenced to three to 10 years. So what that means is that he will have to spend three years in prison and in 2021, will be able to go before the parole board for the first time. It doesn't mean he'll get out. He will be 84 years old. And one other note being in that courtroom today for the sentencing.
It was a packed courtroom. Wall to wall. But Bill Cosby had no one. He did not have a family member, his children, his wife was not there. But his publicist, Andrew Wyatt, that has stood by him every step of the way --
CASAREZ: -- once again was there alone. Anderson?
[21:05:01] COOPER: Jean, thank you very much for the report. I appreciate it.
The news continues. I want to hand it over to Chris. "CUOMO PRIME TIME" starts now. Chris?
CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: Thank you Anderson. I am Chris Cuomo and welcome to "Prime Time".