GOP Sen. Lindsey Graham seems to have made up his mind about Christine Ford's testimony before it even happens
Christine Ford isn't expected to testify about her sexual assault allegation against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh until Thursday — but Senate Judiciary Committee member Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) already seems to have made up his mind.
"You can't bring [her allegation] in a criminal court; you would never sue civilly; you couldn't even get a warrant," Graham said on Fox News Sunday. "What am I supposed to do? Go ahead and ruin this guy's life based on an accusation?"
"Unless there's something more, no I'm not going to ruin Judge Kavanaugh's life over this," Graham continued, before adding that Ford "should have her say" and will be "respectfully treated." Watch Graham's full interview below. Bonnie Kristian
U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley broke with President Trump and many of his supporters Sunday to argue that Christine Ford, who has accused Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh of sexual assault, "deserves respect and deserves to be heard."
"Accusers go through a lot of trauma. Some handle it one way and some handle it another way," she said on CNN's State of the Union, answering a question about Trump's tweeted response to Ford. "Regardless, it's not something we want to do to blame the accuser or try and second-guess the accuser. We don't know the situation she was going through 35 years ago. We don't know the circumstances."
Haley argued for a responsible but swift examination of Ford's claim by the Senate for the sake of both families involved. Watch an excerpt of her comments below, or read them in full here. Bonnie Kristian
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo appeared on Fox News Sunday to talk trade war, Iran, and Friday's report that Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein has proposed ousting President Trump from office using the 25th Amendment.
"To the extent one wants to call this a trade war, we are determined to win it," Pompeo said of Trump's escalating tariffs on Chinese imports. He ignored a question from host Chris Wallace about how long the administration would maintain this course, repeating, "We're going to win it. We're going to get an outcome which forces China to behave" in accord with "fundamental principles of trade around the world, fairness, reciprocity."
Though Pompeo, like Trump, has cast U.S. tariffs as a punishment for poor behavior from Beijing, the cost of the taxes is absorbed by American consumers, not Chinese producers. China's trade surplus with the United States has hit record highs since Trump's tariff scheme began.
Turning to Iran, Pompeo pushed back on Iranian President Hassan Rouhani's angry response to Saturday's attack on an Iranian military parade. "When you have a security incident at home, blaming others is an enormous mistake," Pompeo argued, calling for Tehran to focus on domestic security "rather than causing insecurity around the world."
And he slammed those, allegedly including Rosenstein, who have considered undermining the Trump administration from within. "If you can't be on the team, if you're not supporting this mission," Pompeo charged, "maybe you've got something else to do."
Watch Pompeo's full interview below. Bonnie Kristian
NBC's Chuck Todd grills FEMA administrator Brock Long about Trump's denial of Hurricane Maria's death toll
President Trump on Twitter last week repeatedly denied study results which found about 3,000 people died in Puerto Rico in connection to Hurricane Maria and its aftermath last year, and NBC's Chuck Todd is on the case.
He grilled Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) administrator Brock Long on the subject Sunday, asking whether FEMA accepts that estimate or if Brock believes the president's claim that Democrats commissioned the study to make him look bad. Long gave a scattershot of answers, including:
- "So, the numbers are all over the place."
- "FEMA doesn't count deaths."
- "The deaths that are verified by the local county coroners are the ones that we take."
- "One death is a death too many."
- "[O]ne thing about President Trump is, is that he is probably the one president that has had more support for what goes on back here."
- "I don't know why the studies were done."
In perhaps his most unfortunate turn of phrase, Long noted that "spousal abuse goes through the roof" after a natural disaster," and added, "You can't blame spousal abuse, you know, after a disaster on anybody." Well, anybody except the spousal abuser.
Watch an excerpt of Long's comments below, and read his full remarks in context here. Bonnie Kristian
WATCH: On the studies counting deaths in Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria last year, Chuck asks @FEMA_Brock, "Do you believe any of these studies were done to make the president look bad?"@FEMA_Brock: "I don’t know why the studies were done." #MTP pic.twitter.com/8opgYEOUjY
— Meet the Press (@MeetThePress) September 16, 2018
Sen. Doug Jones (D-Ala.) — who won his seat in a special election against Republican Roy Moore, who was credibly accused of sexual misconduct toward multiple women and girls as young as 14 — does not expect the anonymous sexual assault allegation against Brett Kavanaugh to derail his Supreme Court confirmation.
Speaking on CNN's State of the Union Sunday, Jones told host Jake Tapper he thinks Kavanaugh's nomination process will proceed. "There's really not much that can be done," he said, "unless this person comes forward, and you can see this and talk to the person who wrote that letter."
Tapper pressed Jones for his thoughts on fellow Senate Democrats' two-month delay in bringing the allegation to light, as the accuser first contacted lawmakers including Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) in July. "Well, I think it should have been brought up, at least behind closed doors," Jones replied. "I mean, it's a really serious allegation," he continued. "I wish someone had talked about it early on. It could have maybe been cleared up."
Watch Jones' comments in context below. Bonnie Kristian
President Trump's diplomatic overtures are "the last best chance for peace" between the United States and North Korea, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) said on Face the Nation Sunday.
The hawkish senator was responding to a question from CBS host John Dickerson, who asked about the accuracy of a passage in Bob Woodward's new book. Per Woodward, Dickerson said, Trump "was one tweet away from suggesting moving [military] dependents out [of South Korea], and that was read at the Pentagon, that if he sent that tweet out it would've look like an act of war."
"[O]nce you start moving dependents out of South Korea, that's a signal to everybody that we're running out of time," Graham said. "We're not out of the woods yet when it comes to North Korea ... [but] we have some time. Are they playing us? I don't know. If they're playing Trump, we're going to be in a world of hurt, because he's going to have no options left. This is the last best chance for peace right here."
While U.S.-North Korea talks are at something of a standstill at present, North and South Korea have continued to build a more positive relationship. South Korean President Moon Jae-in is again meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un this coming week.
Watch Graham's comments in context below. Bonnie Kristian
.@LindseyGrahamSC on @realDonaldTrump ’s strategy on North Korea: If he has to, he'll use military force to stop a missile coming to America with a nuclear weapon on it originating in North Korea. We were really close to having to make that hard decision. Now we have some time. pic.twitter.com/0xU5cg0JeM
— Face The Nation (@FaceTheNation) September 16, 2018
Former Trump aide George Papadopoulos says his testimony 'might have helped' demonstrate collusion with Russia
"Do you think when the entire [Special Counsel Robert] Mueller investigation is finished that they will demonstrate that there was collusion between the Trump campaign, Trump advisers, and the Russians?" ABC's George Stephanopoulos asked former Trump campaign aide George Papadopoulos on This Week Sunday.
"You know what, George, I have no idea," Papadopoulos replied. "All I can say is that my testimony might have helped move something towards that, but I have no idea." He was sentenced Friday to 14 days in prison, a $9,500 fine, and 200 hours of community service after pleading guilty to making false statements to the FBI.
Stephanopoulos also pressed his interviewee on the question of allegiance, as Papadopoulos in court filings blamed his behavior on "a perhaps misguided loyalty to his master," President Trump. "I'm loyal to my country first and foremost, and that's actually why I decided to cooperate with the special counsel," Papadopoulos said, before adding his hope that Trump has "all the luck in the world."
Watch the full interview below. Bonnie Kristian
"What are your plans to sit for an interview with Special Counsel Robert Mueller?" CBS host Margaret Brennan asked Vice President Mike Pence on Face the Nation Sunday. "I would be more than willing to continue to provide any and all support in that," Pence said, "and we have outside counsel that will advise me accordingly."
The vice president reported Mueller has asked his office for other information already but has not requested an interview. Mueller's investigation is "not the president's focus," Pence continued, a difficult claim to credit given President Trump's regular all-caps tweets on the subject.
Watch a clip of Pence's remarks below. Bonnie Kristian
The @VP tells @margbrennan that he would be willing to sit for an interview with special counsel Robert Mueller if asked.
You can catch more of our interview with the Vice President this morning on @FaceTheNation at 10:30 a.m. on your local CBS station. pic.twitter.com/bu98au8mh8
— Face The Nation (@FaceTheNation) September 9, 2018