Megyn Kelly Tells ‘Hardball’ Dr. Ford ‘Is Running Out of Options’; ‘It’s Do or Die’

In a sight that seemed unpredictable a few years ago, NBC host Megyn Kelly appeared on the Wednesday’s Hardball to inform MSNBC host Chris Matthews that, concerning the sexual misconduct allegation against Supreme Court pick Brett Kavanaugh, accuser Dr. Christine Blasey Ford “is running out of options” and “needs to show up” for Monday’s scheduled hearing.

“I think Dr. Ford is running out of options. I think she needs to show up on Monday and offer her testimony if she wants to be heard because, for better or for worse, she is not in charge of this. The Senate is in charge of this,” Kelly explained, noting that the Senate has a constitutional obligation to provide advice and consent to presidents on judicial nominees.

 

 

Kelly noted that California Democratic Senator Dianne Feinstein knew about the original allegation during the initial hearings and did nothing, but Republicans have agreed to reopen the proceedings and Ford has been afforded a slew of options as how to tell her story.

“Senator Cornyn is right that she — she is not in a position to demand protocols. It's not her right,” Kelly added.

The former FNC host told Matthews that, while Ford is “going through a lot right now” and has been refusing to speak out, “women stand up every day in criminal courts and civil courts across this country and they do it and I would say most find it rather empowering to tell the story.”

“So, you know, if she wants to be heard, she has an opportunity. You know, Monday is still a few days away and she could do it. If she doesn't do it then, she might ding the guy up publicly as a matter of reputation as she already has, but it's not going to be much more than this. And so, this is it. It's do or die for her,” argued Kelly.

Matthews tried to muddy the waters by noting the less-than-firm claim in since-deleted posts by a classmate of Ford’s that “she knew about the buzz at the time of the story,” but Kelly made sure to fact-check him on that plus how investigations work (click “expand” for more):

So, not unless you get the accuser on the record. I mean, that's how any investigation would begin, an FBI investigation, a police investigation or a congressional investigation starts always with the accuser. So if the accuser's not going to go offer her testimonial, then that is pointless. As for her friend or the woman claiming to be her friend, she deleted that tweet right after she sent it and she admitted very quickly thereafter, alright, I have no firsthand knowledge so I don't know how much probative value there is there. What we've seen in other MeToo allegations, Chris, and the thing that winds up condemning themselves on the wrong end of these are...a series of accusations....For whatever it's worth in Kavanaugh's case, we haven't seen that in the days since this has broken. It’s been about a week and moreover what we have right now is repeated testimonials of 30 plus years of exemplary public service.

As for the politics, Kelly hit both sides by opining that the GOP doesn’t care about tainting the Supreme Court with two having faced sexual misconduct claims while “Democrats are not inclined to believe Judge Kavanaugh, no matter what he says.”

To see the relevant transcript from MSNBC’s Hardball on September 19, click “expand.”

MSNBC’s Hardball
September 19, 2018
7:04 p.m. Eastern

CHRIS MATTHEWS: For now I'm joined by Megyn Kelly, host of NBC’s Megyn Kelly Today. She's a trained attorney of course who covered the confirmation hearings of Supreme Court justices Roberts, Alito, Sotomayor, and Kagan. Megyn, you’ve been through this a number of times, obviously as a reporter. You're an attorney. What do you think of where this is at right now tonight with all these demands from the witness, the accuser, and the insistence of the committee that they're going to go ahead on Monday, take her or not? 

MEGYN KELLY: I think Dr. Ford is running out of options. I think she needs to show up on Monday and offer her testimony if she wants to be heard because, for better or for worse, she is not in charge of this. The Senate is in charge of this. That committee is in charge of this and their obligation is to provide advice and consent to the President on his judicial nominee so they get to decide what will inform that decision and what they've decided is they'll reopen the hearings, which they think is an accommodation given that Dianne Feinstein knew about this allegation when the hearings were open originally and didn’t raise. She could have raised it saying, you know, there's an anonymous accuser. Notwithstanding that, they're reopening it and giving her the chance to speak publicly, privately. Senator Grassley even said we'll send somebody out to California to interview you and she's rejected all of those and Senator Cornyn is right that she — she is not in a position to demand protocols. It's not her right.

MATTHEWS: What would be like Monday afternoon if there's no hearing and they proceed to a vote next week? Will this possibility of this witness, she could go on of 60 Minutes, she could go on your program, she’s still going to be out there with her charges. What would that do to the lifetime appointment and confirmation if he is confirmed of Kavanaugh with this hanging out there as part of the history book? 

KELLY: You know, it's tough to say because one of the reasons why she should come forward, right, if she wants to tell this story, and I realize she's going through a lot right now with the death threats and all the insane stuff that's happening to her, but I can say this, it's not easy for any sexual assault victim or person who claims to be a victim, we don't know in her case one way or the other, but hearing her would really help and — and it's always tough for these women to actually come forward and offer their testimonial. It's never an easy thing but women stand up every day in criminal courts and civil courts across this country and they do it and I would say most find it rather empowering to tell the story. So, you know, if she wants to be heard, she has an opportunity. You know, Monday is still a few days away and she could do it. If she doesn't do it then, she might ding the guy up publicly as a matter of reputation as she already has, but it's not going to be much more than this. And so, this is it. It's do or die for her. 

MATTHEWS: If you're Chuck Grassley, you're right, they have the call on how to do this. You're looking at a guy who's publicly identified himself as a drinking buddy of Kavanaugh. He wrote a book where he described a character as Bart O’Kavanaugh who was a big drinker with him. Okay, people make up stories. This story seems a little closer to life. What about inviting him and inviting the other woman who put out the word today — just today — by the way, they’re showing up now, these sort third degree witnesses she knew about the buzz at the time of the story and he was accused according to the accuser, Dr. Ford, of being the guy who pounced on the two of them when they were on that bed together. Shouldn't he be called as a witness as well if you're Chuck Grassley, the chairman? 

KELLY: So, not unless you get the accuser on the record. I mean, that's how any investigation would begin, an FBI investigation, a police investigation or a congressional investigation starts always with the accuser. So if the accuser's not going to go offer her testimonial, then that is pointless. As for her friend or the woman claiming to be her friend, she deleted that tweet right after she sent it and she admitted very quickly thereafter, alright, I have no firsthand knowledge so I don't know how much probative value there is there. What we've seen in other MeToo allegations, Chris, and the thing that winds up condemning themselves on the wrong end of these are a series — a series of accusations. That's not to say you can't have one that is damning enough to ruin a person's career, you know, who’s on the receiving of it. It tends to be one woman or person opens the floodgates and then others come forward saying me too, me too, me too. For whatever it's worth in Kavanaugh's case, we haven't seen that in the days since this has broken. It’s been about a week and moreover what we have right now is repeated testimonials of 30 plus years of exemplary public service. Now, the Democrats might not like Kavanaugh, I realize that, but they should consider what they're going to get if — if, you know, he goes away and Trump rushes to replace him. 

MATTHEWS: Do you think it’ll be good for the Republican Party to have two Supreme Court justices, both associate justices who have had this problem generally speaking? 

KELLY: I don't think Republicans are going to care about that at all. You know, they want — they want a conservative justice, right? They don't believe in Anita Hill and they're probably not going to believe Dr. Ford. This is so political, right? I mean, the whole thing, I believe this woman should be heard. I hope she shows up and testifies on Monday, but the truth is, most of these Republicans are not inclined to believe her no matter what she says and most of the Democrats are not inclined to believe Judge Kavanaugh, no matter what he says. So, part of it is all for politics and it’s for show. I frankly don't blame either party for not wanting anything to do with it, but my calculation is nothing is going to change and he's going to get confirmed. 

MATTHEWS: Well, your brutal assessment of the Republican thinking on this and wanting to move forward seems to be squaring with all kinds of evidence. Thank you so much. It’s great to have you on, Megyn. Good luck with everything. 

KELLY: Thanks

MATTHEWS: And thank you for coming on. I know you're an expert on this.

KELLY: Thanks for having me. 


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NBDaily Appointments Judiciary Kavanaugh Nomination Congress MSNBC Hardball Video Government & Press Chris Matthews Megyn Kelly Chuck Grassley Brett Kavanaugh Christine Blasey Ford
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