CNN's Berman Asks Why Ford Should Have to Testify, Accuses Republican Guest of Victim Blaming

September 22nd, 2018 10:56 AM

During Thursday’s edition of CNN’s New Day, host John Berman repeatedly acted as an attorney for Christine Blasey Ford, the professor accusing Judge Brett Kavanaugh of sexually assaulting her 36 years ago. Not long after accusing Republicans of orchestrating a “stealth intimidation campaign” against Ford, Berman asked “why should she (testify?) You said she owes this...I don’t know she...I mean, she’s got to do this for herself. She’s got to make this decision for herself.”

Apparently, Berman sees no problem with throwing out a very serious allegation without bothering to elaborate.

Two hours later, an explosive debate broke out between Berman, CNN political commentator Ana Navarro, CNN legal analyst Areva Martin, and Trump supporter Amy Kremer -- stacked 3 to 1. Berman prefaced the segment by asking “if the Senate Judiciary Committee holds a vote next week on Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh without hearing from his accuser, Christine Blasey Ford, could that become an issue in the November midterm elections, particularly among women voters?” 

Navarro, perhaps one of the most vocal members of the “#NeverTrump” movement, described the GOP’s likely confirmation of Kavanaugh as “one more spot on the leopard” proving that “Republicans don’t look good right now with women period, already.”

Navarro brought up some other “spots on the leopard,” specifically focusing on Republicans nominating and electing President Trump despite the sexual assault allegations against him and supporting Roy Moore for the United States Senate in Alabama despite the allegation that he molested a fourteen-year-old girl.

When Kremer said that it is “on her” if she decides not to testify, Martin strenuously disagreed, saying “it’s not on her, it’s on these Republican give Dr. Ford the courtesy and the fairness that any sexual assault victim deserves in a case like this.” She also took a page out of Joy Behar’s playbook by saying that Ford was “being bullied” into testifying in front of “11 white men.”



Martin effectively declared Kavanaugh guilty of “attempted rape,” saying that if Ford didn’t meet the Senate Republicans’ demands, she would be prevented from telling her “truth” about “the attempted rape occurring that is so critical to the nomination of Judge Kavanaugh.” For their part, Ford’s legal team released a list of demands on her own on Thursday night, long after the airing of New Day, which included testifying without Kavanaugh in the room, making Kavanaugh testify first, and requiring that only members of the committee, not lawyers, question her.  

Martin said that Kavanaugh’s refusal to call for an FBI investigation calls into question his fitness to serve on the Supreme Court, a point previously brought up by Navarro. Navarro also attempted to relitigate the 1991 sexual harassment allegations that became synonymous with the Clarence Thomas nomination, saying “Look, we already have one Supreme Court justice who a lot of the country thinks got away with sexual impropriety. The last thing he (Kavanaugh) wants is to be the second one on that Supreme Court.”  

When Kremer dared to suggest that “it’s on her to prove it happened,” Berman complained “you are blaming her for the way she chose to do this.” When Kremer suggested “you don’t get to accuse somebody of a crime and then not answer for it,” Berman lectured her like she was a ten-year-old: “You don’t get to sexually assault a woman, okay? Period.”



The cable news hysteria over the Kavanaugh nomination continued into Friday morning, with MSNBC’s Donny Deutsch calling Republicans the party of “ignorant white men.” As Kremer pointed out during her appearance on New Day Thursday, Kavanaugh’s case “should be tried in a court of law, not in a court of public opinion.” 

The court of public opinion, which the media plays a major part in shaping, has already declared Kavanaugh guilty. The court of law, on the other hand, has no role to play; considering the fact that the statute of limitations has long since expired on the 36-year-old allegation, which would fall under local law enforcement’s jurisdiction, not the FBI’s. The media share the Democrats’ goal of derailing the Kavanaugh nomination and that explains precisely why the media have taken on the role of Ford’s PR firm. As has sadly become the case with most of their coverage, the media see finding the truth as secondary to advancing a left-wing agenda.


A transcript of the relevant portions of New Day is below. Click “expand” to read more.

CNN New Day


06:13 AM


JOHN BERMAN: And I want to make one thing clear is that that menu of options provided by Chuck Grassley, you can testify publicly or privately. You can testify in D.C. or California. But no matter where you testify, there won’t be a single other witness other than Judge Kavanaugh. No matter where or to whom you testify, there won’t be any FBI investigation. And that’s just the facts.

ALISYN CAMEROTA: Yeah, that’s the part that makes no sense if you’re looking for information.

BERMAN: It is. It is.

CAMEROTA: If you want information, there’s more information out there. Why not get more information?

BERMAN: And this is about the control that Jackie and Abby point out.  This is about the control that the Republicans on the committee absolutely have. And if their goal is to get Judge Kavanaugh confirmed, which it is, this is the right way to do it. And if their goal is to make this a difficult decision for Professor Blasey, they have done that, as well. Because why should she? You said she owes this…I don’t know who she…I mean, she’s got to do this for herself. She’s got to make this decision for herself, and she’s got to make clear to herself that it’s worth it, to just turn her life upside down under these very narrow circumstances and even with the knowledge that Judge Kavanaugh will be confirmed.

JOHN AVLON: John, I think her name is out there now. It’s going to be very difficult to unring this bell. And in this context, with the stakes of a lifetime Supreme Court appointment, it is larger. We’re in a different arena, where personal considerations have to be done in the context of public obligation, which is the argument, effectively, she and her lawyers made; that she felt an obligation as a citizen to come forward at this time, where she said on…the lawyer said on air to Ali, yes, she is willing to testify. Things are moving fast. I get that this is intense, and it is horrific that she is receiving the death threats she is. But the idea that this is all a fait accompli and he’s going to get confirmed anyway, if she testified, whatever the circumstances. I agree the Republicans are trying to narrow it in a way that’s unconscionable on this. That itself creates the conclusion that she apparently would like to see avoided for the country, in her perspective.

CAMEROTA: All right.

BERMAN: I don’t know if it’s courage to testify or lunacy for her to testify. Under the circumstances that have been provided.

CAMEROTA: I’m sure that’s what she’s calculating, as we speak. John, Jackie, Abby, thank you very much.


08:27:26 AM

BERMAN: If the Senate Judiciary Committee holds a vote next week on Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh without hearing from his accuser, Christine Blasey Ford, could that become an issue in the November midterm elections, particularly among women voters? 47 days until the midterms.  Joining us now, Ana Navarro, a CNN Political Commentator; Amy Kremer, the co-founder of Women for Trump, and Areva Martin, a Civil Rights attorney and CNN Legal Analyst. Ana, I want to start with you. So the way this is going right now, the way it looks right now, maybe it’ll change, is that Professor Blasey not inclined to testify on Monday, which means the Republicans will have this vote, Kavanaugh will be confirmed, it’s all over there. What happens in November then?

ANA NAVARRO: You know, John, part of me just thinks that it’s kind of like one more spot on the leopard. I don’t know how much more affected it. Certainly, it’ll be more fresh of mind. But, you know, the Republicans don’t look good right now with women period, already. You know, they’ve nominated a guy who had 19 sexual assault accusations against him, credible ones. They nominated and elected a guy for President who we heard on tape boasting about grabbing women. They supported a nominee who was an alleged pedophile for U.S. Senator of Alabama. So, this is just one more instance where I think Republicans are not looking particularly good, in fact they’re looking very, very bad for a lot of women. But is it going to change anything? I’m not sure; because it’s already a pattern of behavior that I think a lot of women have sadly come to expect from what is a very disappointing Republican Party on these issues.

BERMAN: And it will mean that…that President Trump gets one more nominee on the Supreme Court, which Amy, you know is something that is very important to the President’s supporters.

AMY KREMER: Absolutely it is, John. That’s one of the reasons he was elected. And I believe that if the Senate doesn’t hold the line and do what they’re supposed to do here, she has a right to be heard. And she’s being given every opportunity. If she does not testify, that’s on her. They should go ahead with the vote. And I think that should they not, if they fall in to this trap that Democrats are trying to set for them, then they will lose the Senate.

BERMAN: So Areva, this is a good point to bring you in, because you’re an attorney and you’ve worked on all kinds of sexual assault cases in your life. Something Amy just said there is interesting. If she doesn’t speak, it’s on her. And…and I think a lot of the maneuvering that we’ve seen politically and legally the last few days is to make this a very stark decision for Professor Blasey, which oh yeah, you can talk but it has to be on the Republican Senate’s terms. What does that mean for an alleged victim of sexual assault?

AREVA MARTIN: Well, John, first of all, I totally disagree with Amy that it’s on her. It’s not on her; it’s on these Republican Senators. They were elected to serve the country. Dr. Ford is a private citizen; she came forward to tell her story, first privately, to Senator Feinstein.  Now she’s being forced, she’s being bullied into showing up four or five days after this letter is leaked to make a statement, to give testimony before the American people without having any opportunity to prepare for this testimony, without there being a formal investigation, which we know is protocol in cases like this, to be questioned by 11 white men, none of whom, to our knowledge, have any expertise in investigating or questioning sexual assault victims. So, it’s not on her. It’s on the Senators to step up, to do their jobs, to investigate this claim properly and to give Dr. Ford the courtesy and the fairness that any sexual assault victim deserves in a case like this.


KREMER: John…yeah, I mean, you know what, she knew that she was going to come forward with this. This is planned. She…for two months, Dianne Feinstein sat on that…sat on this. And in that two months, she scrubbed her social media. She goes and hires an attorney, a Democratic attorney that’s been associated with Al Franken, Bill Clinton and others. Then she goes and takes a polygraph test. It’s leaked by the Democrats. It’s leaked by the Democrats.  This has been planned from the get go. She’s had every opportunity to come forward and she can talk. And it doesn’t have to be public. And Dianne Feinstein did not have to put her identity out there. Dianne Feinstein had a responsibility to let her former…her other committee members know, and she didn’t do it. This is not…there’s going to be no due process in the Senate. She has made a criminal allegation against somebody, and that should be tried in a court of law, not in a court of public opinion. Not in the court of public opinion.

NAVARRO: You know what…


BERMAN: Hang on.

NAVARRO: But, listen, let…there’s some things in life that should not be partisan. There’s some things that should not be about left and right. They should be about right and wrong. When it comes to sexual abuse, that’s one of those things. When it comes to having people that are…that have the fitness of character to serve in the Supreme Court, practically the only office in the land that is unimpeachable, that has no term limits, that does not get to be decided by voters, that, you know, you don’t stand…you’re not held accountable once you are put in that Supreme Court, that again should not be partisanship. I’m not talking about ideology. I’m talking about fitness of character. And I think it behooves the supporters of Judge Kavanaugh, it behooves Judge Kavanaugh himself to call, to request for the FBI investigation because he doesn’t want to go into that court with that cloud over him. Look, we already have one Supreme Court justice who a…

KREMER: Ana, he’s going to…

BERMAN: Hang on, Amy.

NAVARRO: …lot of the country thinks got away with sexual impropriety.

BERMAN: Areva.

NAVARRO: The last thing he wants is to be the second one on that Supreme Court.

BERMAN: Areva, go ahead.

MARTIN: I totally agree with you, Ana. And Amy, just because you raise your voice doesn’t make your arguments more persuasive. The reality is, you can’t blame Dr. Ford for whatever mistakes you want to attribute to Senator Dianne Feinstein. And what… whatever you think about the…

KREMER: I’m not blaming her. I’m not blaming her.

MARTIN: You know, actually, you are. You’re talking about the time period that Dianne Feinstein…

KREMER: No, she has a right to be heard.

MARTIN: You know what, Amy, we allowed you to be heard and you need to respect us and allow us to be heard. Dianne Feinstein handled this matter in the way that she handled it. That has nothing to do with Dr. Ford and her right to be given a fair process. And nothing can be fair when she’s being rushed an arbitrary deadline. There are no deadlines set for when this confirmation vote has to take place. They’ve set this arbitrary deadline. They’ve said to her, you provide us with your statement by Friday, you show up here by Monday, and if you don’t, you will forever be forbidden from telling your story, your truth about the…

KREMER: Areva…

MARTIN: …attempted rape occurring that is so critical to the nomination of Judge Kavanaugh. And Judge Kavanaugh, as Ana said, should want an FBI investigation.

KREMER: You’re right. He should.

MARTIN: He should want the truth to come forward so that there won’t be a taint on his potential confirmation. And the fact that he hasn’t called for one I think calls into question his fitness to serve on the U.S. Supreme Court.


KREMER: You know what, it’s really interesting, John, because they take…they talk about the highest court in the land and so on and so forth. This man was already appointed a lifetime appointment as a federal judge. He’s already written 300 opinions. Where were they when he was appointed to that bench? Why weren’t they coming forward then with that information?

BERMAN: Okay. Okay, Amy, I’ve got…I’ve got to stop you right here…I’ve got to… because there’s one thing you said that I just can’t let slide. When you say Professor Blasey Ford, she knew what she was doing when she came forward. Now, she is an alleged victim of sexual assault, okay?

KREMER: Right.

BERMAN: She says…she says…

KREMER: You don’t get to accuse somebody of a crime and then not answer for it.

BERMAN: Hang on. Can I just say one other thing?

KREMER: She accused somebody of a crime.

BERMAN: Can I also say one other thing? You don’t get to sexually assault a woman, okay? Period.

KREMER: You’re right.

BERMAN: Now, I don’t know…I don’t know if it happened or not. I do know that Professor Blasey Ford says it did. I also know that she did not feel comfortable coming forward with it for a number of years, 36 years.


BERMAN: I know when she decided to come forward, she felt that it was appropriate to come forward with anonymity. All of this fits a pattern we’ve seen with other victims of sexual assault. None of that is unusual at all.


BERMAN: So when you say she knew what she was doing, like she’s got some obligation here, you know, she says she is the one who was attacked. She says she was the victim.

KREMER: You know what, when you accuse somebody of…

BERMAN: And you are blaming her…you are blaming her for the way she chose to do this.

KREMER: No, when you accuse somebody…when you accuse somebody of a crime, you have a responsibility. It’s on her to prove it happened. And there are no witnesses. There’s been no supporting evidence of it. And just as you say she says it happened, Judge Kavanaugh says it didn’t happen. Now tell me when did we become a society that all of a sudden you believe one person over the other without evidence?

BERMAN: Areva, how many days should…


BERMAN: Hang on. I want to ask Areva…I want to ask Areva because she’s been in a courtroom about how many times she’s seen a case like that.

MARTIN: Thank you. We’ve never seen a case, John, where someone…a judge says, put these witnesses on the witness stand without any discovery, without any investigation. Judge Kavanaugh himself has sat as a judge in a courtroom. He would never start a trial, ask two witnesses to be sworn in, to give sworn testimony, and there’s been no investigation. There are no other witnesses that come forward, that are allowed to come forward. We know in this case there are some other individuals that have critical information about what happened. And I just want to address what Amy said about, when you accuse someone of a crime, what your obligations are. I don’t know where you’re getting this from. This isn’t a law. There’s no rules that we are aware of in the Senate as it relates to this. The rules are being made up as they go. They’re being made up by Senator Grassley. He’s not consulting with Senator Feinstein. He’s making them as he goes.

KREMER: Because Democrats won’t consult…

BERMAN: Hang on, Amy. Hang on, Amy.

MARTIN: You know what, you can say whatever you want to say, but he’s setting the rules and there are no standards in this case. And we watched what happened to Anita Hill. We watched how her character was assassinated during the 1991 hearings that she was a part of. And I think Dr. Ford is being incredibly courageous and incredibly smart by not allowing herself to be subject to what’s going to essentially be a circus.

KREMER: So you think it’s okay…

BERMAN: Hang on, Amy. Hang on, Amy. I want to give Ana a chance to talk here.


BERMAN: I want to give Ana a chance…Ana.

NAVARRO: That…that…that being said…

BERMAN: Guys, hang on, Ana’s going to talk.

NAVARRO: Listen, despite…

MARTIN: You know what, Amy, you can’t allow any other woman on this panel to speak, and that speaks volumes about this entire process.

NAVARRO: All right, despite…

BERMAN: Ana, go ahead.

NAVARRO: Okay, guys, let’s not do this. Listen, let’s not do this. And let me tell you this, despite all of this back and forth, I hope that Dr. Blasey Ford, who has now come forward, who has now lost her anonymity, she’s pulled the Band-Aid off, despite all these, you know, shenanigans and the Republicans sadly trying to ram this through and not having what…the due process that was afforded Anita Hill in 1991, I hope that she does take the opportunity to testify because if not, it’s all for naught. So she’s so far into this at this point. The country is so far into this. I think we deserve and we want to hear from her. I think she’s going to get a lot of support. She’s also going to get a lot of ugly feedback, a lot of ugly pushback to the things she says, but she’s also going to get a lot of support. This is now in history. And, again, I call on Judge Kavanaugh and his supporters to call on President Trump, to call on the White House, to call on the Senators to get an FBI investigation for his own good, for his own legacy, for his own reputation. If he is so confident that he did not do this, he has nothing to fear and he only has something to gain from an FBI investigation.

BERMAN: All right, Ana, Amy, Areva, thank you very much for being with us. We do appreciate you coming on and stating your case.