Martha MacCallum, who vehemently defended Roger Ailes when he was accused of sexual harassment, was deemed the appropriate interviewer for Brett Kavanaugh and his wife as they deal with multiple accusations of his sexual misconduct.
Despite repeatedly saying he seeks a “fair process,” MacCallum let the Supreme Court nominee dodge her question about whether there should be an FBI investigation into the allegations made by accuser Christine Blasey Ford. Ford is scheduled to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee Thursday about her claim that Kavanaugh tried to rape her when they were both in high school. From The Washington Post transcript (emphases added):
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 ask you that, Brett.
KAVANAUGH: I mean, I’ve said all along and Ashley, too, I want to be heard. I was first 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’s about fairness, I want a fair process where I can defend my integrity and clear my name as quickly as I can in whatever forum the Senate deems appropriate.
First of all, as The Post noted, MacCallum posed this question to Ashley Kavanaugh first. Yet Kavanaugh jumped in to answer. MacCallum never re-asked Ashley for a response.
But more importantly, Kavanaugh did not answer the question, despite insisting that he wanted a venue to clear his name. Why wouldn’t a guy who has been wrongly accused demand an FBI investigation?
Any decent and legitimate interviewer not in the tank for the Trump administration would have pressed that point. But not MacCallum! She immediately moved on to suggest that Kavanaugh was not getting a fair shake because of biased Democrats.
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 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?
Earlier, MacCallum had all but declared her belief in Kavanaugh’s innocence - via dissembling:
MACCALLUM: And to this date, no one has corroborated the story that [Ford] 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?
KAVANAUGH: Correct. I – 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?
FACT CHECK: Media Matters, which called the entire interview “a sham,” noted that the lack of corroboration only applies to other attendees at the party where Kavanaugh allegedly tried to rape Ford. But there is corroboration in the form of notes by Ford’s therapist, written in 2012, as well as a polygraph test whose results showed she was truthful about the incident.
No wonder MacCallum insisted Ailes was “such a terrific boss” that she simply could not believe the allegations of sexual harassment in Gretchen Carlson’s lawsuit – not long before Ailes was ousted over that very behavior.
Watch MacCallum lob softballs at Brett and Ashley Kavanaugh below, from the September 24, 2018 The Story with Martha MacCallum.
Kavanaugh likely has the votes he needs so he has a low bar to cross. His confirmation hearing was pitiful where he essentially played a game of rope-a-dope deflecting questions saying he couldn’t answer theoretical questions. Here he’s obviously been coached again by the White House to repeat the same non-answers over and over and over.
The only thing which will cut through all this bulls—t is if Democrats can make a credible threat of impeachment or arrest should Kavanaugh be confirmed without a full airing of the allegations. That would force McConnell’s hand to fully clear Kavanaugh’s name.
Republicans are cornered animals. Desperate to pack the court for the rest of my lifetime with ideological right-wingers. The conventional wisdom is the Republicans believe there’s not enough time to dump Kavanaugh and get another nominee confirmed. I find that hard to believe but nobody in Congress is asking me. So McConnell & Co. are using every corrupt means to ‘ram the nomination through’.