Week In The News: Kavanaugh Accusations, Florence's Destruction, North Korea And More

Sep 21, 2018

With David Folkenflik

Kavanaugh and his accuser. Florence’s path of destruction. North Korea talks. We’ll unpack it all with CBS News’ chief White House correspondent Major Garrett in a special edition of the Week in the News.

Guest

Major Garrett, chief White House correspondent for CBS News. Author of “Mr. Trump’s Wild Ride: The Thrills, Chills, Screams, and Occasional Blackouts of an Extraordinary Presidency.” (@MajorCBS)

]

From The Reading List

Excerpt from “Mr. Trump’s Wild Ride” by Major Garrett

From MR. TRUMP’S WILD RIDE by Major Garrett. Copyright © 2018 by the author and reprinted by permission of All Points Books.

The Hill: “Hill.TV INTERVIEW EXCLUSIVE: Trump eviscerates Sessions: ‘I don’t have an attorney general’” — “President Trump in an Oval Office interview with Hill.TV launched one of his most ferocious broadsides to date against Jeff Sessions, suggesting the attorney general was essentially AWOL and performing badly on a variety of issues.

“‘I don’t have an attorney general. It’s very sad,’ Trump told Hill.TV in an extensive and freewheeling interview Tuesday from the Oval Office.

“The president has long excoriated Sessions for his March 2017 decision to recuse himself from the Russia collusion investigation. But on Tuesday he suggested he is frustrated by Sessions’s performance on far more than that.

“‘I’m not happy at the border, I’m not happy with numerous things, not just this,’ he said.

“Trump suggested he had a personal blind spot when it came to nominating Sessions as the nation’s top law enforcement officer.”

New York Times: “Kavanaugh’s Supporters and His Accuser Are at an Impasse Over Her Testimony” — “The confrontation between Judge Brett M. Kavanaugh and his accuser devolved into a polarizing stalemate on Wednesday as Democrats and Republicans advanced competing narratives to convince voters that the other side has been unfair in the Supreme Court confirmation battle.

“Christine Blasey Ford, the professor who alleged that Judge Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her when they were teenagers, said a Senate hearing set for Monday to hear her allegation would not be fair and Democrats insisted that an F.B.I. investigation take place first. Backed by President Trump, Senate Republicans rejected any F.B.I. inquiry, and said that Monday was her chance to be heard.

“Dr. Blasey’s resistance to appearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Monday seemed to galvanize Republicans and drew wavering Republican senators back into Judge Kavanaugh’s camp. Barring new information or an agreement by Dr. Blasey to testify after all, Judge Kavanaugh may now have enough momentum to be confirmed as early as next week. Republicans set a committee meeting for Wednesday for a possible vote to move the nomination to the floor.”

Politico: “Democrats fear Trump ‘October Surprise’ document dump” — “Democratic operatives are growing anxious that Republicans working to undermine the FBI’s Russia probe are teeing up a series of document dumps meant to gin up GOP voters ahead of the midterm elections.

“After weeks of hand-wringing, President Donald Trump on Monday ordered the declassification of a slew of documents related to the FBI’s long-running investigation into the Trump campaign’s potential connections to Russia. The move came on the heels of top House Republicans revealing that they may also release documents related to their probes into Trump-Russia ties, as well as anti-Trump bias at the FBI and Justice Department.

“The White House and GOP leaders have cited “transparency” as their motive, and Trump has suggested the documents will show anti-Trump bias in the FBI led the bureau to supercharge its 2016 Russia probe based on flimsy evidence.

“But Democrats see a more sinister plan: to taint special counsel Robert Mueller’s ongoing Russia probe, while simultaneously motivating Trump’s political base on the precipice of an election in which Democrats are favored to make gains. To Democrats, the situation has eerie similarities to 2016, when WikiLeaks’ slow-drip daily release of internal Clinton campaign emails hobbled Hillary Clinton’s candidacy and offered regular fodder for Republicans.”

A nomination on the ropes. An attorney general under siege. Much of the Carolinas underwater. A special edition of our week in review with Major Garrett, the chief White House correspondent for CBS News. Garrett’s new book, “Mr. Trump’s Wild Ride,” takes stock of what really happened — what it all means — and how we landed here. Garrett draws on decades of experience to offer a clear-eyed view of a frantic age.

This hour, On Point: Major Garrett, the Trump era and the week that was.

— David Folkenflik

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.