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Democratic Sen. Patty Murray Weighs In On FBI Report On Kavanaugh


The fight to confirm Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court could be over soon as the Senate prepares for a procedural vote tomorrow and a possible final vote on Saturday. All today, senators have been taking turns viewing one copy of the FBI report, its latest investigation into Kavanaugh following allegations of sexual assault against the nominee.


Democrats have criticized the investigation as incomplete and rushed. Republicans, including Susan Collins and Jeff Flake, who could decide Kavanaugh's fate have described it as thorough. We're joined now by Senator Patty Murray, Democrat of Washington, who has said she'll vote no on Kavanaugh. Welcome back to ALL THINGS CONSIDERED.

PATTY MURRAY: Well, nice to talk to you today.

SHAPIRO: I understand you've seen the report. Can you give us your reaction?

MURRAY: Well, I was really frustrated and disappointed by the report that we were given. Clearly the FBI was told to very narrow the scope of people that they talk to. I can't tell you what is in the report, but I can tell you that incredible number of people that both Dr. Ford and Ms. Ramirez gave to the FBI that could corroborate their stories were not interviewed.

SHAPIRO: You say...

MURRAY: So you...

SHAPIRO: You said the FBI was clearly told to narrow the report. The White House and Republicans in the Senate have said the FBI was given no restrictions.

MURRAY: What I know from the FBI that they are - when they are told to be and allowed to be very thorough, following leads wherever they are to take them to conclusions - and from what I saw today in the narrow scope that they've given - that that could not have been accomplished particularly because we know that the names of people that both Ms. Ramirez and Dr. Ford gave them were not followed up. Nor were a number of tips that came into the FBI.

SHAPIRO: So Republicans have said today that there is nothing in the report corroborating the allegations against Kavanaugh - sounds as though you're saying true but only because they didn't look for them.

MURRAY: Well, I mean, that's part of it. And what we do know about situations like this where someone is a victim of sexual assault - that they often do not tell anybody in the room. I've talked to so many people who say it is absolutely no surprise that Dr. Ford didn't tell anybody at the time. In fact, she told us that - how traumatized she was. And it wasn't really until years later where she told the therapist or her husband and could talk about it.

I've had so many women tell me their stories in the airport and the grocery store over the last week or so, that that's exactly what happened to them. And I think those have to be credible and understood - that if you want to get a correct response and understand the full story, you can't just ask someone who was in a house at the time.

SHAPIRO: I know there's been a lot of frustration on both sides of the aisle about how this has been handled. Elsewhere in the program, we spoke with Senator Mike Rounds of South Dakota, and here's part of what he said.


MIKE ROUNDS: The Senate is supposed to be advise and consent. And in this particular case, there's a strong feeling up here that Republicans or that Democrats simply decided this was going to be a search-and-destroy mission from day one.

SHAPIRO: So there's a Republican accusing Democrats of a search-and-destroy mission against Judge Kavanaugh. How do you respond?

MURRAY: Well, first of all, let's remember that we are doing a job interview for someone who's going to be on the Supreme Court for a very long time, who will have an impact on generations to come. This is a lifetime appointment. So when you do a job interview of someone like that, a lot of things matter. And this woman, Dr. Ford, didn't come forward just at the end. She actually did what we expect citizens to do, which is to call their member of Congress - as she said, her civic duty because she felt she had some information about Brett Kavanaugh that she felt we should know when we were doing this job interview.

SHAPIRO: Well, then do you think Democrats made a mistake by sitting on this for months?

MURRAY: I think that Senator Feinstein was really trying to do what Dr. Ford had requested when she first called, which is to protect her identity. And as we can see over the last week, I think we can all understand why she had that concern knowing what happened to her, knowing that she came here, shared this really hard to tell story. And then at the end of the day, if it's swept under the rug, not believed, not being allowed to do what Dr. Ford asked us to do a complete investigation on, she's going to go home and go, what was this worse - worth? And I will tell you. What worries me is that other women will feel the same.

SHAPIRO: Democratic Senator Patty Murray of Washington, thank you for joining us today. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.