President Trump on Tuesday continued to defend Brett Kavanaugh amid multiple allegations of sexual misconduct against his Supreme Court nominee.
“He’s never had any charges like this,” Trump told reporters before a bilateral meeting with the president of Colombia at the United Nations General Assembly in New York. “I mean, charges come up from 36 years ago that are totally unsubstantiated.”
Two women have publicly accused Kavanaugh of sexual misconduct. The first, Christine Blasey Ford, said that Kavanaugh attempted to rape her at a party in suburban Maryland when they were teenagers. The second, Deborah Ramirez, alleges that Kavanaugh exposed himself to her during a dorm-room party when they were both freshmen at Yale. (She said she had been drinking at the time of the alleged incident.)
Kavanaugh strongly denied the allegation, saying, “This is a smear, plain and simple.”
Ford and Kavanaugh are scheduled to appear before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday. Earlier Tuesday, White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said the administration would be willing to have Ramirez testify at the public hearing, though Republicans on the Judiciary Committee have made no such offer.
Trump dismissed Ramirez’s allegations as part of what he called a “con game.”
“She said, well, it might not be him, and there were gaps, and she said she was totally inebriated and she was all messed up,” the president said. “She doesn’t know it was him, but it might have been him. ‘Oh, gee, let’s not make him a Supreme Court judge because of that.’”
“I look at the second accuser, the second accuser had nothing. The second accuser doesn’t even know, she thinks maybe it could have been him, maybe not,” Trump fumed. “She admits that she was drunk. She admits time lapses. There are time lapses. This is a person, and this is a series of statements that is going to take one of the most talented intellects, from a judicial standpoint, in our country — keep him off the U.S. Supreme Court? He has the chance to be one of the greatest justices in the United States Supreme Court. What a shame.”
Trump suggested Kavanaugh’s résumé is one of the reasons to believe his denials.
“He is one of the highest-quality people,” Trump continued. “He said when he was focused on being No. 1 in his class at Yale — to me, that was so believable. I understand college very well; being No. 1 in your class — I understand a lot of things. When he said that, I understood exactly. He was so truthful.”
Arriving at the U.N. Monday, Trump said he was standing by Kavanaugh despite the new allegation.
“Judge Kavanaugh is an outstanding person and I am with him all the way,” Trump told reporters when he arrived at the U.N. General Assembly in New York. “There’s a chance this could be one of the single most unfair, unjust things to happen to a candidate for anything.”
“I am with Judge Kavanaugh and I look forward to a vote,” he continued. “And for people to come out of the woodwork from 36 years ago and 30 years ago, and never mention it and all of the sudden it happens — in my opinion, it’s totally political. It’s totally political.”
On Monday afternoon, Trump told reporters he hopes Kavanaugh will be confirmed “quickly.”
“His family has suffered,” the president said. “Brett Kavanaugh is an absolute outstanding person. Hopefully he will be confirmed quickly.”
In an angry speech on the Senate floor, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell accused Democrats of engineering a “shameful smear campaign” to derail Kavanaugh’s nomination to the high court.
“Senate Democrats and their allies are trying to destroy a man’s personal and professional life on the basis of decades-old allegations,” McConnell said.
The Kentucky Republican used the word “smear” at least six times in his remarks.
McConnell — who refused to hold a hearing for President Barack Obama’s Supreme Court nominee Merrick Garland, much less a vote — vowed that he would get Kavanaugh’s nomination to the floor.
“Judge Kavanaugh will be voted on here on the Senate floor,” he said. “Up or down, on the Senate floor, this fine nominee to the Supreme Court will receive a vote in this Senate in the near future.”
In an interview that aired on Fox News Monday night, Kavanaugh said he never sexually assaulted anyone and, unprompted, declared he was a virgin at the time of the alleged incidents. The women have not alleged he had intercourse with them.
“We’re talking about allegations of sexual assault,” Kavanaugh told Fox News’ Martha MacCallum during a joint interview with his wife, Ashley Estes Kavanaugh. “I’ve never sexually assaulted anyone. I did not have sexual intercourse, or anything close to sexual intercourse, in high school or for many years thereafter.”
MacCallum then followed up on Kavanaugh’s assertion.
“So you’re saying through all these years that are in question that you were a virgin?” she asked.
“That’s correct,” Kavanaugh replied.
Read more from Yahoo News:
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- Kavanaugh floats virginity defense amid sexual assault allegations
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