- President Donald Trump defended his Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh as a “fantastic man” in a radio interview broadcast Monday.
- Trump also doubled down on his doubts over the sexual-assault allegations against Kavanaugh.
- But he also said Kavanaugh’s accuser Christine Blasey Ford should be heard. “I want her to have her voice,” Trump said. She is expected to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday.
- Trump acknowledged that Democrats were unlikely to vote for Kavanaugh, meaning he would need the support of almost every Republican in the Senate.
President Donald Trump defended his Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh as a “fantastic man” in a radio interview that aired Monday while calling for a woman accusing Kavanaugh of sexual assault to be heard in testimony.
While Trump encouraged the woman, Christine Blasey Ford, to testify, he reiterated his hope that his nominee would successfully be elected to the Supreme Court. “Hopefully, we’ll have a second judge very shortly who is a fantastic, fantastic man, a fantastic talent and intellect – hopefully Brett Kavanaugh will go on to the Supreme Court” Trump said on WTAM radio in an interview with Geraldo Rivera.
The interview aired Monday morning but was taped before new sexual-assault accusations emerged against Kavanaugh.
In the interview, Trump doubled down on his doubts over Ford’s allegation because it was not reported to authorities earlier. Ford has said Kavanaugh pinned her to a bed, groped her, and put his hands over her mouth to keep her from screaming at a party when they were in high school in the 1980s.
“This went 36 years without a complaint, 36 years Geraldo … and this never came up,” Trump said.
Yet Trump said he was in favour of Ford testifying publicly, as she is now expected to do Thursday before the Senate Judiciary Committee.
“I want her to have her voice,” he said. “Let her have her voice. Let her say whatever she has to say. Let him say what he has to say. And in the end senators will make their choice.”
“The Republicans are doing everything in her power to let her have her voice,” he added.
Trump also criticised Democrats over the timing of the allegation. Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California received a letter detailing Ford’s story in July. She said she didn’t report it earlier because Ford had hoped to remain anonymous, though she did eventually refer it to investigators.
“I think he’s an outstanding man,” Trump said. “We went through whole hearing. The hearing was over, and then all of a sudden a letter that was being held by Senator Feinstein emerged. It could have emerged much earlier. I think that was a shame. I think that was disgraceful, not to bring it up in proper course.”
Trump acknowledged Democrats would be unlikely to vote for Kavanaugh, meaning he would need the support of almost every Republican in the Senate.
“We’ll get almost no Democrat,” he said. “We may get a couple in states where I won by many, many points – you understand that – but we’ll essentially get no Democrat.”
New allegations against Kavanaugh have come to light since. ANew Yorker story on Sunday described an investigation by Senate Democrats into whether Kavanaugh exposed himself to and assaulted a woman in college.
The outspoken lawyer Michael Avenatti also said he had a client accusing Kavanaugh in high school of trying to use drugs and alcohol to rape women. Kavanaugh has denied any sexual misconduct.
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