- President Donald Trump escalated his defence of Judge Brett Kavanaugh on Friday morning, asserting that his Supreme Court nominee was “under assault by radical left wing politicians.”
- He also questioned allegations made by Christine Blasey Ford, the California professor who says Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her when the two were in high school.
- The president blamed Ford for not notifying local law enforcement or the FBI with her story when she was 15.
- Kavanaugh has denied the allegations, and the Senate Judiciary Committee is negotiating the terms of his and Ford’s testimonies.
President Donald Trump escalated his defence of Judge Brett Kavanaugh on Friday morning, asserting that his Supreme Court nominee was “under assault by radical left wing politicians.”
He blamed Kavanaugh’s accuser, Christine Blasey Ford, for not notifying local law enforcement or the FBI immediately about her claim that Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her when the two were teenagers in the early 1980s. Kavanaugh has denied the allegation.
Trump has refused to ask the FBI to investigate the allegation, characterising requests by Democrats and Ford that it do so as partisan attempts to derail Kavanaugh’s confirmation process.
“Judge Brett Kavanaugh is a fine man, with an impeccable reputation, who is under assault by radical left wing politicians who don’t want to know the answers, they just want to destroy and delay,” Trump tweeted. “Facts don’t matter. I go through this with them every single day in D.C.”
Trump went on to suggest that if Ford, who has said a 17-year-old Kavanaugh attacked her when she was 15 at a high-school party in the 1980s, did not notify police immediately, then she may be lying about her story.
“I have no doubt that, if the attack on Dr. Ford was as bad as she says, charges would have been immediately filed with local Law Enforcement Authorities by either her or her loving parents,” he said. “I ask that she bring those filings forward so that we can learn date, time, and place!”
In a third tweet, Trump blamed Ford for not alerting the FBI in the early 1980s.
“The radical left lawyers want the FBI to get involved NOW,” he wrote. “Why didn’t someone call the FBI 36 years ago?”
Friday’s tweets came after several days of relative restraint from the president regarding the allegation – and reports that White House aides attempted to stop the president from attacking Ford publicly.
“Hopefully he can keep it together until Monday. That’s only, like, another 48 hours right?” one official told the news website Axios on Thursday night.
Trump argued this week that the FBI shouldn’t be involved in looking into Ford’s claim, telling reporters that “this is not really their thing” and that the top law-enforcement agency doesn’t want to be involved. Still, the FBI is routinely called upon to conduct background investigations into presidential nominees, which can be ordered only by the White House.
Democratic lawmakers and other critics are pressing the White House to ask for an investigation, and some have suggested that the president’s refusal to do so is suspect.
“Someone who is lying does not ask the FBI to investigate their claims,” Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, a New York Democrat, said during a Thursday press conference, referring to Ford’s request. “Who is not asking the FBI to investigate these claims? The White House. Judge Kavanaugh has not asked to have the FBI review these claims. Is that the reaction of an innocent person? It is not.”
Ford, a research psychologist and professor, says an intoxicated Kavanaugh pinned her to a bed and groped her while a friend of his watched in a home in Montgomery County, Maryland. She says Kavanaugh covered her mouth with his hand and turned up music to muffle her screams.
“I thought he might inadvertently kill me,” Ford told The Washington Post. “He was trying to attack me and remove my clothing.”
Ford on Thursday said she was willing to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee next week, and she is negotiating the terms of her appearance.
Republicans are under pressure to get Trump’s pick confirmed before the Supreme Court starts its next term on October 1 and before the midterm elections on November 6.
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