President Donald Trump said Friday that he found testimony from Christine Blasey Ford, who has accused Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh of sexual assault, “very credible.” But that won’t stop him from supporting the judge.
Trump called Blasey a “very fine woman” following a Senate Judiciary Committee vote on Kavanaugh.
“I thought her testimony was very compelling and she looks like a very fine woman to me,” he said. “A very fine woman.”
“She was a very credible witness,” Trump said. “She was very good in many respects.”
But the president added that he still wants his pick to be confirmed to the high court. Trump said he was not thinking of any potential replacements for the nomination ― “not even a little bit.”
And when asked if he was concerned about Sens. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) and Susan Collins (R-Maine) potentially not backing Kavanaugh, Trump said the senators “have to do what they think is right. They have to be comfortable with themselves.”
Trump deferred to Senate leaders, including Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), when asked if he would support the FBI opening a background check into Kavanaugh.
“That will be a decision they are going to make,” he said. “I will be totally reliant on them.
Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) on Friday called for the FBI to conduct an investigation into the judge, who has been accused by three women of sexual misconduct.
The president said he has ordered the FBI to “conduct a supplemental investigation to update Judge Kavanaugh’s file” but clarified that he wanted it “limited in scope and completed in less than one week.”
Lawyers for Blasey thanked lawmakers for urging the president to call for an FBI investigation, but stressed that there should be no set timeline for the law enforcement agency to investigate the claims.
On Thursday, Blasey recounted to the Senate Judiciary Committee the evening Kavanaugh allegedly held her down on a bed, covered her mouth with his hand, and attempted to forcibly remove her clothing. Kavanaugh forcefully declared his innocence during his testimony.
Trump on Thursday praised Kavanaugh’s testimony as “powerful, honest, and riveting.”