Speaking to reporters at the United Nations General Assembly Monday morning, Trump insisted that the new allegation, from Kavanaugh’s Yale classmate Deborah Ramirez, was “totally political,” according to The Associated Press.
“I am with him all the way,” Trump said of Kavanaugh, whom he called “an outstanding person” and “a fine man with an unblemished past.”
“There’s a chance that this could be one of the single most unfair, unjust things to happen to a candidate for anything,” he continued, calling Ramirez’s claims “highly unsubstantiated.”
He again questioned why Ramirez and Christine Blasey Ford were coming forward now.
“For people to come out of the woodwork from 36 years ago, and 30 years ago, and never mention it,” he said. “All of a sudden it happens.”
The president’s comments came after The New Yorker on Sunday evening published a bombshell report detailing new allegations from Ramirez, who alleged that Kavanaugh exposed himself to her and thrust his penis in her face at a party while they both attended Yale University in the 1980s. In her account, Ramirez said she was inebriated at the time and that there were large gaps in her memory, but she felt confident enough in her account to urge the FBI to investigate her claims.
She said she was hesitant to come forward, afraid she’d be attacked for admitting that she had been drinking at the time.
In the New Yorker article, Ramirez rebutted claims from classmates that she was “politically motivated” to come forward, saying that she “works toward human rights, social justice, and social change.”
On Sunday night, Kavanaugh issued a strong denial, saying the event “from 35 years ago did not happen” and calling the allegations a political “smear.”
The White House also moved to discredit Ramirez shortly after The New Yorker story was published, releasing a lengthy statement in an attempt to turn the woman’s words against her.
The new claim, however, is sure to add to Kavanaugh’s mounting confirmation difficulties following another set of allegations from Christine Blasey Ford, who went public earlier this month with her own claims of sexual assault. In an interview with The Washington Post, Blasey alleged that a “stumbling drunk” Kavanaugh pinned her to a bed and attempted to remove her clothes at a party when they were both teenagers in the early 1980s.
Kavanaugh also denied those allegations, and both he and Blasey are expected to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday after fierce back and forth negotiations with lawmakers.
Blasey’s attorneys had also urged the FBI to step in and probe her claims before she made any public appearance in an effort to remove political bias from what’s expected to be a closely watched hearing. A research psychologist living in Northern California, Blasey has been subject to several death threats and was forced to leave her home amid widespread attacks on her credibility.
This story has been updated with more comments from Trump.
Need help? Visit RAINN’s National Sexual Assault Online Hotline or the National Sexual Violence Resource Center’s website.