President Donald Trump on Wednesday expressed skepticism over Christine Blasey Ford’s sexual assault accusation against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh while affirming his desire to hear from her at a Senate committee hearing next week.
“Look, if she shows up and makes a credible showing, that will be very interesting and we’ll have to make a decision,” Trump said as he spoke to reporters gathered outside the White House.
“I can only say this: He is such an outstanding man,” the president said of Kavanaugh. “Very hard for me to imagine that anything happened.”
If Blasey does not show up to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee, Trump said, “that would be unfortunate.”
Trump first came to Kavanaugh’s defense on Monday, one day after Blasey, who knew Kavanaugh in high school, went public with her allegation that he once sexually assaulted her at a party. The president dismissed the notion that Kavanaugh should offer to withdraw his nomination for the lifetime appointment and called him “one of the finest people that I’ve ever known.”
On Tuesday, Trump once again offered his support. He told reporters that he feels “so badly for” Kavanaugh and that “this is not a man that deserves this.”
After describing the alleged incident in letters to her representatives, Blasey gave an interview to The Washington Post on Sunday revealing her identity.
She said that when she was 15 years old in the 1980s, Kavanaugh pinned her down on a bed at a house party, tried to remove her clothing and stifled her screams by covering her mouth. According to Blasey, Kavanaugh was drunk.
“I thought he might inadvertently kill me,” she said.
Kavanaugh’s hearings with the Senate Judiciary Committee, which initially concluded earlier this month, are set to resume on Monday as the body grapples with the claim.
Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), chairman of the committee, has invited both Blasey and Kavanaugh to testify on Monday while rejecting calls for a formal FBI investigation into the matter. On Tuesday, Blasey had asked for such a probe.
Since going public, Blasey has needed to relocate herself and her family due to death threats she’s received. Nearly 600 alumni of her high school, the Maryland private school Holton-Arms, signed a letter supporting her.
Sixty-five women initially signed a letter supporting Kavanaugh after news about the allegation against him surfaced. Yet as more details emerged in the Post, HuffPost found that many who previously signed their name in support of Kavanaugh were reluctant to speak up for him again.