Politics

Kavanaugh Goes Further Than Denial — His Statement Will Make or Break Him

New comments raise eyebrows as president says Supreme Court nominee is 'on track' for confirmation

Image Credit: Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images

Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh on Monday left no room for differing recollections about an alleged sexual assault at a high school party in the 1980s.

“This is a completely false allegation,” Kavanaugh said in a statement. “I have never done anything like what the accuser describes — to her or to anyone. Because this never happened, I had no idea who was making this accusation until she identified herself yesterday.”

And Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), according to Fox News, told reporters on Monday that not only did Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh categorically deny allegations that he committed sexual assault, but he also told the senator that he was not at a party similar to what his accuser described.

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In other words: Kavanaugh is saying his accuser is lying or completely mistaken.

Hatch’s office, in a statement to Fox News, said the woman “may be mistaking [Kavanaugh] for someone else.”

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As two former girlfriends of Kavanaugh released statements vouching for his character, a measured President Donald Trump on Monday expressed confidence in his nominee but said he was OK with a delay in a vote so that senators can fully examine sexual misconduct allegations.

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Trump dismissed as “ridiculous” a reporter’s question about whether he intends to withdraw the nomination of Kavanaugh. But he refrained from taking any shots at Christine Blasey Ford, a Palo Alto University professor who accuses Kavanaugh of sexually assaulting her at a Maryland house party when both were teenagers in the 1980s.

“I think he’s on track, yeah. I think he’s very much on track,” he said. “If they delay it a little bit just to make sure everybody’s happy — they want to be happy. I can tell you, the Republican senators want to be 100 percent happy themselves. They’re doing it very, very professionally.”

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Trump said Kavanaugh is “very special” and continues to support Kavanaugh.

“Judge Kavanaugh is one of the finest people that I’ve ever known. He’s an outstanding intellect, an outstanding judge, respected by everybody,” he said. “Never had even a little blemish on his record. The FBI has, I think, gone through a process six times with him over the years, where he went to higher and higher positions.”

Trump’s comments match the tone of his White House adviser, Kellyanne Conway, who told “Fox & Friends” on Monday that Ford should not be insulted.

The Judiciary Committee is set to vote on the nomination on Thursday, but there is growing pressure to postpone it.

Trump seemed to give his blessing for a delay.

“At the same time, we want to go through a process. We want to make sure everything is perfect, everything is just right,”

“At the same time, we want to go through a process. We want to make sure everything is perfect, everything is just right,” he said. “I wish the Democrats could have done this a lot sooner, because they had this information for many months, and they shouldn’t have waited till literally the last days. They should have done it a lot sooner.”

Separately, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) took to the Senate floor on Monday to decry the way his Democratic colleagues have handled the matter. He endorsed a plain laid out by Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Charles Grassley to allow senators to interview both Kavanaugh and Ford.

“But now — now — an accusation of 36-year-old misconduct dating back to high school has been brought forward at the last minute in an irregular mater,” he said. “It is an accusation which Judge Kavanaugh has completely and unequivocally denied.”

Ford’s allegations first came to light as an anonymous letter referenced by Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), who said last week that she had referred the matter to the FBI. Kavanaugh’s supporters have been sharply critical of the Judiciary Committee’s ranking Democrat for not alerting committee members before this month’s hearing.

Related: Grassley Questions Kavanaugh Sexual Assault Leaks

Trump echoed that criticism, noting that Feinstein had met privately with Kavanaugh.

“It wasn’t even brought up at that meeting, and she had this information,” he said. “So you would have thought, certainly, she would have brought it up at the meeting, not wait until everything’s finished and then have to start a process all over again.”

Trump suggested he does not want Kavanaugh to join the nation’s highest court under a cloud of doubt.

“I want him to go in at the absolute highest level, and I think to do that, you have to go through this,” he said. “If it takes a little delay, it’ll take a little delay.”

Watch Trump talk about the nominee.

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