“Judge Kavanaugh showed America exactly why I nominated him. His testimony was powerful, honest, and riveting,” the president tweeted. “Democrats’ search and destroy strategy is disgraceful and this process has been a total sham and effort to delay, obstruct, and resist. The Senate must vote!”
In his statement, Trump did not mention Christine Blasey Ford or her emotional testimony.
The research psychologist and professor at Palo Alto University claims that Kavanaugh, 53, sexually assaulted her at a high school party in the 1980s, where he allegedly pinned her down to a bed, groped her and tried to remove her clothes while Judge was in the room. Both (Kavanaugh and Judge have denied the allegations.)
Also on Thursday, Trump’s eldest son Donald Trump Jr. mocked Ford for saying she has a fear of flying—while also admitting that she travels by plane for work, vacations and family visits. “I’m no psychology professor but it does seem weird to me that someone could have a selective fear of flying,” he tweeted. “Can’t do it to testify but for vacation, well it’s not a problem at all.”
In her tearful testimony, Ford addressed allegations that she is testifying because of “partisan political motives,” saying, “Those who say that do not know me. I am an independent person and I am no one’s pawn. My motivation in coming forward was to be helpful and to provide the facts about how Mr. Kavanaugh’s actions have damaged my life, so that you can take that into a serious consideration as you make your decision about how to proceed.”
She continued: “It is not my responsibility to determine whether Mr. Kavanaugh deserves to sit on the Supreme Court. My responsibility is to tell you the truth.”
Meanwhile, in his fiery testimony, Kavanaugh denied Ford’s allegations.
“This is a circus. The consequences will extend long past my nomination. The consequences will long be with us for decades. This grotesque character assassination will dissuade competent and good people of all political persuasions from serving our country,” he said. “I ask you to judge me by the standard that you would want applied to your father, your husband, your brother or your son. My family and I intend no ill will toward Dr. Ford or her family. But I swear today under oath, before the Senate and the nation, before my family and God, I am innocent of this charge.”
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During a solo press conference on Wednesday, the president defended Kavanaugh.
“This is one of the highest quality people that I’ve ever met. These are all false to me, all false accusations in certain cases … I can only say that what they’ve done to this man is incredible,” Trump said. Describing Kavanaugh as “an absolute gem” who has been treated “very unfairly,” Trump called the Democrats’ handling of the Kavanaugh accusations a “big con job.”
In the same conference, Trump also said, “When you say does it affect me in terms of my thinking with respect to Judge Kavanaugh, absolutely. … You know what? I could be persuaded.” And asked if could withdraw Kavanaugh’s nomination, Trump said: “If I thought he was guilty of something like this, yeah, sure.”
The president has also previously spoken out about Ford. On Friday, Trump questioned why she waited 36 years to come forward. “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,” Trump tweeted. “I ask that she bring those filings forward so that we can learn date, time, and place!”
Then on Sunday, Kavanaugh was accused of sexual assault by a second woman. Deborah Ramirez 53, told The New Yorker that when she and Kavanaugh were freshmen at Yale University, he allegedly exposed his penis, put it in her face and “caused her to touch it without her consent as she pushed him away.”
Kavanaugh has denied all allegations of sexual assault. In an interview with Fox News on Sunday, he said, “I never sexually assaulted anyone. I did not have sexual intercourse or anything close to sexual intercourse in high school or for many years thereafter. The girls from the schools I went to and I were friends.”
On Wednesday, a third accuser, Julie Swetnick, claimed that Kavanaugh attended a high school party at which she was allegedly gang-raped, according to her lawyer Michael Avenatti’s tweet. She does not allege in the affidavit that Kavanaugh raped her, or that he raped anyone else. She also claimed she witnessed efforts by Kavanaugh “to cause girls to become inebriated and disoriented so they could be ‘gang raped’ by a train of numerous boys.”
Kavanaugh denied Swetnick’s allegations in a statement on Wednesday, saying, “This is ridiculous and from The Twilight Zone. I don’t know who this is and this never happened.”
Also on Wednesday, it was revealed that the Senate Judiciary Committee inquired about two additional allegations of misconduct against Kavanaugh, according to an interview transcript.
The fourth misconduct claim by an anonymous woman allegedly occurred in 1998 when Kavanaugh shoved a woman “up against the wall very aggressively and sexually” after leaving a bar where they had been drinking. The fifth claim “concerning a rape on a boat in Rhode Island” allegedly happened in 1985.
The transcript also stated Kavanaugh’s comments on all the accusations, including the fourth and fifth claims.
“This is crazy town. It’s a smear campaign. [The allegations] are just absurd and outrageous, coordinated perhaps. I don’t know. Twilight zone. And I don’t — you know, it’s just outrageous,” he said. “It’s trying to take me down, trying to take down my family. It’s bad — it’s doing damage to the Supreme Court. It’s doing damage to the country. It’s doing damage to this process. It’s become a total feeding frenzy, you know? Just unbelievable.”
If you or someone you care about is affected by sexual violence, contact the National Sexual Assault Hotline: 1-800-656-HOPE (4673).