Trump praises Kavanaugh, says everyone will be heard out

2018-09-18 12:05

US President Donald Trump sided with his embattled Supreme Court nominee, defending Judge Brett Kavanaugh against allegations of sexual assault as the White House walked a fine line in addressing accusations that revived memories of the president's own #MeToo moments.

Time and again, Trump has defended powerful men against the claims of women.

The president dismissed any notion that Kavanaugh's nomination should be withdrawn, calling that a "ridiculous question" while accusing Democrats of playing politics by not zeroing in on the accusation against the judge until days before the Senate Judiciary Committee was poised to vote on his nomination.

"He's an outstanding intellect. An outstanding judge. Respected by everybody. Never even had a little blemish on his record," Trump told reporters at the White House on Monday.

Politically perilous situation

But Trump's defence was somewhat measured. He allowed that there might need to be a "little delay" in the Senate confirmation process to deal with the explosive allegation that Kavanaugh forced himself on a woman at a high school party more than 30 years ago.

"I'd like to see a complete process. ... I want him to go in at the absolute highest level. And I think to do that you have to go through this. If it takes a little delay, it'll take a little delay," the president said.

"They'll go through a process and hear everybody out. I think it's important," Trump continued. "But with all of that being said, it will, I'm sure, work out very well."

Trump's somewhat muted response underscored the politically perilous situation the White House found itself in.

Kavanaugh's nomination had seemed to be on a glide path until Christine Blasey Ford, a psychology professor at Palo Alto University in California, said on Sunday that Kavanaugh had sexually assaulted her at a drunken high school party in the 1980s. Kavanaugh denied the allegation.

Both were invited to testify about the matter before the committee next Monday, which could create a made-for-TV spectacle that Republican leaders had hoped to avoid.

White House aides met behind closed doors cognizant of two realities: That scuttling the Kavanaugh nomination and finding a replacement would likely postpone confirmation hearings until after what could be a difficult midterm election, while pushing back too hard in his defence could alienate female voters as well as female senators who could hold the judge's future in their hands.

Until he spoke on Monday afternoon, Trump had stayed out of sight as the allegations swirled.

He received closed-door updates on Hurricane Florence while tweeting about supposed FBI conspiracies against him and wishing the nation a happy Constitution Day.

The White House tone for the day was set by one of the administration's few high-ranking female voices, Kellyanne Conway, who said Ford's voice should be heard.

"She should not be insulted. She should not be ignored. She should testify under oath, and she should do it on Capitol Hill," said Conway, a senior White House adviser.

KEEP UPDATED on the latest news by subscribing to our FREE newsletter.

- FOLLOW News24 on Twitter

Read more on:    donald trump  |  us

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Inside News24

 
/News
Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.