U.S. President Donald Trump said Monday he wants the FBI to do a “comprehensive” investigation into allegations of sexual misconduct by Brett Kavanaugh, but that he stands by his Supreme Court nominee “all the way”.
During Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee last week, Democrats repeatedly badgered him about the lack of an FBI investigation into Christine Blasey Ford’s version of the story.
“The president’s comments yesterday mocking Dr. Ford were wholly inappropriate and, in my view, unacceptable”.
“What neighbourhood was it in?” I don’t know. I don’t know. I know, because, especially in our first two years of college, I often drank with him.
“I don’t have any problem stating facts, no”, Sanders said, snarking, “I know that is something that you probably do have a problem with”.
“This is our seventh investigation of a man who has really – you look at his life, until this happened, what a change he’s gone through”. Jeff Flake (Ariz.), a key swing vote in the Kavanaugh confirmation, said there’s “no time and no place” for remarks like that, adding that they were “not right” and “kind of appalling”.
“I wish he hadn’t done it”, Flake said.
“I don’t want to talk about plan B”, said Trump, whose comments came as a new Supreme Court session began with eight justices on Monday.
The remarks also threatened to derail the delicate Senate math Republicans are facing to get Kavanaugh confirmed.
With Republicans holding a slim 51-49 majority in the Senate, the loss of any two of their senators would doom Kavanaugh.
Not so, argued Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, contending the Democrats are simply looking to “move the goalposts” to prevent Kavanaugh’s confirmation. While some senators from both parties have said they’d like at least a summary of the findings to be released, Senate procedures call for such checks to be kept confidential. “They exploited Dr. Ford and all the women that have come out to make any accusation”. When asked whether he had a message for American women, Trump said: “Women are doing great”.
White House counsellor Kellyanne Conway also defended the president. White House adviser Kellyanne Conway told Fox News that “the president is pointing out factual inconsistencies”.
Appearing before the committee last week, Ford, a research psychologist in northern California, drew on her own expertise to explain how the brain processed traumatic memories.
Senator Dick Durbin, the No. 2 Senate Democrat, complained in an interview with Reuters that the White House had not responded to requests for documents detailing its instructions to the FBI about the scope of its investigation of Kavanaugh.
Kavanaugh denies all allegations of sexual assault and says he never was an out-of-control drunk. Voters will be casting ballots in Nov 6 elections in which Democrats are trying to seize control of Congress from Trump’s party.
“It does us no good to have an investigation that just gives us more cover”, Flake said. “This isn’t the process that should’ve been done and certainly everybody deserves to be heard- but that includes Judge Kavanaugh”.
Kavanaugh has denied the accusations by Ford, by Deborah Ramirez, who says he exposed himself to her during a college party, and by Julie Swetnick, who has alleged she was victimized at a party attended by Kavanaugh and his friends.