President Donald Trump told reporters Wednesday that it’s “very hard … to imagine anything happened” between Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh and a woman who claims the judge attempted to rape her when they were both teenagers in the 1980s.
Kavanaugh and his accuser, Christine Blasey Ford, have been invited to testify Monday in a public hearing by the Senate Judiciary Committee.
“If she shows up and makes a credible showing, that’ll be very interesting, and we’ll have to make a decision,” Trump said Wednesday morning. “But I can only say this – he’s such an outstanding man, (it’s) very hard for me to imagine anything happened.”
Ford, a professor at California’s Palo Alto University, on Sunday told The Washington Post that Kavanaugh drunkenly groped her and tried to take off her clothes at a party when they were teenagers in the 1980s. Kavanaugh has denied the incident took place.
“I think he’s an extraordinary man, I think he’s a man of great intellect,” Trump said Wednesday. “This is a very tough thing for him and his family and we want to get it over with (and) at the same time, we want to give tremendous amounts of time (to the investigation).”
The Senate Judiciary Committee was set to vote Thursday on Kavanaugh’s nomination, although it was unclear when the vote would take place, in light of the allegations.
“They’re hurting somebody’s life very badly,” Trump said.
Democrats have called for the FBI to investigate the incident, which became public last week, arguing that a broader investigation into the incident is needed. Ford’s attorneys said in a letter Tuesday to Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, that an FBI investigation “should be the first step in addressing her allegations.”
Trump on Wednesday reiterated comments he made Tuesday, telling reporters he believed the investigation should remain with the Senate Judiciary Committee.
“Let the senators do it,” Trump said. “They’re doing a very good job. They’ve given tremendous amounts of time. They’ve already postponed a major hearing.”
Republican senators said Wednesday that if Ford decides not to testify Monday, they’ll push for a vote on Kavanaugh’s nomination.