Drew Angerer/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) — Brett Kavanaugh, the president’s embattled Supreme Court nominee, spoke out Monday in an extraordinary and emotional interview with Fox News, saying, “I’ve never sexually assaulted anyone” and insisting, “I’m not going anywhere.”
The interview, which aired Monday evening, followed a day-long effort by President Donald Trump and Senate Republicans to save Kavanaugh’s nomination after a second accuser’s story surfaced in The New Yorker on Sunday. A former Yale University classmate, Deborah Ramirez, claims Kavanaugh exposed himself at a dorm party and “thrust his penis in her face.”
With his wife Ashley at his side and his voice breaking, Kavanaugh said, “I’m not going to let false accusations drive us out of this process and we’re looking for a fair process where I can be heard and defend my integrity my lifelong record. My lifelong record of promoting dignity and equality for women starting with the women who knew me when I was 14 years old. I’m not going anywhere.”
Kavanaugh addressed the allegation by Christine Blasey Ford that, while drunk, he sexually assaulted her at a party when they were both in high school, pinning her on a bed and covering her mouth with his hand to stop her from screaming.
“I was never at any such party,” he told Fox anchor Martha MacCallum. “The other people who alleged to be present have said they do not remember any such party. A woman who was present, another woman who was present who was Dr. Ford’s lifelong friend has said she doesn’t know me and never remembers being at a party with me at any time in her life.
“The truth is I’ve never sexually assaulted anyone, in high school or otherwise,” he said. “I am not questioning and have not questioned that perhaps Dr. Ford at some point in her life was sexually assaulted by someone at some place but what I know is I’ve never sexually assaulted anyone.”
The interview came three days before Kavanaugh and Ford are both expected to tell their stories at a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing Thursday before senators vote on his confirmation.
Earlier Monday, in New York, the president had nothing but praise for Kavanaugh.
“We hope he’s going to be confirmed he’s a fine, fine man, a great scholar, great at everything he’s ever done, and it would be sad indeed if something happened to reroute that,” Trump said. “This is a fine man and we certainly hope he will be confirmed and quickly. His family has suffered. His family has suffered. What’s going on is not something that should happen. Brett Kavanaugh is an absolutely outstanding person and hopefully, he will be confirmed quickly.”
A few hours before that, Trump called the allegations “totally political.”
“I am with Judge Kavanaugh and I look forward to a vote and for people to come out of the woodwork from 36 years ago and 30 years ago and never mention it and all the sudden it happens, in my opinion, it’s totally political. It is totally political,” the president said.
Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell was defiant on the Senate floor.
“Senate Democrats and their allies are trying to destroy a man’s personal and professional life on the base of decades-old allegations that are unsubstantiated and uncorroborated,” McConnell said.
“This is what the so-called resistance has become. A smear campaign, pure and simple. Aided and abetted by members of the United States Senate,” he said.
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