CNN reports that multiple sources say President Trump is unhappy with his Supreme Court nominee’s defense of himself as multiple allegations of sexual assault have come to light. That dissatisfaction has led the president to conclude that he must defend Brett Kavanaugh personally ahead of the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing scheduled on Thursday. Kavanaugh and his accuser, Christine Blasey Ford, will speak to the committee separately.
Trump has scheduled a press conference for 5 o’clock on Wednesday, the fourth in his more than 18 months in office, before Kavanaugh and Dr. Blasey testify at Thursday’s hearing.
NBC reports that Trump has told an associate recently that he believes the media is desposed to believing an accuser’s lies, as they did with his own more than a dozen accusers during his presidential campaign. NBC describes the associate as a “Republican close to the White House who was not authorized to publicly discuss private conversations”.
Trump has become more vocal about Kavanaugh’s troubles in recent days, even referring to the situation while attending meetings at the United Nations General Assembly this week.
The drama has overshadowed what was supposed to be a week of diplomacy at the United Nations General Assembly in New York. Ahead of the President’s arrival in New York last weekend, aides hoped an intensive schedule might deter him from further inflaming the precarious confirmation proceedings back home, which most Republicans concurred was best played out without Trump’s intervention.
But Trump has been fixated on the Supreme Court confirmation battle as he shuttles between meetings with world leaders and wields the gavel at Wednesday’s meeting of the United Nations Security Council. He made clear what was on his mind when the President turned to his Colombian counterpart, President Iván Duque, Tuesday and said: “You must say, ‘How is this possible?’ “CNN
Per NBC, Trump initially believed he did not need to weigh in on the allegations against Kavanaugh. But as days passed, he became convinced the accusations were a Democratic plot to prevent him from placing his second nominee on the Supreme Court. Becoming increasingly frustrated, he tweeted about Ford, questioning why she did not report the alleged assault 36 years ago.
When The New Yorker published additional accusations from a fellow Yale student, Deborah Ramirez, Trump’s skepticism about Democratic involvement was cemented. To the consternation of Senator Susan Collins, a critical vote in the confirmation process, Trump came out and said that Ramirez was drunk at the time and doesn’t remember parts of the incident she alledges. Mitch McConnell, Senate Majority Leader, has indicated to the president that his public comments are complicating the process.
However, this morning Trump described his embattled nominee as a “gem” who has been treated unfairly by the Democrats. He also stated that things would be different if he was in charge of the process, saying, “They could have pushed it through two weeks ago and we wouldn’t be talking about this right now, which is what I would have preferred.”
He referred to the accusations, which he believes are invented by the Democrats, as a “con game” and the RNC has published a message which states, “Judge Kavanaugh has become the victim of a televised witch hunt playing out in front of his own family.”
This morning, the battle deepened as Michael Avenatti released an affidavit from a third accuser. Julie Swetnick, a federal employee with security clearance, claims Brett Kavanaugh and his friend Mark Judge were present when she was drugged and gang raped.
Trump tweeted about the new accusations.
Brett Kavanaugh has denied all allegations leveled against him, saying the most recent accusations are from the “Twilight Zone.”
Senator Jeff Flake has joined Collins in expressing concern about how the president and GOP lawmakers have handled the allegations. He wondered how the president’s message effects young women and asked, “How uninformed and uncaring do you have to be to say things like that, much less believe them? Do we have any idea what kind of message that sends, especially to young women? How many times do we have to marginalize and ignore women before we learn that important lesson?”
Stay tuned to The News Blender for updates of this developing story and for coverage of President Trump’s scheduled news conference later today.