Supreme Court Nominations

Kavanaugh defends himself in TV interview; White House is open to testimony by 2nd accuser

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Screenshot of Brett Kavanaugh’s interview on Fox News.

Appearing with his wife in a Fox News interview on Monday, U.S. Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh said he has “never sexually assaulted anyone, in high school or otherwise.”

Kavanaugh addressed allegations by Christine Blasey Ford, who is scheduled to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday, report Fox News, USA Today and the New York Times. Ford has said Kavanaugh pinned her to a bed during a party in the 1980s when both were high school students, tried to pull off her swimsuit, grinded on top of her, and covered her mouth. Kavanaugh and a friend in the room were “stumbling drunk,” according to Ford.

“I was never at any such party,” Kavanaugh said during the interview. (A transcript is here.) Kavanaugh said other people alleged to have been at the party don’t remember it, including a woman who is a lifelong friend of Ford’s.

“All I’m asking for is a fair process where I can be heard,” he said.

According to the New York Times, Kavanaugh said he was seeking a “fair process” 17 times. “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,” he said.

Kavanaugh said Ford may have been sexually assaulted at some point in her life, “but what I know is I’ve never sexually assaulted anyone.” Asked whether he knew Ford, Kavanaugh said he may have met her but they don’t “travel in the same social circle” and she is not a friend.

“I’ve always treated women with dignity and respect,” Kavanaugh said, using a phrase that he repeated another three times.

Kavanaugh said he “did not have sexual intercourse or anything close to sexual intercourse in high school or for many years thereafter.” Interviewer Martha MacCallum followed up, asking whether he was a virgin during those years. “That’s correct,” Kavanaugh said.

Kavanaugh’s wife, Ashley, said she found the sexual misconduct allegations hard to believe. “I know Brett. I’ve known him for 17 years,” she said. “He’s decent, he’s kind, he’s good. I know his heart. This is not consistent with Brett.”

Kavanaugh also denied accusations by former Yale classmate Deborah Ramirez, who has said Kavanaugh exposed himself during a drinking party and thrust his genitals in her face. “I never did any such thing,” Kavanaugh said. “The other people alleged to be there don’t recall any such thing. If such a thing had happened, it would have been the talk of campus.”

MacCallum asked Kavanaugh whether he ever drank so much that he couldn’t remember what happened the night before. “No, that never happened,” Kavanaugh replied.

Ramirez is not scheduled to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee. White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said in an interview on ABC’s Good Morning America on Tuesday morning that the administration would be open to her testifying on Thursday, the Washington Post reports.

President Donald Trump continues to stand by Kavanaugh. In a tweet late Monday, Trump said there are false accusations against Kavanaugh “the likes of which have never been seen before!”

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