Supreme Court Nominee Brett Kavanaugh, And The First Of Several Women Who Have Now Accused Him Of Sexual Assault, Christine Blasey Ford, Set To Appear Before The Senate Judiciary Committee Starting At 10 A.M. EDT Today
And President Trump, at the very end of a near 1 1/2 hour long news conference in New York, after addressing many topics (China and Iran), evading others (the plight of Kurdish fighters), and rambling on about how Democrats these days wouldn’t even confirm George Washington and how they “go into a room and I guarantee you they laugh like hell“, offered his vision about the significance of the hearing.
The gist of Trump’s argument: if Kavanaugh is not confirmed, and the “evil people” win their “con game”, maybe nobody will want to be nominated to the Supreme Court anymore: “at a certain point people are going to say ‘no thank you’ [to] the most coveted job probably in the world”.
Which of course is exactly the reason it’s so crucially important to thoroughly investigate someone who will be spending the rest of their life upholding and interpreting the law of the land. After all, Trump claims responsibility for inventing “extreme vetting”. But we guess that’s only meant to apply to immigrants and visa applicants, not prospective Supreme Court Justices.
Interestingly, as with almost everything, Trump made it very clear he views what’s going on as a zero sum game, continually referring to whether Kavanaugh “wins” or not. And Trump several times refers to Kavanaugh and Ford as having their “day in court”. Except it’s not a trial: it’s an interview to determine if Kavanaugh’s the right person for the job.
And the President didn’t shy from drawing parallels between Kavanaugh’s plight and his own, describing his own tribulations dealing with woman who’ve accused him–“false accusations”–of various forms of sexual misconduct, for which he claims to have been completely exonerated. “You can check with Sean Hannity”. Here’s him describing that ordeal:
That last example the President cites is an odd choice though. If it’s true, as he says, that one accuser turned down a chunk of money and chose instead to keep pressing her claim. It’s almost like the President’s arguing against himself there.
Trump also did another thing he’s very fond of: taking an empirical truth, and then claiming–with no evidence–the exact opposite is actually what’s true. In this case his claim that while “I have men” who don’t like what’s happening to Kavanaugh, it’s really “women that are incensed.” Here’s that clip:
As part of that claim, Trump also repeats a lie he uses a lot: how he won the popular vote among women in 2016. He won 52% of white women. He lost the women’s vote overall.
Finally, just a quick note on something else the President was completely misleading about during his news conference. As we reported yesterday, those in attendance at the U.N. General Assembly laughed at Trump during his speech. He vehemently denied that happened. Instead, he asserted the assembled world leaders were laughing with him, not at him, and any portrayal suggesting otherwise is “fake news.” (So that would include ours, we suppose.) “We had fun” the President concluded. Except as he continued to describe the moment, he lied about the line in his speech that elicited the guffaws. Saying the good-natured chuckles came when he said “our country is now stronger than ever before.” But that wasn’t what triggered the laugh. The actual “laugh line” came when Trump bragged about himself and how great a President he is and how “my administration has accomplished more than almost any administration in the history of our country.” Very different. So no. Not “fake news”.
And one more note: there’s been a lot of curiosity about the prosecutor who’s being brought in by Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee to question Kavanaugh’s accuser, Christine Blasey Ford. Rachel Mitchell runs the special victims division of the District Attorney’s Office in Maricopa County, Arizona, where she specializes in sex crimes. We found a couple of decent profiles in azcentral and the Washington Post.