Speaking to reporters at the United Nations on Wednesday morning, President Donald Trump vented his frustrations with Senate Republicans on the Judiciary Committee for not approving his nominee to the Supreme Court, federal Judge Brett Kavanaugh, faster.
The nomination hearings were uprooted two weekends ago when Dr. Christine Blasey Ford, a college professor at Palo Alto University in California, came forward with allegations of sexual assault against Kavanaugh, saying that he allegedly held her down, groped her, and attempted to remove her clothing at a party when the two were teenagers more than 30 years ago. Since then, at least two other women have stepped forward with allegations against Kavanaugh, according to reporting from CNBC.
Trump commented on Wednesday that Republicans could have “pushed” a vote through “weeks ago” before Ford and others stepped forward with their claims, apparently paying no mind to the importance of the sexual assault allegations being made.
“They could have pushed it through two and a half weeks ago and you wouldn’t be talking about it right now, which is frankly what I would have preferred,” Trump said, according to reporting from PBS’s NewsHour.
The all-male Republican members of the Senate Judiciary Committee have sought to enlist a separate counsel to question both Ford and Kavanaugh, enlisting Maricopa County prosecutor Rachel Mitchell to do so. Trump said he was “OK with that,” but added that he believed Kavanaugh was a “gem” of a nominee.
REPORTER: Your thoughts on the woman questioning Kavanaugh's accuser tomorrow?
TRUMP: I think Republicans are being nice. They could have pushed it through weeks ago & you wouldn't be talking about it right now, which is what I would have preferred…K is a gem…it's a con game pic.twitter.com/EGJHz7T3oL
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) September 26, 2018
This is the second time in as many days that Trump has commented to reporters about allegations made against Kavanaugh. On Tuesday, Trump mocked contentions from Deborah Ramirez, a second accuser, emphasizing that he didn’t believe they warranted review, using sarcastic language at one point to emphasize his beliefs.
“She said she was totally inebriated and she was all messed up and she doesn’t know it was him, but it might have been him? Oh gee, let’s not make him a Supreme Court judge because of that.”
Trump’s nominee faces considerable opposition from the public. While Trump may not believe that the allegations are worth consideration, a clear majority of Americans (59 percent) have said that, if claims of assault are found true, Kavanaugh should be denied a seat on the High Court. Even without the claims being verified, 43 percent of Americans oppose his nomination already, with just 38 percent saying they hope he can be confirmed, according to NPR.
A third accuser, Julie Swetnick of Washington, D.C., came forward Wednesday morning with more allegations against the nominee. She claimed that she was at a party in 1982 where she was the victim of a gang rape. She further alleged that she was aware that Kavanaugh was abusive toward girls while in high school, and claimed he was at the same party, according to the Washington Post.