White House counselor Kellyanne Conway told reporters on Thursday that Donald Trump was not looking at options to replace Brett Kavanaugh and firmly “stands by” his embattled Supreme Court pick despite allegations of sexual assault by multiple women.
According to the Associated Press, Conway spoke with reporters just before Christine Blasey Ford, a research psychologist at Stanford University School of Medicine, was to give her testimony to the Senate Judiciary Committee about her accusations that Kavanaugh and his friend Mark Judge assaulted her while in a deeply inebriated state in high school. Conway dismissed reports suggesting that Donald Trump was seeking options to replace Kavanaugh, referring to Trump’s dramatic solo press conference on Wednesday as proof that Trump stood by his nominee.
“The president has said nothing of this sort,” Conway dismissed the reports.
“He was standing behind his pick. He, in fact, yesterday told all of you in a 81-minute press conference that he stands by Judge Kavanaugh and from what we understand from the Senate Judiciary Committee is that they will receive the testimonies of Dr. Ford and Judge Kavanaugh today under oath. You have seen their statements already.”
Conway also seemingly conflicted herself when she, on the one hand, claimed that Trump was to keep an open mind to Thursday’s testimonies, but then in the same breath, also reached the definitive verdict of “a good man’s reputation” having been “ruined” by the sexual assault allegations.
“He could be convinced which means he has an open-mindedness to the testimonies but he also said that a good man’s reputation has been ruined and all of you should think twice before you assassinate someone’s character. This is not a trial by TV, or through sound bytes or print coverage. This is part of the Senate confirmation process.”
Sen. Patrick Leahy: What is the "strongest memory" of the incident?
— ABC News Politics (@ABCPolitics) September 27, 2018
Per CNN, the 81-minute press conference Conway referred to indeed saw Donald Trump firmly behind his Supreme Court nominee, with the president calling the accusations against Kavanaugh “a big, fat con job.”
“They go into a room, and I guarantee you,” Trump said about the supposed Democrats who were secretly pulling the strings behind the entire saga of Kavanaugh’s confirmation, adding, “they laugh like hell on what they pulled off on you and on the public, they laugh like hell.”
In addition to Ford, at least two more women, Deborah Ramirez and Julie Swetnick, have accused Brett Kavanaugh of sexually abusive behavior when drunk. As reported by NBC News, an anonymous fourth accuser also wrote to the Senate Judiciary Committee about alleged sexual assault ahead of his confirmation vote to be scheduled in the coming days.