Donald Trump called Christine Blasey Ford’s testimony “very compelling” even as senators on the Senate Judiciary Committee voted 11-10 along party lines to take Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation vote to Senate Floor, reports The Guardian.
Trump was speaking with reporters on Friday even as he met with Chilean president Sebastian Pinera for bilateral talks. Saying that he hadn’t been able to keep himself updated with everything that was transpiring in the Senate, Trump nonetheless called his Supreme Court pick’s accuser Christine Ford a “very fine woman” who had provided a “very compelling” testimony on Thursday.
“I thought her testimony was very compelling, and she looks like a very fine woman to me.”
“Brett’s testimony was, likewise, really something that I hadn’t seen before.”
Trump said that he would respect whatever decision the Senate takes in regards to Kavanaugh’s confirmation vote, saying he just wanted it all “to work out well for the country.”
“I’m going to let the Senate handle that,” he said.
Although the Senate Judiciary Committee has voted to take Kavanaugh’s confirmation vote to the floor, the entire process has not been without caveats for the Republicans. Democrats on the committee staged a walkout early on Friday, before eventually deciding to vote in the afternoon session. One of the first people to have voted to confirm Kavanaugh’s nomination, Arizona Senator Jeff Flake, however, introduced a dramatic proposal after being confronted by victims of sexual violence.
Flake was confronted by multiple women of sexual violence, who accused the Republican Senator of having turned a blind eye to Ford’s disposition. The video of their exchange, where Flake can be seen with a bowed head, evidently embarrassed, went viral on Twitter, and eventually led him to introduce an informal proposal to delay the Kavanaugh confirmation by a week to carry out an FBI investigation into the sexual assault allegations against Trump’s Supreme Court nominee.
Flake has had his head down and frowning since entering the hearing room – and after announcing he’d vote for the Kavanaugh nomination pic.twitter.com/lizT4rlXUt
— Manu Raju (@mkraju) September 28, 2018
Although the committee cannot formally delay the proceedings, Flake is understood to have voted “yes” only in the event of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell agreeing for an investigation and the consequent delay. The Arizona Senator has reportedly been joined by Republican Senators Susan Collins and Lisa Murkowski, both of whom are also holding out a conditional “yes” only on the understanding that McConnell wouldn’t schedule the Kavanaugh vote until next week.
Earlier on Friday before Jeff Flake called for an FBI inquiry, the American Bar Association and Kavanaugh’s alma mater, Yale Law School, had also called for the confirmation process to be delayed so that sexual assault allegations against the Supreme Court nominee could be investigated.
This isn’t complicated:
There’s no legislative mechanism to enforce Flake’s agreement with Ds. McConnell could call his bluff and bring #Kavanaugh vote to the floor immediately — *if* he believes Flake is the only R who supports the delay. Would be an enormous gamble.
— Tim Alberta (@TimAlberta) September 28, 2018
In sum, Flake is now suggesting he won't vote to confirm Kavanaugh without a one-week FBI probe into Dr. Ford's allegations. That gives nice cover to other hold-outs, Collins and Murkowski.
Up to McConnell to grant that week of delay, which he def doesn't want to do.
— Jennifer Bendery (@jbendery) September 28, 2018