President Donald Trump, himself the object of multiple accusations of sexual misconduct, spoke out Tuesday about the use of unproven, and often completely uncorroborated, accusations against political figures.
“It is a very scary time for young men in America, when you can be guilty of something you may not be guilty of,” Trump told reporters on the South Lawn of the White House grounds, according to The Hill.
“It’s a very scary situation where you’re guilty until proven innocent,” the president added. “That is a very, very difficult standard.”
The president has been hoping for a positive vote in the Senate to confirm Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court, but that vote has now been delayed to allow for an FBI investigation into allegations of sexual misconduct dating back to the judge’s high school and college years.
Trump himself has been accused by 19 women of either sexual misconduct or extramarital affairs, but he has denied all allegations, all of which remain unproven.
The first accusation against Kavanaugh came from professor Christine Blasey Ford, who claimed that at a high school party in the 1980s, a 17-year-old Kavanaugh pinned her down and tried to undress her while drunk. Kavanaugh denied these allegations.
Two other women have also accused him of sexual misconduct while drinking in the 1980s, but those accusations have come to appear increasingly specious.
Others have claimed a tendency for Kavanaugh to become “belligerent and aggressive” when he drank during his years at Yale University, but these claims have been refuted by Chris Dudley, a close friend of Kavanaugh’s who was an NBA player and also attended Yale.
Dudley said he never saw Kavanaugh black out from drinking or act inappropriately toward any woman, according to The New York Times.
These allegations have delayed the Senate confirmation vote, with GOP Sen. Jeff Flake, withholding support until the FBI concludes its investigation and the votes of some other senators on both sides of the aisle still uncertain.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell reaffirmed plans to hold the vote this week, while mocking a new story published by The Times that accused Kavanaugh of throwing ice during a college bar fight in the mid-1980s.
“Get this, Judge Kavanaugh may have been accused of throwing some ice across a college bar in the mid-1980s, in the mid-1980s,” McConnell said, according to The Hill. “Talk about a bombshell.”
White House press secretary Sarah Sanders also mocked the story and wondered on Twitter about the actual motivation of its writer, who tweeted months ago against Kavanaugh’s nomination.
Democrats desperately attack Judge Kavanaugh for throwing ice during college. What motivated New York Times reporter to write this ridiculous story? Throwing ice 33 years ago, or her opinion of Judge Kavanaugh in July? https://t.co/JwiP3ELqkD
— Stephanie Grisham (@PressSec) October 2, 2018
The Senate majority leader, however, seemed adamant that the confirmation process would continue in a matter of days.
“Senators will have the opportunity to vote,” McConnell said, according to The Hill. “We’ll have the opportunity to vote ‘no’ on the politics of personal destruction. We’ll have the opportunity to vote ‘yes’ on this fine nominee.”
Truth and Accuracy
We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.