President Donald Trump said in a completely off-the-rails press conference Wednesday that he thinks allegations of sexual misconduct against his Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh are a “big, fat con job.”
And the sexual misconduct accusations against himself? Also false, according to the president. “These are all false to me,” Trump said of the allegations against Kavanaugh in the rare solo press conference, though he wouldn’t directly say whether the three women accusing the Supreme Court nominee of assault and misconduct were lying. The president went on to dismiss the sexual assault allegations against himself as untrue, too, and called the New York Times and other news organizations “fake news.”
“What they’ve done to this man is incredible,” Trump said, referring to Democrats, whom he called “con artists."
Trump also repeatedly emphasized that the allegations against Kavanaugh are decades-old and date back to high school or college, after tweeting last week that Christine Blasey Ford — the first accuser to step forward — would’ve gone to the police immediately if she'd been truly shaken about her assault.
He then said women are “very angry” that the sexual assault allegations have been brought forward against Kavanaugh. “I have men that don’t like it, but I have women that are incensed,” Trump said.
Kavanaugh has been accused of sexual misconduct or assault by three women: Christine Blasey Ford, Deborah Ramirez, and Julie Swetnick, who came forward Wednesday. All of them have called for the FBI to investigate. But Trump said during the press conference that “it wouldn’t have mattered if the FBI came back with the cleanest score” — at least not to Democrats.
For his part, Kavanaugh has categorically denied all allegations against him. Both he and Ford are both set to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday, and Trump repeatedly stressed that he wants to hear from her.
The president also finally addressed sexual assault accusations against himself, when prompted by a female reporter. “I’ve been accused. I’ve been accused. False accusations,” Trump said, when asked about the multiple sexual assault allegations against him, some of which have resulted in ongoing lawsuits. He then said all the accusations, from “four or five women,” against him were false — and that the women were paid anyway.
“I was accused by a lot of women who got paid to make up stories about me,” Trump said. “We caught them, and the mainstream media refused to put it on television.” And those experiences, he said, “absolutely” affect his thinking on Kavanaugh.
“A lot of the people sitting here are fake,” Trump added, referring to the reporters in the room, before he asked a female reporter to sit down. At one point, he also asked the room if he should allow another female reporter to ask another question.
The president later returned to the idea of a “con job” — but that’s not mean, he explained. He admitted he’s said worse. “That’s probably the nicest phrase I’ve ever used,” he said. “It’s not a bad term, it’s not a bad term at all.”
Cover image: U.S. President Donald Trump holds a news conference on the sidelines of the 73rd session of the United Nations General Assembly in New York, U.S., September 26, 2018. (REUTERS/Carlos Barria)