President Donald Trump swore in Supreme Court Judge Brett Kavanaugh Monday by apologizing to him “on behalf of the nation” for “the terrible pain and suffering that you have been forced to endure.”
During the ceremony at the White House, Trump dismissed the accusations of sexual misconduct leveled at Kavanaugh by three different women as “lies and deception,” having earlier called them “a hoax set up by the Democrats” and “a disgraceful situation brought about by people that are evil.”
“What happened to the Kavanaugh family violates every notion of fairness, decency and due process,” Trump said.
In front of the eight other sitting Supreme Court Justices — but not Melania — Trump told the audience: “You, sir, under historic scrutiny, were proven innocent” — despite neither the Senate Judiciary Committee nor the investigation by the FBI offering any conclusion about Kavanaugh’s guilt or innocence.
The president did not acknowledge the women who came forward, including Christine Blasey Ford, who gave emotional testimony in front of the committee — evidence Trump himself described last week as “very credible.”
It was revealed over the weekend that Ford has still not been able to return to her home due to threats against her life.
Kavanaugh spoke briefly about the confirmation process, calling it “contentious and emotional.” He said he would “take this office with gratitude and no bitterness. On the Supreme Court, I will seek to be a force for stability and unity.”
Kavanaugh was confirmed Saturday with 50 votes in the Senate — the lowest level of support for any Supreme Court judge in the modern era.
Trump’s comments were immediately slammed on social media:
Cover image: Donald Trump, right, greets Brett Kavanaugh, associate justice of the U.S. Supreme Court, during a ceremonial swearing-in event in the East Room of the White House in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Monday, Oct. 8, 2018. (Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images)