WASHINGTON (AP) — Fed up with the hold-up in confirming his latest Supreme Court pick, President Donald Trump lashed out at a host of targets Wednesday, targeting the women making accusations, the Democrats calling for delays, the Republicans guiding the process and attorney Michael Avenatti.
“It’s disgraceful. It’s a disgrace to the country. And I think you’re going to see it in the midterms,” fumed Trump, one day before Judge Brett Kavanaugh was set to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee amid multiple accusations of sexual misconduct.
Trump seemed to harbor specific frustration with his Republican allies in the Senate and be prepared to blame them, as he has done in the past, if Kavanaugh’s nomination is scuttled. His remarks exposed the strains the Kavanaugh situation was putting on Republicans, who have been united in their push to fill the courts with conservative justices. Should the effort fail, the party would likely explode in finger-pointing that could have implications in the November elections.
Trump, who hopes to shift the court to the right with Kavanaugh’s appointment, again blamed Democrats for the allegations against the judge, saying, “They can do it to anybody.”
Kavanaugh and his chief accuser, Christine Blasey Ford, who says Kavanaugh assaulted her in high school, are both expected to testify. Ford has claimed that Kavanaugh tried to remove her clothes and clamped a hand over her mouth at a party when both were in high school.
Another woman came forward over the weekend, telling The New Yorker magazine that Kavanaugh caused her to touch his penis at a party when both were Yale freshmen. And on Wednesday a woman represented by Avenatti — who shot to fame as the attorney taking on the president for porn actress Stormy Daniels — made another accusation of misconduct.
Kavanaugh has steadfastly denied all the allegations.
Trump, who initially supported giving Ford time to speak, showed his rising frustration Wednesday. Speaking to reporters at the United Nations, he said Senate Republicans “could have pushed it through two and a half weeks ago.”
Trump said that if lawmakers had moved faster “you wouldn’t be talking about it right now, which is frankly what I would have preferred.”
Asked about the decision to have a veteran Arizona prosecutor to handle the questioning in the Judiciary Committee, Trump said Senate Republicans “could not be nicer” and “could not be more respectful.” Trump said he was “OK with that,” but again defended Kavanaugh as a “gem” and said Democrats are treating him unfairly.