White House counselor Kellyanne Conway said on Monday that the woman who has levied sexual misconduct allegations against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh should be heard.
"This woman should not be insulted and she should not be ignored," Conway said.
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California professor Christine Blasey Ford told the Washington Post that Kavanaugh, then a junior in high school, attacked her when they were at a party in Maryland in the early 1980s. She alleged Kavanaugh forced her onto a bed, groped her, and tried to remove her clothes while he was heavily intoxicated, all while his friend watched. She said she managed to escape after the friend, Mark Judge, jumped on them, sending them tumbling and giving her an opportunity to get out of the room.
Kavanaugh has denied the allegation and released another statement on Monday where he said he is willing to talk to the Senate Judiciary Committee again.
"This is a completely false allegation. I have never done anything like what the accuser describes—to her or to anyone," Kavanaugh wrote. "Because this never happened, I had no idea who was making this accusation until she identified herself yesterday. I am wiling to talk to the Senate Judiciary Committee in any way the Committee deems appropriate to refute this false allegation, from 36 years ago, and defend my integrity."
Judge, before Ford's name was released, also denied any such incident occurred. "It’s just absolutely nuts. I never saw Brett act that way," Judge said in an interview with the Weekly Standard.
Ford, a registered Democrat, is being represented by Washington attorney Debra Katz, known for her work with #MeToo accusers, the Washington Free Beacon reported. Katz is a committed "Resistance" member opposed to the Trump administration, she told the University of Wisconsin Law School alumni magazine.
In response to Ford's allegations, Democrats and a few Republicans have called for a delay in the committee vote for Kavanaugh, scheduled for Thursday.
Conway said Ford will be given an opportunity to tell her story.
"I think the Senate is headed to a reasonable approach in that it seems to me, in speaking to a few senators, including Senator Lindsey Graham, that allowing this woman to be heard in sworn testimony, allowing Judge Kavanaugh to be heard in sworn testimony about these specific allegations would be added to the very considerable mountain of evidence and considerations that folks will have when they weigh whether or not to vote for Judge Kavanaugh to be on the Supreme Court," Conway said. "So, let me make very clear. I have spoken with the president. I have spoken with Senator Graham and others, this woman will be heard."
Conway reiterated that she believes Kavanaugh to be a man of integrity who has gone through six background checks by the FBI.
"Judge Kavanaugh is a man of character and integrity who has been through six FBI vettings, which I tell you first hand are significant and thorough," she said. "He also has been lauded by women from every different aspect of his life. And this is significant. This is very significant for a man of character and integrity to be spoken about so highly by women who maybe didn't vote for President Trump, maybe don't call themselves Republicans, certainly, in fact, many who don't."
"This woman should not be ignored and should not be insulted. She should be heard," Conway added.