Trump: I'll Rely on Senate to Handle Possible Delay in Kavanaugh's Confirmation

September 28, 2018

President Donald Trump said he would rely on the Senate to determine how to proceed with the confirmation of Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, minutes after the Senate Judiciary Committee voted to advance his confirmation.

Sen. Jeff Flake (R., Ariz.) voted in favor of advancing Kavanaugh, but he called for the FBI to take up to one week to investigate sexual misconduct allegations against the nominee prior to a Senate confirmation vote.

"Well I'm gonna let the Senate handle that. They'll make their decisions and they've been doing a good job. Very professional," Trump said.

"I will be totally reliant on what Senator Grassley and the group decides to do," the president added later in regard to re-opening a background investigation into Kavanaugh. "Whatever they think is necessary is okay."

Senators came to an agreement Friday afternoon to have the FBI conduct a "supplemental" background investigation into sexual assault allegations, according to Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn (R., Texas).

"The supplemental FBI background investigation would be limited to current credible allegations against the nominee and must be completed no later than one week from today," the Senate Judiciary Committee said.

The president was also asked about Kavanaugh's accuser Christine Blasey Ford, who testified this week before the Judiciary Committee.

"I thought her testimony was very compelling, and she looks like a very fine woman to me," Trump said. He later added that she was "a very credible witness" and "very good in many respects."

Ford has accused Kavanaugh of attacking her at a party in Maryland while they were in high school in the early 1980s. She claims he forced her onto a bed, groped her, and tried to remove her clothes while he was heavily intoxicated. Ford says she managed to escape after his friend, Mark Judge, jumped on them, sending them tumbling and giving her an opportunity to get out of the room.

The president described Kavanaugh's subsequent testimony as "an incredible moment, I think, in the history of our country." He also said he has not thought about a replacement nominee.

Kavanaugh delivered an impassioned opening statement during the comittee hearing on Thursday, stating, "I've never sexual assaulted anyone, not in high school, not in college, not ever. Sexual assault is horrific."

Trump also refrained from sending any message to Sen. Susan Collins (R., Maine) and Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R., Alaska), two undecided Republican senators.

"I have no message. They have to do what they think is right," Trump said.