WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump on Tuesday continued to defend his Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, but cautioned it “would not be acceptable” if he were found to have lied during a Senate hearing last week.
“I don’t think you should lie to Congress and there have been many people over the last year who have lied to Congress and to me that would not be acceptable,” Trump said on the White House South Lawn before leaving for an appearance in Philadelphia.
“A lot is going to depend what comes back from the FBI,” Trump said. “But I think Judge Kavanaugh is doing very well right now.”
Trump's remarks came five days after the Senate Judiciary Committee approved Kavanaugh, while requesting an FBI probe of assault allegations against him from three women.
One of them, California professor Christine Blasey Ford alleges Kavanaugh attempted to rape her while the two were teenagers in high school. Ford testified publicly last week before the Republican-controlled Judiciary Committee. In testimony that followed, Kavanaugh vigorously denied the allegation.
The FBI could release a report as early as Wednesday with a full Senate vote by the end of the week.
But Democrats have said the scope of the investigation is too limited, and want more time for the inquiry.
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) said Monday that lawmakers “have mounting evidence that Judge Kavanaugh is just not credible.”
But Majority leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said Tuesday a vote on the nomination by the full Senate would occur this week.
Trump on Tuesday expressed some sympathy for Kavanaugh’s situation.
“Well, I’d say that it’s a very scary time for young men in America when you can be guilty of something that you may not be guilty of. This is a very, very — this is a very difficult time,” Trump said.
“It doesn’t necessarily have to be a woman as everybody says, but somebody could accuse you of something and you’re automatically guilty," he said. "But in this realm, you are truly guilty until proven innocent. That’s one of the very, very bad things that’s taking place right now.”