Trump says his past accusers influence thinking on Kavanaugh

Trump says his past accusers influence thinking on Kavanaugh

For 10 days, Trump has watched allegations of sexual misconduct swirl around Brett Kavanaugh

This is personal for President Donald Trump.

For 10 days, Trump has watched as allegations of sexual misconduct have swirled around Brett Kavanaugh, his nominee for the Supreme Court.

On Wednesday, Trump spoke aloud what he’s been mulling in private, acknowledging publicly for the first time that past allegations of sexual misconduct levelled against him colour his views on similar charges against other men, including Kavanaugh.

“It does impact my opinion and you know why?” Trump said. “Because I’ve had a lot of false charges against me.”

With that, Trump cast his lot with the accused in what has become a national reckoning over gender and sexual consent, and not just in furtherance of a long-sought conservative makeover of the high court.

“It’s happened to me many times,” Trump said, claiming he’d been accused — falsely — by “four or five women.”

In fact, more than a dozen women came forward during the 2016 campaign, claiming they were assaulted, groped or kissed without consent by Trump. Trump was also caught on tape in 2005 boasting of grabbing women by their genitals and kissing them without permission. Those comments revealed in the final days of his campaign for the White House, Trump apologized, calling it “locker room talk.”

At a news conference in New York a day before Kavanaugh was set to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee, Trump pledged to listen to the testimony of Kavanaugh’s accuser and even said he was open to changing his mind about his nominee. But he made clear that he was deeply skeptical of these types of accusations.

READ MORE: All eyes on U.S. Senate hearing

“When you are guilty until proven innocent it’s just not supposed to be that way,” he said.

During the free-wheeling news conference, Trump continued to lash out at Democrats and label the allegations against Kavanaugh politically motivated. He also expressed frustrations with the delays in the process guided by Republicans and took a shot at attorney Michael Avenatti, who is representing the latest accuser.

Trump’s remarks underscored the complexity of the moment, as Republicans continue their efforts to install conservatives on the high court. While Republicans want to move forward, they are mindful of the fallout if they don’t take the accusations seriously. Should the effort fail, the party would likely explode in finger-pointing that could have implications in the November elections.

“Republican senators have delayed this for weeks now,” Trump said. “They are giving the women a major chance to speak.”

He added: “It’s possible that I’ll hear that and I’ll say I’m changing my mind.”

Pushed to acknowledge the cultural moment, Trump repeatedly returned to the idea that qualified men would lose out on jobs because of allegations.

“I don’t want to be in a position where people say, ‘No, thanks. I spoke to somebody 38 years ago, and it may not be good,’” Trump said, adding, “The people that have complained to me about it the most about what’s happening is women.”

Asked to address the nation’s young men, Trump said: “It’s a very dangerous period in our country, and it’s being perpetrated by some very evil people.”

Trump’s comments about his accusers drew swift reaction from an attorney for Summer Zervos, a former contestant on Trump’s reality TV show “The Apprentice,” who says Trump made unwanted advances toward her, then defamed her by saying she lied about it.

“It is offensive that in purporting to stand by a Supreme Court nominee who has been accused of sexual assault, Mr. Trump has chosen once again to defame and attack women, including our client, who had the courage to come forward to tell the truth about his own unwanted assaultive behaviour,” said Mariann Wang.

Kavanaugh and his chief accuser, Christine Blasey Ford, who says Kavanaugh assaulted her in high school, are both expected to testify Thursday. 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 exposed himself and 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 earlier in the day, he said Senate Republicans “could have pushed it through 2 1/2 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.”

Catherine Lucey And Jill Colvin, The Associated Press

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Police responded to a report of a shooting in the 1300-block of 176 Street at around 7:15 p.m. on June 3, 2017. (File photo)
Trial dates set for senior charged in 2017 ‘targeted’ South Surrey shooting

Jury trial for Kenneth Turpin scheduled to begin Oct. 25

“Hot Rod” cast members in Cloverdale during the movie shoot in the summer of 2006, in a photo by Paul Orazietti, executive director of Cloveradale Business Improvement Association. (submitted photo)
SURREY NOW & THEN: ‘Hot Rod’ comedy helped put Cloverdale on movie/TV map

Film backer says Surrey needs to publicize such site highlights, with ‘Smallville’ and more

Earl Marriott Secondary alumna Tanis Orsetti has received a $15,000 Cmolik Graduate Studies Scholarship to further her studies in the field of medicine. (File/Contributed photo)
Earl Marriott alumna selected for new $15K scholarship

Tanis Orsetti is studying the use immunotherapy in cancer treatment

Eternity Medical Equipment’s ECAN95 masks have received Health Canada approval and CSA certification. (Eternity Medical Equipment photo)
South Surrey N-95 equivalent manufacturer launches mask recycling program

Eternity Medical Equipment partners with Ontario-based LifeCycle Revive

People take part in an anti-curfew protest in Montreal on Sunday April 11, 2021. Hundreds of people gathered in Old Montreal tonight in defiance of a new 8 p.m. curfew. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Giuseppe Valiante
VIDEO: Hundreds defy Montreal’s 8 p.m. curfew in violent, destructive protest

Quebec reported 1,535 new COVID-19 cases on Sunday, as well as five additional deaths linked to the virus

Photos of Vancouver Canucks players are pictured outside the closed box office of Rogers Arena in downtown Vancouver Thursday, April 8, 2021. The Vancouver Canucks say 25 players and coaches have tested positive during a COVID-19 outbreak that involves a variant of the virus. It is now the biggest reported outbreak in the NHL this season. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Canucks’ return to practice pushed back as player added to COVID protocol list

COVID outbreak has led to eight games being cancelled

People walk past the Olympic rings in Whistler, B.C., Friday, May 15, 2020. Whistler which is a travel destination for tourists around the world is seeing the effects of travel bans due to COVID-19. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Adults living, working in Whistler, B.C., eligible for COVID-19 vaccine on Monday

The move comes as the province deals with a rush of COVID-19 and variant cases in the community

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

RCMP crest. (Black Press Media files)
UPDATE: RCMP investigating after child, 6, dies at motel in Duncan, B.C.

The BC Coroners Service is conducting its own investigation into the circumstances around the child’s death

RCMP display some of the fish seized from three suspects who pleaded guilty to violating the Fisheries Act in 2019, in this undated handout photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO - RCMP
3 banned from fishing, holding licences after overfishing violations near Vancouver Island

Mounties seized the group’s 30-foot fishing vessel and all equipment on board at the time

B.C. Premier John Horgan responds to questions during a postelection news conference in Vancouver, on Sunday, October 25, 2020. British Columbia’s opposition Liberals and Greens acknowledge the COVID-19 pandemic has presented huge challenges for Horgan’s government, but they say Monday’s throne speech must outline a coherent plan for the province’s economic, health, social and environmental future. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Horgan’s NDP to bring in throne speech in B.C., Opposition wants coherent plan

Farnworth said the budget will include details of government investment in communities and infrastructure

Most Read