The Slatest

Trump Says Christine Blasey Ford Was “Compelling” and “Credible”

Trump opens his mouth to speak while seated in the Oval Office.
Trump speaks while meeting with Chilean President Sebastian Pinera in the Oval Office on September 28, 2018 in Washington, DC. Pool/Getty Images

President Trump called Christine Blasey Ford a “very fine woman” and “certainly a very credible witness” on Friday, a day after Ford and Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee about her allegation of sexual assault.

According to reporters at the White House, before the president’s meeting with Chile’s president, Trump declined to weigh in on Senate vote on Kavanaugh’s confirmation, saying that senators must do “what makes them comfortable” and that he had no message for them.

The President also said he would rely on the advice of the Judiciary Committee as to whether to reopen an FBI background investigation into Kavanaugh .

“I’m going to rely on all of the people, including Sen. Grassley, who is doing a very good job,” Trump said.

Shortly before Trump’s comments, the Senate Judiciary Committee had voted to advance Kavanaugh’s nomination to the full Senate. Republican Sen. Jeff Flake, who had been considered one of the potential swing votes, called for a one-week delay on the final Senate vote to allow the FBI to investigate the sexual assault and misconduct allegations against Kavanaugh—a request that appears to have been agreed upon. According to a statement later released by Sen. Chuck Grassley, the committee will ask the Trump administration to order the FBI to conduct a supplemental background investigation. The investigation would be limited to a week and focus only on allegations that have already been made.

When reporters then asked about his thoughts on Ford’s testimony in the first half of Thursday’s hearing, Trump called her a “very fine woman” and said her testimony was “very compelling.” But he added, “I thought that Brett’s testimony likewise was really something that I hadn’t seen before.” He continued: “Incredible. It was an incredible moment in the history of our country.”

Trump continued to stand by Kavanaugh, as he has consistently since the allegations were made public. When a reporter asked him if he had considered replacing Kavanaugh, Trump said, “not even a little bit.”