In a defiant interview Monday, Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh said he would not withdraw his nomination in the face of on-record allegations from two women who say he engaged in sexually inappropriate behavior with them.
“I’ve never sexually assaulted anyone,” Kavanaugh, sitting beside his wife Ashley Estes Kavanaugh, told Fox News’ Martha MacCallum Monday. “Not in high school, not ever. I’ve always treated women with dignity and respect.”
He repeated the line multiple times at various points: “I’ve never sexually assaulted anyone, in high school or otherwise.”
“I’m not going to let false accusations drive us out of this process,” Kavanaugh said later, adding: “I’m not going anywhere.”
Asked about the President’s support for his nomination at the end of the interview, Kavanaugh said he knew Trump “is going to stand by me.”
“He called me this afternoon to say he’s standing by me,” Kavanaugh said.
Christine Blasey Ford alleges Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her at a high school party as his friend Mark Judge egged him on. Deborah Ramirez, in a Sunday New Yorker report, alleged that, at a college party, Kavanaugh exposed himself to her, “thrust his penis in her face, and caused her to touch it without her consent as she pushed him away,” in the magazine’s words.
“At the end of the day, we know our faith is strong and we know that we are on the right path,” Ashley Estes Kavanaugh said at the top of the interview. “We’re going to stick to it.”
Speaking directly about the second allegation, that he exposed himself and approached Deborah Ramirez until she pushed him away at a college party, Kavanaugh said: “If such a thing had happened, it would have been the talk of campus.”
“Yes there were parties, and the drinking age was 18,” he acknowledged later, referring to his high school years. “And yes the seniors were legal and had beer. And yes, people might have had too many beers on occasion. And people generally, in high school, I think all of us have probably done things we look back on in high school and regret or cringe a bit. But that’s not what we are talking about. We are talking about an allegation of sexual assault. I’ve never sexually assaulted anyone.”
“I did not have sexual intercourse, or anything close to sexual intercourse, in high school or for many years thereafter.”
MacCallum eventually touched specifically on Kavanaugh’s drinking: “Was there ever a time that you drank so much that you couldn’t remember what happened the night before?”
“No, that never happened,” Kavanaugh said.
“You never said to anyone: ‘I don’t remember anything about last night?'” MacCallum asked.
“No, that did not happen,” Kavanaugh responded.
The judge repeatedly called for a “fair” process that would allow him to defend himself. He dodged a question on whether he thought the FBI should investigate the allegations — as Democrats have requested the White House direct the bureau to do — and another one about whether he felt “unprotected by the process.”
“Fair process means hearing from both sides, and I want to have an opportunity to defend my integrity, clear my name and have a fair process,” he responded. “A fair process, at a bare minimum, requires hearing from both sides before rushing to judgment.”
Asked several times about what he thought was behind the allegations — “Is this about Roe v. Wade?” MacCallum asked — Kavanaugh avoided answering directly.
This post has been updated.