Trump Criticises 'Fake' Accusation Against Kavanaugh At Montana Rally
At a rally in Belgrade, Montana, Saturday afternoon, President Trump suggested that each of the women who had accused now-Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh of sexual misconduct were lying.
The president discussed a woman who had written a letter to Sen. Kamala Harris accusing Kavanaugh of sexual assault before he was confirmed, and who recanted her story this week. Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley referred her to the FBI for an investigation.
"It was a lie. It was a total lie. It was fake," Mr. Trump said of the woman's story, pointing to the media when he said "fake." "About rape, she lied. And we're supposed to sit back and take it."
"What about the others? When are they going to say what happened?" he asked, referring to Kavanaugh's other accusers.
One of them, Dr. Christine Blasey Ford, testified before the Senate about her allegations. None of the other women who have accused Kavanaugh of sexual misconduct have recanted.
Trump also said he was glad that he had supported Kavanaugh throughout the confirmation process, decrying what would have happened if "he dropped out because of a filthy dirty lie."
"Supposing because of these lies and this lie -- these lies, by the way, these lies. But this lie -- supposing he dropped out? A lot of guys would have," he said.
The president was in Montana to rally for Republican candidates, particularly Senate candidate Matt Rosendale, who is challenging Democratic Sen. Jon Tester. This is the first of two ralliesTrump is attending on Saturday; he will travel to Florida for a rally in the evening.
Even though Trump won Montana by 20 points in 2016, Tester is maintaining a small lead over Rosendale. Afrom September showed Tester leading Rosendale among likely voters 47 to 45 percent. The CBS News Battleground Tracker rates the race as "edge Democrat."
Trump has personal animosity toward Tester, as the senator was instrumental in torpedoing the nomination of Dr. Ronny Jackson for secretary for Veterans Affairs, due to allegations of substance abuse while working. However, at a rally in Montana in October, he acknowledged that Jackson "didn't really want it. And he might not have been qualified."
Trump mentioned Jackson and his animosity towards Tester again on Saturday.
"He tried to destroy him. And I've never forgotten it," he said about Tester's skepticism about Jackson's background, adding that it was a big reason he was in Montana rallying against him. Trump has visited Montana four times during this election cycle. The president also expressed regret about nominating Jackson even though he didn't necessarily want the post, saying, "I feel guilty because I'm the one who said, 'you should do it.'"
Trump's goal in these rallies is to turn out Republican voters. Outwardly, the president is optimistic about whether Republicans will keep control of the House, but he hedged that optimism before heading to aFriday afternoon.
"It seems that the campaign is doing very well," Trump told reporters on the White House South Lawn Wednesday. "Looks like we're doing very very well in the Senate. A lot of seats that were not really being thought of in terms of victories a year ago now look like they could very well be victories. The House is a lot of people, I mean there are a lot of people, and I think we're going to do well in the house also. But I know we're doing well in the Senate but we're doing OK in the House, we're going to have to see. There are just so many people."