Asked at a White House event yesterday about the sexual assault allegation against Judge Brett Kavanaugh, Donald Trump said, “We should go through a process, because there shouldn’t even be a little doubt.” That probably isn’t what Republicans wanted the president to say – because that’s a pretty low standard to clear.
To hear the president tell it, senators should consider the sexual assault allegation raised by Christine Blasey Ford, and when weighing whether to give Kavanaugh a lifetime position on the Supreme Court, there “shouldn’t even be a little doubt.”
By that reasoning, if there is a little doubt about whether Kavanaugh committed the crime, he shouldn’t be confirmed?
This morning, during a brief Q&A with reporters on the White House’s South Lawn, Trump went a little further. Referring to Blasey Ford and her possible testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee, the president said:
“Look, if she shows up and makes a credible showing, that’ll be very interesting, and we’ll have to make a decision, but I can only say this: he is such an outstanding man [it’s] very hard for me to imagine that anything happened.”
The second part of that sentence suggests Kavanaugh enjoys the president’s strong support. The first part suggests the opposite.
Obviously, we’re dealing with some subjective questions. If Blasey Ford testifies, for example, it’s very likely that many Republicans will say she didn’t make “a credible showing.”
Regardless, this morning offered the first public evidence of Trump hedging on Kavanaugh’s future. “We’ll have to make a decision” suggests the White House’s support for this nomination isn’t exactly rock solid.