On Sept. 16, the Washington Post first reported on a sexual-assault allegation from Christine Blasey Ford against Brett Kavanaugh. The next day, on Sept. 17, Donald Trump tried to say the right thing, endorsing a fair and thorough process.
"We want to go through a full process," the president said, adding, "They'll go through a process and hear everybody out. I think it's important." A day later, Trump again endorsed official scrutiny of the California professor's claim, telling reporters, "We should go through a process, because there shouldn't even be a little doubt."
A week later, it appears the president didn't mean a word of it. Here's what Trump told reporters this morning when asked about tomorrow's scheduled Judiciary Committee hearing with the Supreme Court nominee and his accuser:
"I think the Senate - the Republicans -- could not be nicer in the way they're handling this. They could've pushed it though two and a half weeks ago, and you wouldn't be talking about it right now -- which is frankly what I would have preferred, but they didn't do that."The Republicans could not be nicer, could not be more respectful to the process, certainly could not be more respectful to the woman, and I'm okay with that. I think I might have pushed it forward a lot faster."
Perhaps Trump is watching a different process. GOP senators on the Judiciary Committee, among other things, won't endorse re-opening the FBI background check -- what would ordinarily be a standard part of the process -- and won't allow the panel to hear additional testimony from witnesses. Putting aside questions of "niceness," this hardly describes a party that's being respectful of the process and the professor raising the allegation.
But even more glaring is the degree to which this morning's presidential line contradicted last week's line.
Last week, Trump said he believed it's "important" that senators "hear everybody out." This morning, Trump said he would've "preferred" to see the Senate advance Kavanaugh without hearing from his accusers.
Under the circumstances, it seems like the latter position reflects his genuine beliefs. It also seems his rhetoric last week was political posturing.
As for why Republicans didn't "push through" the nomination, it probably has more to do with putting together 51 votes and less to do with the GOP majority being "nice."