Updated at 6:24 p.m. ET
During a rare press conference Wednesday, President Trump defended his embattled his Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh from multiple allegations of sexual misconduct. And Trump said he sympathized with the jurist because he’s also faced similar accusations.
“[Democrats] are actually con artists because they know how quality this man is and they’ve destroyed his reputation,” Trump told reporters at the U.N. General Assembly in New York. “And they know it’s a big fat con job, and they go into a room and I guarantee you they laugh like hell and what they’ve pulled off on you.”
Trump said the allegations of now three women “are all false to me,” bemoaning “what they’ve done to this family, what they’ve done to his beautiful children” and wife. The president said it wouldn’t “have mattered” to Democrats “if the FBI came back with the cleanest score” if they had investigated the veracity of the claims of sexual assault and more against Kavanaugh. So far the White House and Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee have declined to ask for the FBI to investigate the decades-old allegations against Kavanaugh — all of which the federal appeals court judge has denied.
But the president did say he will monitor when both Kavanaugh and his first accuser, Dr. Christine Blasey Ford, testify on Thursday before the Judiciary Committee. And Trump signaled he would listen with an open mind.
“It’s possible I’ll hear that and say, ‘hey, I’m changing my mind,'” Trump said of the anticipated testimony. And if he believes the charges against Kavanaugh are ultimately true, he would consider withdrawing the high court nomination.
Trump declined to call the women who had made accusations against Kavanaugh liars, but said he does empathize with him given that multiple women came forward with allegations against him during the 2016 presidential campaign.
“I’ve had a lot of false charges against me,” the president said, ” so when I see it, I see it differently than from someone sitting at home.”
The press conference is Trump’s last planned event as part of the 2018 U.N. General Assembly.
Addressing world leaders and top diplomats Tuesday, the president drew laughter when he boasted that he’s accomplished more during his time in office than almost any previous administration.
But, in classic Trump style, he pressed ahead, undaunted.
“I didn’t expect that reaction, but that’s OK,” he said.
“The United States is a stronger, safer and richer country than it was when I assumed office less than two years ago,” Trump declared Tuesday as he defended his “America First” agenda on the global stage. “We are standing up for America and the American people, and we are also standing up for the world.”
And Wednesday morning as he spoke during a meeting of the U.N. Security Council, Trump accused China of trying to interfere in upcoming U.S. midterm elections because of the hard line he has taken on trade.
The president offered no details or proof to support that assertion. Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi — who seemed to be stifling a yawn as he sat nearby — was seen casting a sidelong glance at Trump and shrugging his shoulders.
“They do not want me or us to win because I am the first president to ever challenge China on trade, and we are winning on trade,” Trump continued. “We are winning at every level.”