Trump supports Supreme Court nominee Kavanaugh

Donald Trump has cast doubt on sexual assault allegations against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.

The president said the judge had been treated “very, very tough”.

He added: “I can only say this, he is such an outstanding man, very hard for me to imagine that anything happened.”

Mr Trump was answering reporters’ questions about Mr Kavanaugh, whose nomination is now in jeopardy in the Senate, as he left to visit hurricane-ravaged areas in North Carolina and South Carolina.

University professor Christine Blasey Ford has accused Mr Kavanaugh of sexually assaulting her in 1992 when they were students at a high school in Maryland – he denies her allegations.

The Senate Judiciary Committee, which oversees Supreme Court nominations, is due to meet next Monday and has invited Ms Ford and Mr Kavanaugh to testify.

Ms Ford’s lawyers said earlier this week that she would not appear before the Senate until the FBI has investigated the allegations.

FBI officials have said they are not looking into the matter.

Mr Trump told reporters: “Look, if she shows up and makes a credible showing, that will be very interesting and we’ll have to make a decision.”

But the president said he wanted the Senate to go ahead with the nominee confirmation process.

He said: “I think he’s a man of great intellect, as I’ve been telling you, and he had this unblemished record.

“This is a very tough thing for him and his family. And we want to get it over with.

“If she shows up that would be wonderful. If he she doesn’t show up, that would be unfortunate.”

Democrats oppose Mr Kavanaugh’s nomination and have called for the FBI to launch an investigation.

The battle for confirmation comes just weeks before congressional elections on 6 November.

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