Trump says Kavanaugh should have been 'pushed through' two weeks ago

President Trump on Wednesday said that he would have pushed for a vote on Brett Kavanaugh without hearing from the Supreme Court nominee’s accuser if it had been up to him.

“I think the Senate, the Republicans, could not be nicer in the way they’re handling this,” Trump told reporters as he arrived at the United Nations General Assembly in New York. “They could’ve pushed it through two and a half weeks ago, and you wouldn’t be talking about it right now, which is frankly what I would’ve preferred. But they didn’t do that.”

That’s the opposite of Trump’s position as of last week, when he said the accusations against his nominee should be heard.

Two women have publicly accused Kavanaugh of sexual misconduct. The first, Christine Blasey Ford, a professor at Palo Alto University, said that Kavanaugh attempted to rape her at a party in suburban Maryland when they were teenagers. The second, Deborah Ramirez, alleged that Kavanaugh exposed himself to herduring a dorm-room party when they were both freshmen at Yale. Kavanaugh has denied the allegations.

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U.S. Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh is sworn in to testify at his U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee confirmation hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., September 4, 2018. REUTERS/Chris Wattie
WASHINGTON, DC - SEPTEMBER 04: Judge Brett Kavanaugh (R) reaches over his wife Ashley Kavanaugh to hold hands with his daughter Liza (L) before he testifies to the Senate Judiciary Committee during his Supreme Court confirmation hearing in the Hart Senate Office Building on Capitol Hill September 4, 2018 in Washington, DC. Kavanaugh was nominated by President Donald Trump to fill the vacancy on the court left by retiring Associate Justice Anthony Kennedy. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
(L-R): Ashley Estes Kavanaugh, Zina Bash, and White House Counsel Don McGahn listen during the hearing of the Senate Judiciary Committee on the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the US Supreme Court September 4, 2018 in Washington, DC. - President Donald Trump's newest Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh is expected to face punishing questioning from Democrats this week over his endorsement of presidential immunity and his opposition to abortion. (Photo by Brendan Smialowski / AFP) (Photo credit should read BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images)
US Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh(front) listens during the first day of his confirmation hearing in front of the US Senate on Capitol Hill in Washington DC, on September 4, 2018 as his wife Ashley Estes Kavanaugh looks on. - President Donald Trump's newest Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh is expected to face punishing questioning from Democrats this week over his endorsement of presidential immunity and his opposition to abortion. Some two dozen witnesses are lined up to argue for and against confirming Kavanaugh, who could swing the nine-member high court decidedly in conservatives' favor for years to come. Democrats have mobilized heavily to prevent his approval. (Photo by Brendan SMIALOWSKI / AFP) (Photo credit should read BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images)
Sep 4, 2018; Washington, DC, USA; Supreme Court Associate Justice nominee Brett Kavanaugh looks back at his wife Ashley and daughter Liza as he appears before the Senate Judiciary Committee. Mandatory Credit: Jack Gruber-USA TODAY/Sipa USA *** NO TABLOIDS ***
U.S. Supreme Court nominee judge Brett Kavanaugh shakes hands with committee chairman Senator Chuck Grassley as he arrives for the start of his Senate Judiciary Committee confirmation hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., September 4, 2018. REUTERS/Jim Bourg
Fred Guttenberg (L), the father of Jamie Guttenberg, a victim of the February 14, 2018 mass shooting in Parkland, Florida, reaches out to try to shake hands with U.S. Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh during his U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee confirmation hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., September 4, 2018. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
U.S. Supreme Court nominee judge Brett Kavanaugh takes a drink at the start of his Senate Judiciary Committee confirmation hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., September 4, 2018. REUTERS/Jim Bourg?
U.S. Supreme Court nominee judge Brett Kavanaugh points to his daughters as his wife Ashley looks on before the start of his Senate Judiciary Committee confirmation hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., September 4, 2018. REUTERS/Chris Wattie
A protester is removed during a hearing of the Senate Judiciary Committee on the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the US Supreme Court September 4, 2018 in Washington, DC. - President Donald Trump's newest Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh is expected to face punishing questioning from Democrats this week over his endorsement of presidential immunity and his opposition to abortion. Some two dozen witnesses are lined up to argue for and against confirming Kavanaugh, who could swing the nine-member high court decidedly in conservatives' favor for years to come. Democrats have mobilized heavily to prevent his approval. (Photo by Brendan Smialowski / AFP) (Photo credit should read BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images)
A protester is removed during a hearing of the Senate Judiciary Committee on the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the US Supreme Court September 4, 2018 in Washington, DC. - President Donald Trump's newest Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh is expected to face punishing questioning from Democrats this week over his endorsement of presidential immunity and his opposition to abortion. Some two dozen witnesses are lined up to argue for and against confirming Kavanaugh, who could swing the nine-member high court decidedly in conservatives' favor for years to come. Democrats have mobilized heavily to prevent his approval. (Photo by Brendan Smialowski / AFP) (Photo credit should read BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images)
A protester is removed during a hearing of the Senate Judiciary Committee on the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the US Supreme Court September 4, 2018 in Washington, DC. - President Donald Trump's newest Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh is expected to face punishing questioning from Democrats this week over his endorsement of presidential immunity and his opposition to abortion. Some two dozen witnesses are lined up to argue for and against confirming Kavanaugh, who could swing the nine-member high court decidedly in conservatives' favor for years to come. Democrats have mobilized heavily to prevent his approval. (Photo by Brendan Smialowski / AFP) (Photo credit should read BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images)
US Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh listens during the first day of his confirmation hearing in front of the US Senate on Capitol Hill in Washington DC, on September 4, 2018. - President Donald Trump's newest Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh is expected to face punishing questioning from Democrats this week over his endorsement of presidential immunity and his opposition to abortion. Some two dozen witnesses are lined up to argue for and against confirming Kavanaugh, who could swing the nine-member high court decidedly in conservatives' favor for years to come. Democrats have mobilized heavily to prevent his approval. (Photo by SAUL LOEB / AFP) (Photo credit should read SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)
A protester is removed during a hearing of the Senate Judiciary Committee on the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the US Supreme Court September 4, 2018 in Washington, DC. - President Donald Trump's newest Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh is expected to face punishing questioning from Democrats this week over his endorsement of presidential immunity and his opposition to abortion. Some two dozen witnesses are lined up to argue for and against confirming Kavanaugh, who could swing the nine-member high court decidedly in conservatives' favor for years to come. Democrats have mobilized heavily to prevent his approval. (Photo by Brendan Smialowski / AFP) (Photo credit should read BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images)
Family members listen as US Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh attends the first day of his confirmation hearing in front of the US Senate on Capitol Hill in Washington DC, on September 4, 2018. - President Donald Trump's newest Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh is expected to face punishing questioning from Democrats this week over his endorsement of presidential immunity and his opposition to abortion. Some two dozen witnesses are lined up to argue for and against confirming Kavanaugh, who could swing the nine-member high court decidedly in conservatives' favor for years to come. Democrats have mobilized heavily to prevent his approval. (Photo by Brendan Smialowski / AFP) (Photo credit should read BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - SEPTEMBER 04: Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh appears before the Senate Judiciary Committee during his Supreme Court confirmation hearing in the Hart Senate Office Building on Capitol Hill September 4, 2018 in Washington, DC. Kavanaugh was nominated by President Donald Trump to fill the vacancy on the court left by retiring Associate Justice Anthony Kennedy. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - SEPTEMBER 04: Protesters disrupt the start of the Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh's confirmation hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee in the Hart Senate Office Building on Capitol Hill September 4, 2018 in Washington, DC. Kavanaugh was nominated by President Donald Trump to fill the vacancy on the court left by retiring Associate Justice Anthony Kennedy. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)
A protestor from Code Pink is escorted out as US Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh attends the first day of his confirmation hearing in front of the US Senate on Capitol Hill in Washington DC, on September 4, 2018. - President Donald Trump's newest Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh is expected to face punishing questioning from Democrats this week over his endorsement of presidential immunity and his opposition to abortion. Some two dozen witnesses are lined up to argue for and against confirming Kavanaugh, who could swing the nine-member high court decidedly in conservatives' favor for years to come. Democrats have mobilized heavily to prevent his approval. (Photo by Brendan Smialowski / AFP) (Photo credit should read BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - SEPTEMBER 04: Protesters disrupt the start of the Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh's confirmation hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee in the Hart Senate Office Building on Capitol Hill September 4, 2018 in Washington, DC. Kavanaugh was nominated by President Donald Trump to fill the vacancy on the court left by retiring Associate Justice Anthony Kennedy. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)
US Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh arrives on the first day of his confirmation hearing in front of the US Senate on Capitol Hill in Washington DC, on September 4, 2018. - President Donald Trump's newest Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh is expected to face punishing questioning from Democrats this week over his endorsement of presidential immunity and his opposition to abortion. Some two dozen witnesses are lined up to argue for and against confirming Kavanaugh, who could swing the nine-member high court decidedly in conservatives' favor for years to come. Democrats have mobilized heavily to prevent his approval. (Photo by SAUL LOEB / AFP) (Photo credit should read SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - SEPTEMBER 04: Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh arrives for testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee during his Supreme Court confirmation hearing in the Hart Senate Office Building on Capitol Hill September 4, 2018 in Washington, DC. Kavanaugh was nominated by President Donald Trump to fill the vacancy on the court left by retiring Associate Justice Anthony Kennedy. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)
US Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh arrives on the first day of his confirmation hearing in front of the US Senate on Capitol Hill in Washington DC, on September 4, 2018. - President Donald Trump's newest Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh is expected to face punishing questioning from Democrats this week over his endorsement of presidential immunity and his opposition to abortion. Some two dozen witnesses are lined up to argue for and against confirming Kavanaugh, who could swing the nine-member high court decidedly in conservatives' favor for years to come. Democrats have mobilized heavily to prevent his approval. (Photo by SAUL LOEB / AFP) (Photo credit should read SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)
U.S. Supreme Court nominee judge Brett Kavanaugh is seated before his Senate Judiciary Committee confirmation hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., September 4, 2018. REUTERS/Chris Wattie
Fred Guttenberg (L), father of Parkland, Florida, shooting victim Jaime Guttenberg, tries to speak with Judge Brett Kavanaugh as he leaves for a break during his US Senate Judiciary Committee confirmation hearing to be an Associate Justice on the US Supreme Court, on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, September 4, 2018. - President Donald Trump's newest Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh is expected to face punishing questioning from Democrats this week over his endorsement of presidential immunity and his opposition to abortion. (Photo by SAUL LOEB / AFP) (Photo credit should read SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)
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Ford and Kavanaugh are scheduled to appear before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday. Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley announced Tuesday that the Republicans have retained a female a sex-crimes prosecutor, Rachel Mitchell, to question Ford, rather than face the potentially awkward spectacle of an all-male Republican panel grilling Kavanaugh’s accuser.

Grassley, though, refused to accede to demands by Ford’s lawyer for an FBI investigation into her claims and for additional witnesses to be called. Grassley has scheduled the committee vote on Kavanaugh’s nomination for Friday morning, less than 24 hours after the testimony. The full Senate could vote on his confirmation as early as next week and Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has said he expects Kavanaugh to be approved.

“The Republicans could not be nicer, could not be more respectful to the process, certainly could not be more respectful to the woman,” Trump said. “And I’m OK with that. I think I might’ve pushed it forward a lot faster.”

When Ford first went public with her allegations, Trump said he was eager to hear her testimony.

“I really want to see her; I would really want to see what she has to say,” Trump said last week.

“If she shows up and makes a credible showing, that’ll be very interesting, and we’ll have to make a decision,” the president continued, before proceeding to cast doubt on her testimony in advance: “But I can only say this. He is such an outstanding man, very hard for me to imagine anything happened.”

On Wednesday president also continued to defend Kavanaugh’s character despite the sexual misconduct allegations.

“I know this particular man, Judge Kavanaugh,” Trump said. “He’s outstanding. You don’t find people like this. He’s outstanding. He’s a — he’s a gem.”

On the sidelines of the U.N. General Assembly Tuesday, Trump attacked Ramirez, calling her allegations against Kavanaugh part of a “con job” engineered by Democrats.

“She was totally inebriated,” the president said. “She was all messed up, and she doesn’t know, it might have been him. ’Oh gee, let’s not make him a Supreme Court judge.’”

On Monday, Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, seen as one of a handful of key swing votes, warned her GOP colleagues not prejudge sexual assault allegations against the nominee.

“We are now in a place where it’s not about whether or not Judge Kavanaugh is qualified,” Murkowski told the New York Times. “It is about whether or not a woman who has been a victim at some point in her life is to be believed.”

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