President Trump on Monday sought to turn the tables on Senate Democrats acting “holier-than-thou” over Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh’s drinking and behavior in school, saying many of them “are not angels” themselves.
“I watched the senators on the Democrat side and I thought it was a disgrace,” Trump said of last week’s hearing with Kavanaugh over allegations of sexual assault. “And partially because I know them. I know them too well. And you know what? They are not angels.”
Taking questions in the Rose Garden during a press conference on the new trade deal with Mexico and Canada, the president cryptically referenced one senator “on the other side who is pretty aggressive.”
“I’ve seen that person in very bad situations,” Trump said. “Okay? I have seen that person in very, very bad situations. Somewhat compromising.”
Pressed by a reporter, the president wouldn’t clarify to whom he was referring.
“I think I will save it for a book like everybody else,” Trump said.
But Trump did fire back at several specific Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee who aggressively questioned Kavanaugh over the allegations, which the nominee denies.
He took aim at Connecticut Sen. Richard Blumenthal, who battled accusations during his 2010 Senate race that he falsely claimed to have served in the Vietnam War.
Trump added: “And now he’s up there talking like he’s holier-than-thou.”
Trump also singled out New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker, who once wrote a newspaper column admitting to groping a friend without her consent in high school. Trump on Monday referred to those “statements” about what Booker “was doing” in school.
“Take a look at Cory Booker,” Trump said, adding, “And now he is talking about Judge Kavanaugh?”
Booker’s office recently pushed back on criticism over that column, noting it was meant to condemn a culture that encourages young men to take advantage of women.
The president also criticized Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein, the ranking Democrat on the Judiciary Committee, for sitting on the allegations against Kavanaugh for months before turning them over to the FBI. He then speculated that Feinstein “leaked” the allegations to the media – something the Democrat has repeatedly denied.
“She probably leaked it. But, you know, who am I to say? But she probably leaked it, based on her very bad body language the other day,” he said.
Monday’s Rose Garden press conference was tense at times, as the president repeatedly shot down reporters who tried to ask about Kavanaugh while he was still discussing the new trade deal with Canada and Mexico.
“She’s shocked that I picked on her,” Trump said of one reporter. “She’s like in a state of shock.”
Eventually, Trump moved on from his comments on trade, opening up the floodgates for questions on Kavanaugh.
The president, asked about the FBI supplemental probe ordered last week into Kavanaugh’s behavior, said he wants the FBI to do a “very comprehensive investigation” but “with that being said, I’d like it to go quickly.”
The president also said he’s fine with the FBI interviewing all of Kavanaugh’s accusers, including Julie Swetnick, who is represented by Democratic attorney Michael Avenatti. Swetnick’s claim – that Kavanaugh was present for “gang rapes” and rape “trains” in the 1980s – has faced skepticism from some on Capitol Hill. During Thursday’s hearing, Kavanaugh called the “Swetnick thing” a “joke” and a “farce.”
Meanwhile, a senior Senate GOP source told Fox News they were told the Kavanaugh FBI probe could be completed by Tuesday. The GOP leadership is hoping the FBI report will push Sens. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., Susan Collins, R-Maine, and Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska — all seen as swing votes — to vote yes on the nomination.
In a light-hearted moment, the president referenced his own teetotaler practices, and said, “I’m not a drinker. I can honestly say I’ve never had a beer in my life. Okay? It’s one of my only good traits.”
He added, “Can you imagine if I had? What a mess I would be? I would be the world’s worst. But I never drink.”
He also drew laughter when he said many people in Washington could have skeletons in their closet – except his vice president.
“Except for Mike Pence, by the way,” Trump said. “If we find one on him, that will be the greatest shock of all time.”
Fox News’ Chad Pergram contributed to this report.
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