Trump ready to pull Brett Kavanaugh nomination if convinced judge 'guilty'

Kavanaugh testifying during the second day of his US Senate Judiciary Committee confirmation hearing.
Kavanaugh testifying during the second day of his US Senate Judiciary Committee confirmation hearing.PHOTO: AFP

NEW YORK (AFP) - United States President Donald Trump said on Wednesday (Sept 26) that he was open to pulling Mr Brett Kavanaugh's Supreme Court nomination if he finds the evidence against him of sexual assault convincing.

"I can always be convinced," Mr Trump said at a press conference on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly in New York, on the eve of a key Senate hearing at which a university professor accusing his nominee of assault will detail her allegations to lawmakers.

"If I thought he was guilty of something like this, yes, sure. I want to watch. I want to see," the President said.

At the same time, Mr Trump described Mr Kavanaugh as a "great gentleman" and said he believed the accusations against the conservative were "false".

Mr Trump said he was sceptical because he personally had been the target of "false statements" in the past made by various women.

"It does impact my opinions because I've had a lot of false charges made against me," he said.

"People want fame, they want money, they want whatever."

 

Dr Christine Blasey Ford, who has accused Mr Kavanaugh of sexually assaulting her when they were teenagers, is to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday.

Mr Kavanaugh also stands accused of exposing himself to a classmate, Ms Deborah Ramirez, during an alcohol-fuelled Yale University party a few years later.

And on Wednesday a new woman came forward with explosive allegations, saying she witnessed sexually abusive behaviour by the Supreme Court nominee when he was a teenager and claiming she was gang-raped at a party he attended in the early 1980s.

The case has turned into a political firestorm ahead of congressional midterm elections, with the scandal threatening to derail Mr Trump's push to get a conservative-minded majority on the top court.