Trump blasts Kavanaugh impeachment effort, calls allegations a 'hoax'

Later Monday, Trump told police chiefs from around the country that the allegations against Kavanaugh were "brought about by people that are evil."
Image: U.S. President Trump talks to reporters as he departs the White House for travel to Florida in Washington
The president on Monday called the allegations against Kavanaugh a partisan "hoax."Jonathan Ernst / Reuters

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By Jonathan Allen

WASHINGTON — Sexual misconduct allegations against Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh are a "hoax" cooked up by people who now want to impeach "a brilliant jurist," President Donald Trump said Monday.

"I've been hearing that now they're talking about impeaching a brilliant jurist, a man that did nothing wrong, a man that was caught up in a hoax set up by the Democrats using the Democrats' lawyers, and now they want to impeach him," Trump said on the South Lawn of the White House as he left to give a speech to a police chiefs' group in Orlando, Florida.

Last week, before the Senate voted to confirm Kavanaugh 50-48 on Saturday, Trump mocked Christine Blasey Ford, who had accused Kavanaugh of trying to rape her when they were in high school. Then, as soon as Kavanaugh was confirmed, Trump said he believed Kavanaugh's denial over Ford's allegation.

The "hoax" remark is the furthest the president has gone in trying to discredit Ford and other accusers. Trump appeared to single out allegations by Julie Swetnick that Kavanaugh was present during at least one gang rape. "Take a look at the last one," he said. "It was all made up, it was fabricated, and it was a disgrace, and I think it’s going to really show you something come Nov. 6th."

Trump and other Republicans have said the Kavanaugh fight has unified and energized GOP voters ahead of next month's midterm elections. Democrats say Republicans will be rejected at the polls in part because of the party's treatment of Kavanaugh's accusers.

In Orlando later in the day, Trump told police chiefs from around the country that the allegations against Kavanaugh were "brought about by people that are evil."

He was interrupted by applause when he described Kavanaugh as justice who will be "a faithful defender of the rule of law and will defend the United States Constitution."

CORRECTION (Oct. 8, 2018, 2:30 p.m. ET): An earlier version of this article misstated the vote in the Senate on Saturday confirming Justice Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court. It was 50-48, not 51-49.