Speaking at a press conference held to announce a new trade deal with Canada and Mexico, President Donald Trump suggested a Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee was a drinker who he has seen in “compromising” and “very bad situations.”
Trump made the comment after assailing Senate Democrats for asking his Supreme Court nominee, Brett Kavanaugh, questions about his drinking habits during a hearing stemming from the allegations surfaced by Dr. Christine Blasey Ford that he had sexually assaulted her when they were in high school.
“I happen to know some United States senators,” Trump said. “One who is on the other side, who’s pretty aggressive. I’ve seen that person in very bad situations. Okay? I’ve seen that person in very bad situations. Somewhat compromising. And I think it’s very unfair to bring up things like this.”
Trump, while discussing the Kavanaugh allegations, claims to know a "pretty aggressive" Democratic senator he's see… https://t.co/w3cdY3j1Yn— BuzzFeed News (@BuzzFeed News) 1538411610.0
When asked who he was referring to, Trump said he would “save it for a book like everybody else."
Trump was roundly criticized and even accused of blackmail.
So... Trump is now blackmailing US Senators that disagree with him. Saying that he has dirt on certain Senators tha… https://t.co/go2c1bCc7L— MΞGAN KΞLLΞY HALL (@MΞGAN KΞLLΞY HALL) 1538411837.0
So Trump just went on about having seen some unnamed Democratic Senator in compromising situations and seemed to be… https://t.co/1f8GINVhIU— Paul McLeod (@Paul McLeod) 1538410988.0
Trump just said at this press conference he was once in a situation where a democrat US senator with a terrible tem… https://t.co/Bu8tpBRFs4— boy with pigtails (@boy with pigtails) 1538412519.0
Others pointed out that even if a senator is a known drinker, they can be voted out––Kavanaugh is vying for a lifetime appointment.
Trump is a lying POS. If he has seen a senator tipsy on occasion that would hardly qualify as "compromising." Besi… https://t.co/CcBlyjQ0gH— MrsLakey (@MrsLakey) 1538411810.0
Trump says Democrat is a drunk. " I happen to know some United States senators, one who is on the other side who is… https://t.co/r6sKpEqvnC— Jonathan Allen (@Jonathan Allen) 1538411097.0
The president's statement was only his latest jab at Senate Democrats. Last night, the president fired back at reports that he and his administration are limiting the scope of the FBI's investigation into the sexual misconduct allegations leveled at Kavanaugh.
Wow! Just starting to hear the Democrats, who are only thinking Obstruct and Delay, are starting to put out the wor… https://t.co/9irOa5ox2R— Donald J. Trump (@Donald J. Trump) 1538333787.0
Despite this, during the press conference, Trump did say that it "wouldn't bother me" if FBI investigators talked with all three women who have leveled allegations against his nominee. He did stress, however, that the bureau must "go quickly" because Kavanaugh has "been treated horribly" and he's been the victim of a "very unfair" process.
"What his wife is going through," Trump said. "What his beautiful children are going through is not describable. It's not fair."
@CeciliaVega President Trump to @CeciliaVega on scope of Kavanaugh FBI investigation: "The FBI should do what they… https://t.co/ELpHreceuZ— ABC News Politics (@ABC News Politics) 1538411422.0
He added: "This is our seventh investigation of a man who has really––you look at his life, until this happened, what a change he’s gone through. The trauma for a man who has never had any accusations. So I want the FBI, this is now the seventh investigation. It's not like they are just starting. I want them to do a very comprehensive investigation."
Other comments Trump made appeared to go further than Kavanaugh's public statements on the matter.
Kavanaugh has vehemently denied that he ever imbibed too heavily or that he ever drank to the point of "blacking out." But speaking of his nominee, Trump said, "He's had a little bit of difficulty. He talked about things that happened when he drank."
When asked about concerns that Kavanaugh had mischaracterized his drinking, Trump said, "I watched him. I was surprised at how vocal he was about the fact that he likes beer ... This is not a man that said that he was perfect with respect to alcohol.”
Several of Kavanaugh's Yale classmates have come forward to say that Kavanaugh was not truthful about his drinking. The most recent, Chad Ludington, is now cooperating with the FBI.
"I can unequivocally say that in denying the possibility that he ever blacked out from drinking, and in downplaying the degree and frequency of his drinking, Brett has not told the truth," Ludington said in a statement to CNN.
In a full statement published in The New York Times, Ludington said that Kavanaugh was "a frequent drinker, and a heavy drinker" who was "belligerent and aggressive" while drinking.
“On one of the last occasions I purposely socialized with Brett, I witnessed him respond to a semi-hostile remark, not by defusing the situation, but by throwing his beer in the man’s face and starting a fight that ended with one of our mutual friends in jail," he said.