President Donald Trump said Tuesday that the sexual misconduct allegations against his Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh show it’s a “very scary time” in the U.S. — for men.
Trump complained that men whose behavior is “exemplary” for their entire lives are presumed to be guilty should women accuse them of sexual misconduct.
“It’s a very scary situation when you’re guilty until proven innocent,” the president told reporters as he departed the White House on Tuesday. “It’s a very scary time for young men in America when you can be guilty of something you may not be guilty of. This is a very difficult time.”
A California college professor, Christine Blasey Ford, has accused Kavanaugh of sexually assaulting her while the two were in high school in suburban Maryland in the early 1980s. Ford told the Senate Judiciary Committee that the incident affected her long into adulthood, but Trump and other Republicans have questioned why she didn’t report the attack to authorities soon after it allegedly happened.
Sex crimes experts — including a prosecutor Republicans hired to question Ford at a hearing last week — say it is common for women not to immediately report attacks to authorities and that such delays, even when they are years long, shouldn’t be interpreted as evidence an allegation is false.
Two other women, Deborah Ramirez and Julie Swetnick, have accused Kavanaugh of sexual misconduct while in high school or in college.
Kavanaugh has vehemently denied all of the allegations. Senate Republicans have delayed votes on his confirmation while the FBI investigates the claims.
The president faced accusations of sexual misconduct from several women before he was elected. He or his spokespeople have said all of the claims were false.
Asked by reporters on Tuesday whether he had a message for American women, Trump said: “Women are doing great.”