By Michael Hernandez
U.S. President Donald Trump said Wednesday he wants to hear from the woman who accuses his Supreme Court nominee of a decades-old sexual assault.
Addressing reporters at the White House Trump said he "really would want to see what" Christine Blasey Ford has to say during Senate testimony.
"Look: If she shows up and makes a credible showing, that'll be very interesting, and we'll have to make a decision," Trump said during brief remarks before departing for North Carolina to tour recovery efforts from Hurricane Florence.
Trump continued to defend Brett Kavanaugh, his top court pick, whose nomination has been cast into turmoil after Ford publicly came forward last weekend, calling Kavanaugh "an outstanding man."
"Very hard for me to imagine that anything happened," he said.
Ford came forward with her story Sunday, detailing a high school encounter from the 1980s in which she says Kavanaugh and a friend -- both of whom she says were drunk -- forced her into a room during a high school party in suburban Maryland.
Kavanaugh and the other individual then put on loud music before Kavanaugh began groping and attempting to undress her. Kavanaugh, Ford said, put his hand over her mouth to silence her after she yelled, prompting her to fear for her life.
"I thought he might inadvertently kill me," she said in an interview with the Washington Post. "He was trying to attack me and remove my clothing.”
Ford said Monday she would be willing to testify before the Senate, but later said she would not want to speak to senators until the FBI investigates the alleged incident.
The comments have called into question the hearing scheduled for next Monday in which she and Kavanaugh were expected to testify.
As the alleged assault Ford describes is not a federal crime, only the White House could order the FBI to investigate -- an action Trump has rejected saying the FBI has already conducted six background checks on Kavanaugh.
"It would seem that the FBI really doesn’t do that," he said.
Republicans are seeking to ensure Kavanaugh receives Senate approval this month, before the Supreme Court resumes deliberations Oct. 1.
But Democrats want a substantial delay to the process that could draw out past November's midterm elections when they have a chance of retaking a Senate majority. That would complicate any chance of Trump securing a Supreme Court nomination.Anadolu Agency website contains only a portion of the news stories offered to subscribers in the AA News Broadcasting System (HAS), and in summarized form. Please contact us for subscription options.