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Trump says Kavanaugh allegations were a “hoax”

The president is going full conspiracy theorist on the resistance to new Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh.

President Donald Trump pats new Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh on the shoulder after a ceremonial swearing-in at the White House in October 2018.
President Donald Trump pats new Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh on the shoulder after a ceremonial swearing-in at the White House in October 2018.
Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images
Emily Stewart covered business and economics for Vox and wrote the newsletter The Big Squeeze, examining the ways ordinary people are being squeezed under capitalism. Before joining Vox, she worked for TheStreet.

President Donald Trump is embracing the conspiracy theories around the opposition to Brett Kavanaugh’s Supreme Court nomination and the sexual assault allegations brought against him by Palo Alto University professor Christine Blasey Ford.

Kavanaugh was sworn in to the Supreme Court on Sunday and took part in another ceremonial swearing-in event at the White House on Monday after weeks of a bruising battle over his confirmation. Republicans, including Trump, have been taking a victory lap over the judge’s confirmation since the Senate narrowly voted to approve his nomination on Saturday.

Trump — who famously never says he’s sorry — on Monday’s White House event apologized to Kavanaugh “on behalf of our nation” for the “terrible pain and suffering” he was “forced to endure” in the nomination process. As for those who opposed Kavanaugh’s nomination, and Ford, who accused him of sexually assaulting her in the 1980s, the president has no such sympathies.

While speaking with reporters on the South Lawn of the White House during the day on Monday, Trump said that accusations against Kavanaugh were a Democratic “hoax.”

He discussed buzz among some Democrats about potentially trying to impeach Kavanaugh if they take back power in Congress and characterized a just as “a man that did nothing wrong, a man that was caught up in a hoax that was set up by the Democrats, using the Democrats’ lawyers.”

Ford alleges that while she was at a high school party Kavanaugh drunkenly pinned her down, tried to take her clothes off, and covered her mouth as she screamed while his friend, Mark Judge, looked on. Her discussion of the incident is mentioned in 2012 and 2013 therapy notes, long before Kavanaugh was nominated. Another woman, Deborah Ramirez, alleges Kavanaugh exposed himself to her and thrust his genitals in her face while they were both drunk at a party at Yale. Kavanaugh has denied all of the allegations against him.

“The American public has seen this charade, has seen this dishonesty by the Democrats,” Trump said, pointing out that a week-long FBI investigation, which Democrats have decried as a mediocre effort by the bureau, found “nothing wrong” about Kavanaugh.

At a rally in Mississippi last week, Trump openly mocked Ford over her Senate testimony and gaps in her memory.

Trump’s also tweeting conspiracies about the Kavanaugh protesters

The president also appears to be embracing another conspiracy theory that those protesting against Kavanaugh are being paid.

Last week, ahead of the Kavanaugh vote, he tweeted about the two women who confronted Sen. Jeff Flake (R-AZ) in an elevator and told him their experiences with sexual assault. “The very rude elevator screamers are paid professionals only looking to make Senators look bad,” he said, claiming that protesters were being paid by Hungarian-American billionaire George Soros.

As Vox’s Jane Coaston wrote, a number of prominent conservatives have referenced Soros’s possible involvement in protests. For example, a National Review columnist accused Ramirez of receiving funding from Soros through a 2003 fellowship (it wound up being a different Deborah Ramirez). More broadly Soros is a common boogeyman figure for those on the right.

On Tuesday morning, Trump tweeted a more bizarre conspiracy theory, claiming that the paid protesters he referenced earlier weren’t being paid. “Screamers in Congress, and outside, were far too obvious — less professional than anticipated by those paying (or not paying) the bills!”

Trump appears to have been reacting to a Fox News segment with the Tuesday tweet. Mediaite reported that Asra Nomani, who wrote a Wall Street Journal op-ed about the money behind the Kavanaugh protests, appeared on Fox & Friends on Tuesday. She claimed that “people have sent me lots of messages that they are waiting for their checks.”

It appears that’s how it made it to Trump’s Twitter feed.

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