ABOARD AIR FORCE ONE (Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump said he is “100 percent” certain that Christine Blasey Ford named the wrong person when she accused Brett Kavanaugh of sexual assault in testimony during his Supreme Court nomination hearings.
“This is one of the reasons I chose him is because there is no one with a squeaky clean past like Brett Kavanaugh. He is an outstanding person and I’m very honored to have chosen him,” Trump told reporters aboard Air Force One while flying to a campaign rally in Kansas.
“We’re very honored that he was able to withstand this horrible, horrible attack by the Democrats.”
Trump’s words echoed those of Ford who told the Senate Judiciary Committee that she was “100 percent” certain it was Kavanaugh who sexually assaulted her in the upstairs bedroom of a home in a wealthy Washington suburb in 1982 when both of them were teenagers.
A deeply divided U.S. Senate confirmed Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court on Saturday, as Republicans dismissed the sexual misconduct accusations and delivered a major victory to Trump.
Trump watched the confirmation vote while flying on Air Force One to a political rally in Kansas, viewing the vote on large-screen television tuned to Fox News in a wood-paneled cabin.
Trump flashed two thumbs up when the final vote was declared and aides on board applauded.
He disputed predictions that women voters angry about Kavanaugh’s nomination could punish his party in the congressional elections on Nov. 6. Hundreds of protesters in and around the U.S. Capitol - many of whom were women - were arrested in the past week.
“Women were outraged at what happened to Brett Kavanaugh, outraged,” Trump said. “It was a total misnomer because the women I feel were in many ways stronger than men in his favour.”
Trump said the protesters were not genuine, but had been paid by liberal political donors and that his party would prevail in November when one-third of the Senate seats and all House seats will be up for election.
“I think the Republicans are going to do incredibly well,” Trump said.
Reporting by Roberta Rampton, Writing by Ginger Gibson, editing by Bill Berkrot and Alistair Bell