10:43, September 19 259 0 theguardian.com

2018-09-19 10:43:04
Trump: 'Very hard to imagine' anything happened between Kavanaugh and accuser

Donald Trump has said it would be “very hard” to imagine anything happened between his supreme court nominee, Brett Kavanaugh, and Christine Blasey Ford, the woman who has accused him of sexual assault decades ago.

Trump said Ford “deserves” to be heard and should have an opportunity to share her story at a high-stakes hearing scheduled for Monday, which was thrown into turmoil when her lawyers requested an FBI investigation before she testifies.

But he continued to vigorously defend his nominee, calling him an “outstanding man” with an “unblemished record” and lamenting the hardship this has placed on Kavanaugh’s wife and two young daughters.

Ford, a research psychologist at Palo Alto University in northern California, has accused Kavanaugh of sexually assaulting her more than 30 years ago, at a high school party when both were teenagers. He has categorically denied the accusation.

Kavanaugh’s nomination to the supreme court had looked almost certain to be confirmed until Blasey Ford came forward at the weekend.

“If she shows up and makes a credible showing, that will be very interesting and we’ll have to make a decision,” Trump told reporters as he left the White House for a trip to the Carolinas. “If she shows up that would be wonderful, if she doesn’t show up that would be unfortunate.”

In an interview with the Washington Post on Sunday, Ford said Kavanaugh pinned her to a bed at a house party in the early 1980s when the two were in high school, groped her over her bathing suit and placed his hand over her mouth to stifle her screams. She escaped only when a friend toppled them, she said.