Trump Misleads in Hinting Main Kavanaugh Accuser Recanted

(Bloomberg) -- President Donald Trump deceptively claimed at a campaign rally on Monday that “the accuser” who alleged sexual misconduct by Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh had recanted her accusation.

Trump Misleads in Hinting Main Kavanaugh Accuser Recanted

Trump never named the woman. But his remarks left the impression that Kavanaugh accuser Christine Blasey Ford, who publicly testified that Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her at a party while they were both in high school, had recanted. She has not.

“The accuser of Brett Kavanaugh, a man who is a fine man, the accuser admitted she never met him, she never saw him, he never touched her, talked to her, he had nothing to do with her, she made up the story, it was false accusations, it was a scam, it was fake, it was all fake,” Trump said at a rally on Monday night in Cape Girardeau, Missouri.

“When that came about, people were calling for him to immediately get out,” Trump continued. “Think of that. Think if he would have done that and then we found out that it was all false accusations, false statements, a made up story.”

Trump Misleads in Hinting Main Kavanaugh Accuser Recanted

Trump has called accusations against Kavanaugh false at previous rallies, including earlier Monday in Indiana, but he was more deceptive in Missouri by implying that Ford had recanted.

“And then it began,” Trump said. “And he hung in there. And I hung in there too, by the way. False accusations. They want to ruin a man or a woman, ruin a man. And it was headed up all by the Democrats, all by the Democrats, right?”

Senate Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley, an Iowa Republican, has referred two women who made accusations against Kavanaugh to the U.S. Department of Justice for possible prosecution. One of them, Julie Swetnick, publicly alleged that Kavanaugh participated in parties in high school at which women were raped. The other, Judy Munro-Leighton, claimed to be the author of an anonymous letter to California Senator Kamala Harris alleging that Kavanaugh raped her, Grassley said in a letter to Attorney General Jeff Sessions and FBI Director Chris Wray on Friday.

Trump Misleads in Hinting Main Kavanaugh Accuser Recanted

Grassley said that Swetnick made “materially false” claims to his committee. Her lawyer, Michael Avenatti, whom Grassley also referred for possible prosecution, said on Twitter that he and his client welcome an investigation “as now we can finally get to the bottom of Judge Kavanaugh’s lies and conduct. Let the truth be known.”

Munro-Leighton recanted, admitting she didn’t write the letter to Harris, and told Grassley’s staff that she “just wanted to get attention” with her allegation, Grassley wrote. Munro-Leighton’s involvement was not publicly known before Grassley’s letter.

©2018 Bloomberg L.P.