Aides quietly stunned by Trump's respectful handling of Kavanaugh accuser

White House aides who steeled themselves for what President Donald Trump would say when he finally addressed...

Posted: Sep 20, 2018 6:05 PM
Updated: Sep 20, 2018 6:05 PM

White House aides who steeled themselves for what President Donald Trump would say when he finally addressed the sexual assault allegation against his Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh were quietly stunned when Trump said the process should be followed and the accuser should be heard.

In recent days, Trump has bragged about the positive coverage he's received for his response, according to multiple sources. That response has contributed to him continuing to say Christine Blasey Ford should come forward with her story, they said.

Brett Kavanaugh

Celebrities

Christine Blasey Ford

Donald Trump

Government and public administration

Government bodies and offices

Government organizations - US

Ivanka Trump

Kellyanne Conway

Misc people

Political Figures - US

Politics

US federal court system

US federal government

US Supreme Court

White House

As of Thursday, officials felt confident Kavanaugh was back on track toward confirmation.

Those who work closely with the fiery President knew he had privately voiced suspicion about the #MeToo movement, complaining that decades-old allegations could ruin men's lives in an instant. He himself stands accused of various levels of sexual misconduct by 15 women, all of which he has denied.

Behind the scenes

Multiple West Wing officials and outside advisers feverishly phoned Trump on Sunday in the wake of Ford's detailed account of the assault she says happened when she and Kavanaugh were teenagers. Kavanaugh has denied the allegation.

"Why would I attack her?" Trump asked, according to two sources with knowledge of his remarks.

Rather than lashing out in anger or defensiveness, Trump said Monday he'd like to "see a complete process."

"I'd like everybody to be very happy. Most importantly, I want the American people to be happy, because they're getting somebody that is great," he said.

Kellyanne Conway was the first White House official to appear on television after Ford came forward publicly. During an appearance on Fox News, Conway said Kavanaugh's accuser should testify.

"This woman should not be insulted and she should not be ignored," Conway said. "I think the Senate is headed to a reasonable approach in that it seems to be allowing this woman to be heard in sworn testimony, allowing Judge Kavanaugh to be heard in sworn testimony."

Conway said she had spoken with Trump and members of the Senate Judiciary Committee and that the White House agreed that the committee could work with Ford on how to testify.

"But remember, too, that has to be weighed against what we already know, which is that Judge Kavanaugh is a man of character and integrity," Conway added.

Encouragement

Trump's more tactful approach earned him kudos from those around him, serving to reinforce his position.

Ivanka Trump has also highlighted the positive response the President has received for his measured reaction.

He has only referenced the Supreme Court once in Twitter this week — tweeting shortly before midnight Tuesday: "The Supreme Court is one of the main reasons I got elected President. I hope Republican Voters, and others, are watching, and studying, the Democrats Playbook."

Aides have noted that the President's measured response is partly because the allegation isn't against him.

During the 2016 campaign, at least 15 women accused Trump of misbehavior ranging from sexual harassment and sexual assault to lewd behavior around women. They came forward in the wake of a 2005 "Access Hollywood" tape that was released in October 2016 in which he is caught saying on a hot mic: "And when you're a star, they let you do it. You can do anything ... Grab them by the p****. You can do anything."

The White House -- through press secretary Sarah Sanders and others -- has dismissed all the allegations against him as old news that had been litigated during the campaign.

Trump is not personally close with Kavanaugh but enjoys touting his credentials. And though he has stood by Kavanaugh this week, he has told people close to him that Kavanaugh has to defend himself.

White House officials remain confident Kavanaugh will be confirmed.

After Ford's attorneys told CNN Tuesday night that she wanted an FBI investigation before testifying, officials felt they had regained the upper hand. One noted that if she doesn't testify, this will only be a blip on the radar of his legacy on the Supreme Court.

Minnesota Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 38136

Reported Deaths: 1508
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hennepin12329786
Ramsey4855227
Stearns236119
Dakota233090
Anoka2200109
Nobles16686
Olmsted112415
Washington108240
Mower9512
Rice8427
Scott7154
Clay58738
Kandiyohi5731
Blue Earth4702
Wright4655
Todd4012
Carver3761
Lyon3122
Sherburne3125
Freeborn2920
Steele2311
Watonwan2240
Benton2153
St. Louis17815
Martin1685
Nicollet16612
Cottonwood1360
Goodhue1308
Winona12415
Crow Wing10612
Pine1030
Le Sueur1001
Chisago981
Otter Tail931
McLeod910
Carlton870
Dodge860
Polk812
Chippewa791
Unassigned7737
Isanti720
Waseca680
Douglas640
Itasca6412
Murray630
Meeker611
Morrison591
Becker560
Faribault560
Jackson550
Sibley542
Pennington510
Pipestone442
Renville352
Mille Lacs342
Wabasha330
Rock310
Beltrami300
Brown302
Fillmore300
Yellow Medicine300
Houston250
Swift211
Norman200
Wilkin203
Redwood180
Roseau160
Aitkin150
Cass152
Koochiching151
Wadena150
Big Stone140
Kanabec141
Marshall120
Grant110
Lincoln100
Pope100
Mahnomen81
Clearwater70
Hubbard60
Lake60
Traverse60
Lac qui Parle40
Stevens40
Red Lake30
Kittson20
Cook10
Lake of the Woods00

Iowa Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 31430

Reported Deaths: 720
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Polk6578179
Woodbury324144
Black Hawk228758
Buena Vista171211
Johnson12928
Dallas128129
Linn127782
Marshall104919
Scott79810
Story7753
Pottawattamie72611
Wapello70830
Dubuque69922
Crawford6782
Muscatine63844
Sioux4720
Tama46529
Wright3841
Louisa36113
Jasper32417
Plymouth3225
Warren2861
Dickinson2672
Washington2409
Webster2192
Hamilton1881
Cerro Gordo1781
Boone1481
Clay1340
Clarke1312
Allamakee1284
Mahaska11617
Clinton1131
Shelby1130
Poweshiek1058
Carroll981
Pocahontas961
Bremer946
Des Moines902
Franklin900
Emmet870
Henry863
Cedar841
Taylor790
Monona760
Cherokee751
Floyd752
Hardin750
Marion700
Benton671
Guthrie664
Sac640
Jefferson630
Osceola610
Jones580
Butler552
Hancock540
Humboldt541
Lee542
Harrison530
Buchanan521
Delaware511
Iowa510
Monroe516
Fayette500
Calhoun492
Madison472
Clayton443
Lyon440
Palo Alto410
Davis401
Grundy380
Winneshiek380
Mills370
Mitchell370
Kossuth350
Howard340
Jackson320
Chickasaw310
Lucas314
Greene290
Union280
Winnebago280
Ida240
Cass220
Keokuk211
Van Buren210
Appanoose203
Page200
Worth190
Audubon161
Unassigned160
Adair150
Ringgold150
Decatur110
Montgomery102
Wayne100
Adams80
Fremont70
Rochester
Broken Clouds
77° wxIcon
Hi: 87° Lo: 67°
Feels Like: 79°
Mason City
Clear
73° wxIcon
Hi: 89° Lo: 68°
Feels Like: 73°
Albert Lea
Clear
73° wxIcon
Hi: 86° Lo: 68°
Feels Like: 73°
Austin
Clear
73° wxIcon
Hi: 87° Lo: 68°
Feels Like: 73°
Charles City
Clear
77° wxIcon
Hi: 88° Lo: 68°
Feels Like: 78°
Hot, sticky, and stormy
KIMT Radar
KIMT Eye in the sky

Latest Video

Image

How did businesses do on the 4th of July with tourism

Image

Stewartville's Will Tschetter commits to Michigan

Image

Covid-19 concerns, Rochester Boys and Girls Club temporarily closes

Image

Looking at the Role of School Resource Officers

Image

Seans 4pm Weather 7/6

Image

Treasury Department unveils relief loans

Image

Mandatory Mask Mandate for Rochester

Image

Approving Cares Act Funding

Image

Mountain Bike Trail System Being Developed

Image

Seans 6am Weather 7/6

Community Events