Week In The News: Kavanaugh And Ford, Trump At The U.N.

Sep 28, 2018

With David Folkenflik

Kavanaugh and Ford under oath. President Trump at the U.N. Our roundtable is all over the news.

Guests

Kimberly Atkins, chief Washington reporter and columnist for the Boston Herald. (@KimberlyEAtkins)

James Hohmann, national political correspondent for The Washington Post. He writes The Post’s flagship newsletter, The Daily 202. (@jameshohmann)

Jack Beatty, On Point news analyst. (@JackBeattyNPR)

From The Reading List

Boston Herald: “Trump finally got his candidate” — “Yesterday Brett Kavanaugh finally became President Trump’s type of Supreme Court nominee.

“Trump was reportedly unhappy with Kavanaugh’s attempt to get out ahead of yesterday’s hearing by portraying himself in a Fox News interview as an innocent choirboy who never had any sexual contact in high school, let alone a person who could be capable of the kind of violent attack Christine Blasey Ford has alleged. Trump, who wanted more fight out of Kavanaugh, even openly pondered changing his mind about his second Supreme Court nominee during a press conference Wednesday.

“But Kavanaugh took an entirely different tack before the Senate Judiciary Committee yesterday. Though it was Ford who was called to give testimony about her claim of being a victim, it was Kavanaugh who angrily presented himself as the aggrieved party — much as Trump has done in the face of the multiple sexual misconduct allegations made against him.”

Washington Post: “The Daily 202: Senate GOP forging ahead with Kavanaugh vote today shows why Ford sought to stay silent” — “The Big Idea: The decision by Senate Republicans to vote this morning to advance Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination validates Christine Blasey Ford’s hesitation to publicly accuse him of sexual assault.

“After reaching out to a Washington Post tip line and her representatives in Congress, as well as outlining her story to friends, the Palo Alto University professor said she decided she wanted to stay anonymous for two reasons: She believed her life would be upended if she shared her imperfect memories of what happened at a house party in 1982, and Kavanaugh would ultimately get confirmed to the Supreme Court anyway.”

NPR: Kavanaugh, Ford Testify About Sexual Assault Allegation” — “Christine Blasey Ford, the first woman to publicly accuse Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh of sexual misconduct, began her emotional testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee Thursday morning. The committee reconvened for the highly unusual session after Ford alleged that Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her when she and Kavanaugh were both in high school more than 30 years ago. Kavanaugh has denied all of the sexual misconduct allegations against him. He will be questioned separate later in the day.

” ‘I am here today not because I want to be. I am terrified. I am here because I believe it is my civic duty to tell you what happened to me while Brett Kavanaugh and I were in high school,’ Ford told the committee as she appeared to fight back tears.

“Ford said she didn’t remember all of the specifics such as the date or place of the alleged attack, which has led some to question the veracity of her claims. But, with her voice cracking, she did recall certain vivid details, adding ‘Indelible in the hippocampus is the laughter, the uproarious laughter between the two and their having fun at my expense.’ ”

New York Times: “5 Takeaways From Trump’s News Conference at the United Nations” — “President Trump complained on Wednesday that ‘evil people,’ including women in search of fame and fortune, routinely fabricate sexual assault charges against powerful men, and argued that his own experience with such allegations makes him more skeptical of the accusations threatening to bring down Judge Brett M. Kavanaugh, his nominee for the Supreme Court.

“In a remarkable and rambling 83-minute news conference on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly, Mr. Trump was by turns combative, humorous and boastful. He defended Judge Kavanaugh and railed against what he called the ‘big, fat con job’ that he said Democrats were perpetrating to derail the nomination, even as he suggested he could still jettison his pick depending on the outcome of a high-profile hearing on Thursday.”

 

As contentious a day in Washington as any in memory as a U.S. Supreme Court nomination hangs in the balance. An accuser gets her day on Capitol Hill. A defiant aspiring Justice defends his character — and engages in partisan attacks. We’ll take up the Brett Kavanaugh hearings and also President Trump’s foray at the United Nations. We figure you’ll have a lot to say too.

This hour, On Point: our weekly news roundup.

— David Folkenflik

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