Amid the weeklong FBI investigation into numerous sexual-assault allegations against Donald Trump’s Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, and nearly exactly a year after an explosive series of reports into Harvey Weinstein’s predatory behavior reignited the #MeToo movement, the president has taken a moment to express his concern for, uh, young American men who may be accused of assault.
“It’s a very scary time for young men in America, when you can be guilty of something you may not be guilty of,” Trump told reporters on the South Lawn. “This is a very difficult time.”
In the past few weeks, three women have come forward to accuse Kavanaugh of sexually assaulting them in the 1980s, when he was a high school and college student. One woman, Christine Blasey Ford, was even brave enough to publicly relive the alleged traumatic incident last Thursday, when she testified in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee that Kavanaugh held her down and attempted to rape her in 1982.
Trump continued that this week’s events “have much [significance beyond] even the appointment of a Supreme Court judge … You could be somebody that was perfect your entire life, and somebody could accuse you of something.”
Kavanaugh’s yearbook page lists him as “biggest contributor to the Beach Week Ralph Club,” a member of the “100 Keg Club,” as well as a “Renate Alumnus,” a reference fellow football players from his high school say was meant to imply he had slept with her — which Kavanaugh said under oath was meant to be affectionate, but which Renate herself decried as “horrible, hurtful, and simply untrue.” It also includes a shout-out to the “Devil’s Triangle,” which he says is a drinking game but probably isn’t. And, after Kavanaugh avoided questions about his (allegedly excessive) drinking during the hearing, several classmates came forward describing his drunken behavior as “belligerent and aggressive,” “sloppy,” and “loud, obnoxious, [and] frat-like,” among other things; his Yale former roommate described their shared bathroom as “vomitous.” During his junior year of college, a man — who Kavanaugh and his friends reportedly thought resembled the lead singer of the band UB40, which they had just seen perform — accused Kavanaugh of throwing his beer on him during a bar brawl, per a police report.
But Trump is right about the fact that this week’s events have significance beyond the Supreme Court: The Friday after the Kavanaugh hearings, the National Sexual Assault Hotline had its busiest day in history, when it received more than 3,000 calls in one day. And if Kavanaugh is to receive the necessary number of votes to serve on the Supreme Court, his confirmation will pose a serious threat to women’s reproductive rights.