Trump revs up his attacks after NYTimes adds editors’ note to Kavanaugh article – POLITICO

Donald Trump

President Donald Trump. | Alex Wong/Getty Images

White House

09/16/2019 09:02 AM EDT

Updated 09/16/2019 09:35 AM EDT

President Donald Trump on Monday seized upon an editors’ note The New York Times appended to a weekend report that detailed a new allegation of sexual misconduct against Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh, again accusing the news media of acting as a “partner” to the Democratic Party.

“‘The New York Times walks back report on Kavanaugh assault claim.’ @foxandfriends,” Trump tweeted, parroting coverage of the incident by his favorite morning cable news program.

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“The one who is actually being assaulted is Justice Kavanaugh – Assaulted by lies and Fake News!” he continued. “This is all about the LameStream Media working with their partner, the Dems.”

The Times on Saturday published an essay, adapted from a forthcoming book on Kavanaugh authored by two of the paper’s reporters, which revealed a previously unreported episode of alleged sexual impropriety by the justice while he was a student at Yale University in the 1980s.

Max Stier, one of Kavanaugh’s classmates, allegedly saw him “with his pants down” at an alcohol-fueled dormitory party, “where friends pushed his penis into the hand of a female student,” the Times reported.

Stier, who is now the president and CEO of the nonprofit Partnership for Public Service in Washington, reportedly told U.S. senators and FBI officials about the incident, which the FBI did not investigate, the Times said.

The revelation provoked alarm among national Democrats and calls from several of the party’s presidential candidates to launch impeachment proceedings against Kavanaugh, who was narrowly confirmed to the high court in October 2018 despite testimony by Christine Blasey Ford that he sexually attacked her at a high school party.

Kavanaugh also faced an accusation from Deborah Ramirez, the main subject of the Times essay, who claimed he “thrust his penis in her face, and caused her to touch it without her consent” during a drunken party when they were both students at Yale.

But the most recent allegation by Stier came under heightened scrutiny on Sunday when the Times appended a note to its essay clarifying that the female student he referenced declined to be interviewed, and her friends say she does not recall the incident.

That additional information, which was reported in the book from which the essay was adapted, fueled fresh outrage among Kavanaugh’s defenders, including the president.

Trump tweeted twice more about the report on Monday morning, quoting conservative commentator and Fox News contributor Dan Bongino, and later lashing out with his own admonishment of the Times.

“DO YOU BELIEVE WHAT THESE HORRIBLE PEOPLE WILL DO OR SAY,” he wrote online. “They are looking to destroy, and influence his opinions – but played the game badly. They should be sued!”

Prior to the publication of the editors’ note, some of Kavanaugh’s detractors had criticized the Times report, which is branded online as a piece of “News Analysis” and first mentioned Stier’s new allegation several paragraphs into the essay.

Trump also slammed the report several times over the weekend, charging that the Times was attempting to use its coverage to influence Kavanaugh’s decisions from the bench.

“Now the Radical Left Democrats and their Partner, the LameStream Media, are after Brett Kavanaugh again, talking loudly of their favorite word, impeachment,” he tweeted on Sunday. “He is an innocent man who has been treated HORRIBLY. Such lies about him. They want to scare him into turning Liberal!”

The president also controversially asserted that Kavanaugh “should start suing people for libel, or the Justice Department should come to his rescue.”

Kavanaugh has denied all charges of sexual misconduct, and did not speak to the Times reporters because the parties could not agree on terms for an interview.


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