President Trump expressed sympathy on Tuesday for Brett Kavanaugh, his Supreme Court nominee who has been accused by a woman of of sexual assault when they were both in high school.
"I feel so badly for him that he's going through this. I feel so badly for him," Trump said of Kavanaugh during a joint press conference with Poland's President Andrzej Duda. "Honestly I feel terrible for him, for his wife … and for his beautiful young daughters. I feel terribly for them."
"This is not a man that deserves this," Trump added, making no mention of the details of allegations made by Christine Blasey Ford, a 51-year-old research psychologist, that an intoxicated Kavanaugh held her down and sexually assaulted her during a party when the two were in high school.
"Hopefully the woman will come forward, state her case," Trump said.
Kavanaugh has repeatedly denied the allegations, calling them "completely false" in a statement issued by the White House on Monday. He has agreed to answer questions about the allegations publicly in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee next Monday.
Senate Republicans say Ford's lawyer, Debra Katz, has yet to respond to an invitation to appear before the committee next week to testify in either a public or private session.
"She's going to have an opportunity to be heard Monday," Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R., Ky.) told reporters on Capitol Hill, signaling Republicans were reluctant to push back the date of the hearings any further. "I think it gives her ample opportunity to express her point of view."
Democrats have said Kavanaugh's nomination shouldn't move forward until the FBI investigates Ford's claims, but the FBI told CBS News it had "included the allegation in Kavanaugh's background material" and was not pursuing an investigation.
"I don't think the FBI really should be involved, because they don't want to be involved," Trump told reporters earlier in the day. "If they wanted to be, I would certainly do that, but as you know they say this is not really their thing. Politically speaking, the senators will do a very good job, the senators will open it up, they'll do a terrific job."
Ford told the Washington Post that Kavanaugh and a friend — both "stumbling drunk," Ford alleges — corralled her into a bedroom during a summer party in the 1980s, pinned her to a bed, and groped her. When she tried to scream, she claims Kavanaugh put his hand over her mouth. She told the Post she eventually freed herself and ran out of the room.