WASHINGTON — President Trump said on Wednesday that the charges against Judge Brett M. Kavanaugh, his Supreme Court nominee, were “very unfair” but added that he wanted to hear from the woman who has accused the judge of sexually assaulting her when they were both teenagers.
Speaking with reporters before leaving the White House to visit hurricane-ravaged North Carolina, the president again refrained from directly questioning the credibility of Judge Kavanaugh’s accuser, a tactic he has used in other instances of sexual misconduct charges, including those lodged against him. But he expressed sympathy for his nominee.
“Really, they’re hurting somebody’s life,” he said of the senators considering Judge Kavanaugh’s nomination. “I think it’s a very unfair thing what’s going on.”
As for Christine Blasey Ford, the university professor from Northern California who has alleged that Judge Kavanaugh pinned her to a bed, groped her and tried to remove her clothing at a high school party, the president said he hoped she would testify.
“I really want to see her,” he said. “I really would want to see what she has to say.”
He added: “If she shows up and makes a credible showing, that’ll be very interesting.”
Lawyers for Dr. Blasey, a research psychologist, on Tuesday evening all but ruled out her appearing at a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing scheduled for Monday to hear her allegations. Dr. Blasey’s lawyers said that she wanted to cooperate with the committee but that it would be premature for her to testify and that the F.B.I. should investigate first.
Her position echoed that of Senate Democrats who complained that Republicans were trying to rush an examination of her charges so as to expeditiously confirm Judge Kavanaugh, but Dr. Blasey’s refusal to commit to testifying seemed to solidify the Republican caucus behind moving ahead with a vote. Even wavering Republicans who insisted on hearing her before deciding on confirmation said she should show up on Monday to testify.
Following the advice of aides who have urged him not to inflame the situation, Mr. Trump remained relatively mild in his latest comments. “If she shows up that would be wonderful,” he said. “If she doesn’t show up that would be unfortunate.”