WASHINGTON — Hillary Clinton ridiculed Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh’s claim that accusations against him were some kind of “revenge on behalf of the Clintons” and called his testimony last week “unconvincing.”
Speaking at The Atlantic Festival on Tuesday, Clinton laughed along with the audience after she was asked what she thought about Kavanaugh’s remark, made before the Senate Judiciary Committee as he delivered a forceful denial of sexual assault allegations against him last week, and accused Democrats of orchestrating a “search and destroy” mission to damage his reputation.
“It deserves a lot of laughter,” Clinton said of the “revenge” remark, adding that she thought “it was just part of the whole of his very defensive and unconvincing presentations. And I told someone later — ‘Boy, I will tell you. They give us a lot of credit, 36 years ago, when we started this against him.'”
Clinton also said she found Christine Blasey Ford’s claims “credible.” Ford says Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her when they were at a gathering of high school friends around 1982.
“I watched as much of her testimony as I could. I found her very credible,” Clinton said. “You have to ask yourself — why would anybody put themselves through this if they did not believe that they had important information to convey to the Senate? She basically said that she thought it was her civic duty.”
She added, “I felt a great swell of pride that she would be willing to put herself out there under these circumstances.”
Clinton also praised the women who, on Friday, followed Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) to a Senate elevator and told their stories of being sexual assault survivors and asked how he could ignore Ford’s story and vote for Kavanaugh. About an hour later, after discussions with Sen. Chris Coons (D-Del.), Flake urged an FBI investigation of the claims against Kavanaugh.
“I think what is happening is that on many, many fronts, young women and girls are saying, you have to hear our stories too,” Clinton said. “We have the right to be heard, and I remember we saw it all on TV. Those young women following Senator Flake into the elevator. And they were determined that he would know that there were young women like them, representing many, many more who wanted to be heard and wanted their stories to be taken seriously.”
Clinton said the FBI will “conduct as thorough an investigation as they possibly can, within whatever restraints are imposed on them.”
“I think that for anyone who believes there is such as thing as a judicial temperament … we want judges, particularly those on our highest court, to approach issues, approach plaintiffs and defendants, with a sense of fairness,” she said. “There is a lot to be concerned about.”