The final question during President Donald Trump’s 80-minute press conference Wednesday afternoon was about his message to young men in the wake of the sexual assault accusations against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh. In a rambling answer, Trump continued to defend Kavanaugh, accusing “evil” people of making “false statements” against him.
“This is a very big moment for our country,” Trump said, “because you have a man who is very outstanding, but he’s got very strong charges against him — probably charges that nobody’s going to be able to prove.”
He went on to suggest it could happen to anybody, no matter how many different people he nominates for the position. “And it’s happened to me. Many times. Where false statements are made and, honestly, nobody knows who to believe.” (More than a dozen women have accused Trump of sexual assault and harassment.)
Trump called it “very dangerous” that such accusations could ruin a person like that, suggesting that the current allegations against Kavanaugh have been “perpetrated by some very evil people.” Reiterating an expression he’d used liberally throughout the press conference, he called it “a con game at the highest level.”
“When you are guilty until proven innocent, it’s just not supposed to be that way,” he said. “Always I heard: You’re innocent until proven guilty. I’ve heard this for so long and it’s such a beautiful phrase. In this case, your guilty until proven innocent. I think that is a very, very dangerous standard for our country.”
When the reporter tried to point out that Trump had not really said anything to young men, Trump ended the press conference.
There were any number of ways that Trump could have said that men should respect women and their bodies, or that alcohol is not an excuse for assault, or that the country needs to work together to end the stigma around reporting sexual assault to help end such behavior by young men.
Instead, he just told them that evil women will lie about them to try to defame them.