Updated at 3:15 p.m. ET
President Trump is standing by Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh after another round of allegations of inappropriate sexual behavior, this time from when Kavanaugh was a student at Yale.
Kavanaugh denounced the charges as “smears” and said he will “not be intimidated into withdrawing from this process.”
Trump, speaking to reporters on his way into the United Nations on Monday morning, said Kavanaugh “is an outstanding person, and I am with him all the way.”
He said the charges “could be one of the single most unfair, unjust things to happen for a candidate for anything.” The women making the allegations, Trump said, “were coming out of the woodwork and, he said, “in my opinion totally political.”
The latest accusation comes from Deborah Ramirez, who in a story published in The New Yorker alleges Kavanaugh exposed himself to her during a drunken party at Yale when both attended college there in the 1980s.
This Thursday, the Senate Judiciary Committee has scheduled a hearing into the allegation by Christine Blasey Ford that Kavanaugh groped her and tried to remove her clothes during a party when both were in high school in Bethesda, Md.
Ford and Kavanaugh have agreed to testify, although Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., called for the panel to postpone the hearing following the latest allegation.
Kavanaugh has denied both allegations against him.
In a letter to the Senate Judiciary Committee released Monday, he called the accusations attempts at “last minute character assassination”:
“These are smears, pure and simple. And they debase our public discourse. But they are also a threat to any man or woman who wishes to serve our country. Such grotesque and obvious character assassination—if allowed to succeed—will dissuade competent and good people of all political persuasions from service.”
The committee also released a letter from Ford, dated last Saturday, in which she said coming forward with her charge was “something that a citizen couldn’t NOT do. I felt agony yet urgency and a civic duty to let it be known, in a confidential manner, prior to the nominee being selected.”
“Mr. Kavanaugh’s actions, while many years ago, were serious and have had a lasting impact on my life. I thought that knowledge of his actions could be useful for you and those in charge of choosing among the various candidates. My original intent was first and foremost to be a helpful citizen – in a confidential way that would minimize collateral damage to all families and friends involved.”
Meanwhile, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., also accused Democrats of a “shameful, shameful, smear campaign” against Kavanaugh and vowed he will receive an up-or-down vote on his nomination on the Senate floor on “in the near future.”