Donald Trump Contradicts Brett Kavanaugh, Saying Nominee Admitted to 'Difficulty' With Drinking as Young Man

President Donald Trump appeared to contradict the testimony and public comments of Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh about his drinking during high school and college, with the president stating that the judge had noted his past "difficulty" with alcohol.

Trump defended Kavanaugh in a press conference Monday and said the judge had been forthright with the Senate Judiciary Committee about his consumption of alcohol, despite attacks from Democrats. "I watched man saying that he did have difficulty as a young man with drink," the president told reporters. "He was very strong on the fact that he drank a lot."

Trump says what he saw in Kavanaugh was someone saying "he did have difficulty as a young man with drink ... He was very strong on the fact that he drank a lot."
Kavanaugh said he never had a drinking problem.

— Jonathan Allen (@jonallendc) October 1, 2018

However, Kavanaugh told the committee last week, as well as Fox News during an earlier interview, that his drinking was not extreme and was in line with that of his peers.

"And yes, there were parties. And the drinking age was 18, and yes, the seniors were legal and had beer there. And yes, people might have had too many beers on occasion, and people generally in high school—I think all of us have probably done things we look back on in high school and regret or cringe a bit, but that's not what we're talking about," Kavanaugh told Fox.

The judge told Fox that he never drank to the point of blacking out, which he reiterated to the committee during his combative testimony.

"Sometimes, I had too many beers. Sometimes, others did. I liked beer. I still like beer. But I did not drink beer to the point of blacking out, and I never sexually assaulted anyone," Kavanaugh said in his statement to the committee.

Trump was asked at the press conference if he would pull support for Kavanaugh if the FBI investigation indicated that the sexual assault allegations against him were true.

The president said he was "open," but he vehemently defended Kavanaugh. He challenged the way that Democrats had conducted themselves during the confirmation process and blasted numerous Democratic senators, including Dianne Feinstein of California and Cory Booker of New Jersey. Trump even claimed to know of a Democratic senator in "very, very bad situations...somewhat compromising." Trump did not name the senator and said he would save the answer "for a book, like everybody else."

The press conference was originally planned to discuss a new trade deal with Mexico and Canada, and the president fought off questions about Kavanaugh until he could answer inquiries about the trade deal.

trump contradict kavanaugh difficult drinking
President Donald Trump speaks during a press conference to discuss a revised U.S. trade agreement with Mexico and Canada in the Rose Garden of the White House on October 1 in Washington, D.C. Getty Images/Chip Somodevilla