U.S.

Trump Hits Back at Claims He Limited Scope of FBI Kavanaugh Probe

President Donald Trump hit back late Saturday at claims that the White House had limited the scope of the FBI’s investigation into Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh. 

NBC News had earlier reported that the White House had instructed the FBI to interview two of the women who have come forward with sexual assault allegations against Kavanaugh, Christine Blasey Ford and Deborah Ramirez, but not his third accuser — Julie Swetnick. The Wall Street Journal also reported that Swetnick's claims would not be investigated. 

GettyImages-1043214804 US President Donald Trump steps off Air Force One upon return to Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland on September 29, 2018. Earlier, the president said the FBI had "free reign" in its investigation into Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh Getty Images

“NBC News incorrectly reported (as usual) that I was limiting the FBI investigation of Judge Kavanaugh, and witnesses, only to certain people. Actually, I want them to interview whoever they deem appropriate, at their discretion. Please correct your reporting!” tweeted the president. 

On his way to a rally in West Virginia earlier, Trump told reporters the FBI has “free reign” in the investigation. 

"The FBI as you know is all over, talking to everybody ... " Trump said, reported CNN. "They have been all over it already. They have free rein to do whatever they have to do."

On Friday, the Senate Judiciary Committee requested the White House order the FBI to perform supplementary background checks into Kavanaugh. Senator Jeff Flake had earlier broken with party colleagues to request the investigation. The committee requested a week-long investigation into the claims. 

The FBI has reached out to Ford and Ramirez, but on Saturday Swetnick’s lawyer, Michael Avenatti, tweeted that he had received no communications from the agency requesting to interview his client. NBC News citing multiple sources familiar with the process said the White House had ordered the FBI not to interview Swetnick. 

Ford, who testified before the committee on Thursday, claims that was sexually assaulted by Kavanaugh at a high school party in the 1980s, while Ramirez claims Kavanaugh exposed himself to her when they were Yale undergraduates. 

Swetnick claims Kavanaugh attended a high school party in the 1980s where she was gang raped. She did not claim that he is one of the men who attacked her, but alleges that he plied girls with drugs and alcohol to facilitate attacks on them. 

Kavanaugh denies the allegations of all three women.