President Donald Trump said Monday that "if it takes a little delay" to confirm Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, that's alright.
Trump stressed that Kavanaugh has "never even had a little blemish on his record," and that the nominee had undergone several FBI background checks over the course of his career.
"He is somebody very special. At the same time, we want to go through a process. We want to make sure everything is perfect," Trump said.
The White House was reeling on Monday in the wake of explosive allegations by a California professor, Christine Blasey Ford, who alleged that Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her at a party when they were teenagers. Several senators in both parties have called for a delay to Thursday's planned Judiciary Committee vote on Kavanagh's nomination.
The allegations only became public in the past week, as Kavanaugh's confirmation seemed all but assured. Yet two Democratic lawmakers had known of them earlier this year. "I wish the Democrats could have done this a lot sooner," Trump said of the release of the allegations.
"But with all of that being said, it will, I'm sure, work out very well. You're talking about an individual who is as high a quality individual as you will ever see," Trump said, adding that he had not yet spoken directly to Kavanaugh on Monday.
Trump was speaking at the inaugural White House meeting of a group dubbed the President's National Council for the American Worker.
Kavanaugh has categorically denied Ford's detailed account of the incident, which was published on Sunday by The Washington Post. "This is a completely false allegation. I have never done anything like what the accuser describes — to her or to anyone," Kavanagh said in a statement released Monday by the White House.
Both Kavanaugh and Ford have signaled that they would be willing to testify before the Senate about the allegations.
Kavanaugh spent most of Monday morning at the White House, where he reportedly met with White House counsel Don McGahn.
NBC News reported that the White House is encouraging Kavanaugh to fight the allegations, and to refuse to withdraw his nomination.
Unveiled in July of this year, the President's National Council for the American Worker is dedicated to increasing opportunities for workers who lack college educations: reskilling older workers, expanding apprenticeship programs, and encouraging the private sector to step in and fund most skills-based workforce development programs. Along with the council, Trump established an American Workforce Policy Advisory Board.