President Donald Trump on Wednesday said that the outcome of the hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday could cause him to change his mind about sexual misconduct allegations against his Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.
"I can always be convinced" Trump said, "It's possible I'll hear [the allegations] and I'll say, I'm changing my mind!"
Christine Blasey Ford is scheduled to testify about her alleged sexual assault. Ford alleges that Kavanaugh locked her in a room, pinned her down on a bed and attempted to pull her clothes off at a party when they were both teenagers. Kavanaugh has denied the allegation.
Speaking at a rare solo press conference in New York, Trump said Kavanaugh's accusers are going to have "a big shot at speaking and making their case" at Thursday's hearing. "And you know what, I could be persuaded," Trump said.
Asked if the three women who have alleged sexual misconduct by Kavanaugh are "liars," Trump demurred. "I can't tell you whether or not they are liars until I hear them, and I don't know what happened today, because I've been busy" at the United Nations.
The comments marked a significant shift in tone from the president, who has personally attacked two of Kavanaugh's three accusers in recent days. On Tuesday, the president dismissed an allegation of sexual misconduct made by Deborah Ramirez, a Yale University classmate of Kavanaugh's, because he said the alleged victim was drunk at the time she says Kavanaugh exposed himself to her.
Trump's attack on Ramirez came just days after the president tweeted that, "if the attack on Dr. Ford was as bad as she says," then Ford, then 15, would have notified the police.