When Donald Trump is in need of a friendly interviewer, he turns to Fox News. So that’s exactly what his embattled Supreme Court nominee, Brett Kavanaugh, did on Monday evening.
Appearing with his wife, Ashley, Kavanaugh gave his first TV interview since the sexual assault allegations against him came to light to Martha MacCallum, who was one of the first Fox News personalities to defend her former boss Roger Ailes after he accused of sexual misconduct.
Throughout the interview, Kavanaugh delivered a series of highly scripted answers to questions about his behavior, strongly denying any suggestion that he has ever in his life behaved improperly. Numerous times he repeated the phrase “I want a fair process where I can defend my integrity.” There were also flashes of anger, as he called the idea that misconduct could have happened at a party that he attended “totally false and outrageous.”
Gone was the joking tone he employed when he said of his time in high school a few years ago, “What happens at Georgetown Prep says at Georgetown Prep.”
Kavanaugh insisted he was focused on his studies in high school and yes, may have done some things he “regrets” or that make him “cringe” when he thinks about them now, but rejected outright the notion that he ever attempted to assault anybody. “I did not have sexual intercourse or anything close to sexual intercourse in high school or for many years thereafter,” he added, perhaps unnecessarily. Pressed on how long he remained a virgin, Kavanaugh said, “Many years after, I’ll leave it at that.” Neither of the two on-the-record allegations against him include sexual intercourse.
To MacCallum’s credit, she did spend more than 20 minutes going through the allegations and all their uncomfortable details. But despite her efforts, she rarely got Kavanaugh to stray from his practiced talking points. Ashley Kavanaugh betrayed a bit more emotion as she stood by her husband, saying, “This is not consistent with Brett.”
Later, when MacCallum asked Kavanaugh why he thinks multiple women would make up false stories about him, he refused to speculate about potential political motives—unlike President Trump, who called them “totally political” earlier in the day. “I just want a fair process where I can be heard and defend my integrity,” he repeated once again.