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Kavanaugh apologizes to Democratic senator after defensive quip on his drinking habits

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Screen Shot 2018 09 27 at 2.19.11 PM
Democratic Sen. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota, left,
and Judge Brett Kavanaugh, President Donald Trump’s nominee for
the Supreme Court, during a public hearing in Washington DC,
September 27, 2018.

PBS

  • Democratic Sen. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota and Judge
    Brett Kavanaugh, President Donald Trump’s nominee for the
    Supreme Court, had a stand-off during the contentious public
    hearing surrounding the allegations from Christine Blasey
    Ford.
  • Earlier in the hearing, Kavanaugh said he enjoyed
    drinking — the legal drinking age at the time was 18-years-old
    — but claimed that he never went beyond social norms.
  • Kavanaugh answered Klobuchar’s line of inquiry on his
    drinking habits with a question of his own.
  • “You’re asking about blackout … I don’t know,”
    Kavanaugh said. “Have you?”
  • Kavanaugh later apologized to Klobuchar for his
    remarks.

Democratic Sen. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota and Judge Brett
Kavanaugh, President Donald Trump’s nominee for the Supreme
Court, had a stand-off during the contentious public hearing
surrounding the allegations from Christine Blasey Ford, a
professor who claims Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her when they
were teenagers in the 1980s.

“Most people have done some drinking in high school and college,
and many people even struggle with alcoholism and binge
drinking,” Klobuchar said to Kavanaugh.

“In your case, you have said, here and other places, you never
drank so much that you didn’t remember what happened,” Klobuchar
added. “But we have heard, not under oath, your college roommate
say that you did drink frequently.”

Earlier in the hearing, Kavanaugh said he enjoyed drinking — the
legal drinking age at the time was 18-years-old — but reiterated
that he never went beyond social norms.

“So drinking is one thing, but the concern is about
truthfulness,” Klobuchar said. “And in your written testimony,
you said sometimes you had too many drinks. Was there ever a time
when you drank so much that you couldn’t remember what happened
or part of what happened the night before?”

Kavanaugh answered: “No. I remember what happened. And I think
you’ve probably had beers, senator.”

“So you’re saying there’s never been a case where you drank so
much that you didn’t remember what happened the night before or
part of what happened.” Klobuchar asked.

“You’re asking about blackout … I don’t know,” Kavanaugh said.
“Have you?”

Klobuchar pressed for an answer: “Could you answer the question,
judge? So, that’s not happened, is that your answer?”

“Yeah, and I’m curious if you have,” Kavanaugh said.

“I have no drinking problem, judge,” Klobuchar said with a smile.

“Yeah, nor do I,” Kavanaugh said.

Klobuchar’s questions centered around allegations made from James
Roche, Kavanaugh’s roommate when the two were students during
their freshman year at Yale University.

A
New Yorker report
published Sunday detailed an allegation
that Kavanaugh exposed himself to Deborah Ramirez, a Yale
student, at a dorm-room party as onlookers watched during the
1983-84 school year. Roche said he was inclined to believe
Ramirez and thought Kavanaugh was capable of behaving that way.

Kavanaugh sought to downplay Roche’s remarks, pointing to a
redacted report to the Senate Judiciary Committee, a report he
did not “really want to repeat that in a public hearing,” and
said “there was contention” between him, Roche, and another
person.

“You should look at what I said … you should assess his
credibility with that in mind,” Kavanaugh said.

After a brief recess, Kavanaugh apologized to Klobuchar for his
remarks.

“I started my last colloquy by saying to Sen. Klobuchar how much
I respect her, and respected what she did the last hearing,”
Kavanaugh said. “And she asked me a question at the end that I
responded by asking her a question.”

“Sorry I did that, this is a tough process,” he added. “I’m sorry
about that.”

Klobuchar appeared to accept Kavanaugh’s apology: “I appreciate
that … I was truly just trying to get to the bottom of the
facts and the evidence.”

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