Brett Kavanaugh; Donald Trump (AP/Getty/Photo montage by Salon)

Trump says the FBI should refrain from further probing his Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh

"It's not really their thing," President Donald Trump said of the Federal Bureau of Investigation


Matthew Rozsa
September 18, 2018 9:32PM (UTC)

From inside the Oval Office, President Donald Trump told reporters Tuesday that the Federal Bureau of Investigation should refrain from further probing his Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, who has been accused of attempted rape.

"They don't want to be involved," the president said, according to CNBC. "It's not really their thing." However, on the FBI's official website, the government agency clearly declares: "'Investigation'" is what we do — gathering facts and evidence to solve and prevent crimes."

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Trump was referencing the fact that Senate Democrats had referred the accusation that, as a teenager, Kavanaugh had attempted to rape one of his peers – future California research psychologist Christine Blasey Ford – and made her fear for her life in the process.

Enough Senate Republicans have expressed concern about Ford's story that Kavanaugh's confirmation process has been delayed in order to allow both sides an opportunity to testify under oath about the allegations.

"It's a process, and we all feel – speaking for all Republicans – we want to go through this process, and we want to give everyone a chance to say what they have to say," Trump said from the Oval Office. "We will delay the process until it's finished out. We want to get to the bottom of everything. We want everybody to be able to speak up, and speak out."

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Trump reiterated these thoughts during a White House press conference with the president of Poland, Andrzej Duda. "I feel so badly for him that he's going through this," Trump told reporters. "This is not a man that deserves this."

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"I feel terribly for him, for his wife, who is an incredible lovely woman," the president continued. "And his beautiful young daughters."

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Trump has a long history of criticizing the FBI, which he has accused of being led by individuals out to destroy his presidency as the investigation into potential collusion between his 2016 election campaign and the Russian government continues.

Earlier Tuesday, Trump used his presidential power to order the Office of the Director of National Intelligence and the Department of Justice, which includes the Federal Bureau of Investigation, to "provide for the immediate declassification of the following materials: (1) pages 10-12 and 17-34 of the June 2017 application to the FISA court in the matter of Carter W. Page; (2) all FBI reports of interviews with Bruce G. Ohr prepared in connection with the Russia investigation; and (3) all FBI reports of interviews prepared in connection with all Carter Page FISA applications."

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The president also ordered "the Department of Justice (including the FBI) to publicly release all text messages relating to the Russia investigation, without redaction, of James Comey, Andrew McCabe, Peter Strzok, Lisa Page, and Bruce Ohr."

Trump and his supporters have accused the so-called "deep state" of improperly surveilling his campaign by keeping tabs on Carter Page, and have claimed that bureau officials like Andrew McCabe, Peter Strzok and Lisa Page were all biased against him and motivated to pursue an investigation for that reason.

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Matthew Rozsa

Matthew Rozsa is a breaking news writer for Salon. He holds an MA in History from Rutgers University-Newark and is ABD in his PhD program in History at Lehigh University. His work has appeared in Mic, Quartz and MSNBC.

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