Breaking his public silence for first time since the hearings last month, Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh, appeared alongside his wife, on Fox News Channel's "The Story with Martha MacCallum" tonight to address the sexual misconduct allegations that have put his confirmation at risk of unraveling.
As we detailed earlier, Brett Kavanaugh defied his accusers on Monday when he said, in a letter to Senate Judiciary Committee Sens. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), that he will "not be intimidated into withdrawing" his Supreme Court nomination and staunchly denied the accusations, calling them a "grotesque and obvious character assassination" and "a coordinated effort" to drive him out on the nomination.
Ahead of tonight's interview, President Trump tweeted about the interview and reiterated that "this is an outstanding family who must be treated fairly!"
And in tonight's first interview since the allegation, Kavanaugh began assertively, saying:
"I’m not going anywhere...
"I want a fair process where I can defend my integrity, and I know I'm telling the truth," the judge said.
"I know my lifelong record and I'm not going to let false accusations drive me out of this process...
I have faith in God and I have faith in the fairness of the American people."
In the interview, Kavanaugh emphatically denied Ford's claim against him, telling McCallum that he was a virgin through high school and for "many years after."
"I did not have sexual intercourse in high school or for many years thereafter. The girls from the schools I went to and I were friends."
KAVANAUGH: "I did not have sexual intercourse in high school or for many years thereafter. The girls from the schools I went to and I were friends." pic.twitter.com/uwUZPRD0ag— Saagar Enjeti (@esaagar) September 24, 2018
"I was never at any such party," Kavanaugh said.
"The other people who alleged to be present have said they do not remember any such party. A woman who was present, another woman who was present who was Dr. Ford’s lifelong friend has said she doesn’t know me and never remembers being at a party with me at any time in her life."
MACCALLUM: Nothing ever physical? You never met her? Never kissed her? Never touched her, that you remember?
KAVANAUGH: Correct. I have never had any physical or sexual activity with Dr. Ford. I've never sexually assuaulted anyone, in high school or otherwise.
Brett Kavanaugh: "I've never sexually assaulted anyone - not in high school, not ever. I've always treated women with dignity and respect." #TheStory https://t.co/ZexbiQZjf2 pic.twitter.com/t8tiVt5EMC— Fox News (@FoxNews) September 24, 2018
Kavanaugh added that he was "not questioning and have not questioned that perhaps Dr. Ford at some point in her life was sexually assaulted by someone at some place but what I know is I’ve never sexually assaulted anyone."
Additionally, Judge Kavanaugh’s wife, Ashley Estes Kavanaugh, spoke publicly for the first time about the allegations that her husband is facing, and how their two daughters are dealing with the accusations against their father.
"It's very difficult to have these conversations with your children, which we've had to have."
"They know Brett and they know the truth and we told them at the very beginning of this process that this will be not fun sometimes, just remember, you know your dad."
"It's very difficult to have these conversations with your children, which we've had to have." —Ashley Kavanaugh— Fox News (@FoxNews) September 24, 2018
Watch @marthamaccallum's full interview with Judge Kavanaugh and his wife Ashley tonight on Fox News Channel at 7p ET. https://t.co/QFmLfIwW4R pic.twitter.com/XQOPohjGzd
Kavanaugh's wife added: "This process is incredibly difficult - harder than we imagined, and we imagined it might be hard. But at the end of the day our faith is strong and we know that we're on the right path."
Ashley Estes Kavanaugh: "This process is incredibly difficult - harder than we imagined, and we imagined it might be hard. But at the end of the day our faith is strong and we know that we're on the right path." #TheStory https://t.co/ZexbiQZjf2 pic.twitter.com/KjUBtQJARh— Fox News (@FoxNews) September 24, 2018
Kavanaugh and Ford are both scheduled to testify before the Judiciary Committee on Thursday.
Earlier, President Trump said he backs Kavanaugh "all the way" and the accusations against him "totally political", and with other republicans joining in, it appears there will be a drawn out fight over his nomination. Republican senator Orrin Hatch said the New Yorker piece was a "smear campaign." Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) meanwhile said Democrats are engaged in "wholesale character assassination."
Full transcript here.