Updated on September 26 at 6:30 p.m. ET
At a rambling, often self-contradictory press conference Wednesday afternoon, President Donald Trump baselessly claimed a vast conspiracy to concoct sexual-misconduct charges against him and offered a surprisingly weak defense of Judge Brett Kavanaugh, the Supreme Court nominee who has been accused by three women of sexual misconduct.
“I’ve had numerous accusations about me … They made false statements about me knowing they were false,” Trump said. When a reporter asked why the president always seemed to give the benefit of the doubt to men accused of sexual misconduct, he acknowledged that the allegations against him colored his response to the claims made against Kavanaugh. “It does impact my opinion … because I’ve had a lot of false charges made at me.”
More broadly, Trump offered a broad critique of the #MeToo movement and the growing calls for accountability in cases of sexual misconduct, implying they had gone too far.
“This is beyond Supreme Court. This has everything to do with our country,” Trump said. “When you are guilty until proven innocent, it is just not supposed to be that way ... In this case you are guilty until proven innocent. I think that is a very, very dangerous standard for our country.”