Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., said Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh’s interaction with some of the members on the Senate Judiciary Committee during a hearing on sexual assault allegations lodged against him last week were a “little too sharp,” but said he could relate to his emotional, raw response.
“Well, when he ... walked out, you could see him open his binder and put his paper here and we knew that he was eager to testify. And I have to say that when I heard him I heard someone who I hoped I would sound like if I had been unjustly accused,” Flake told Scott Pelley during an appearance on CBS’ “60 Minutes” Sunday night.
“And to see his family behind him ... And it was -- it was anger ... but if I were unjustly accused that's how I would feel as well," Flake said. "I think his interaction with some of the members was a little too sharp. But the statement, the beginning I thought was pretty raw, but in keeping with someone who had been unjustly accused.”
Flake was one of six U.S. senators on the Judiciary Committee to speak with Pelley regarding the hearing, which took place on Thursday. One of Kavanaugh’s accusers, Christine Blasey Ford, also testified.
Democratic Sen. Chris Coons, who pushed Flake to support an FBI probe, said he thought some of Kavanaugh’s exchanges with Sens. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., and Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., “went over the line,” and that he was surprised and “struck to hear from a judicial nominee” that Democrats were attempting to block his nomination as “revenge on behalf of the Clintons.”
“I'm not at all surprised to hear that from other colleagues in the committee or on television, but I was really struck that I thought his anger got the best of him and he made a partisan argument that would have been best left to be made for his advocates and defenders on the committee,” he added.
Flake said he, too, didn’t like Kavanaugh’s mention of the Clintons, saying “it seemed partisan.”
“But, boy, I had to put-- put myself in that spot. You know, I think you give a little leeway there,” he said.
Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., told Pelley his mind was “made up” on Kavanaugh and that “it would take a dynamite accusation” to change it, “because here's the deal: Dr. Ford, I don't know what happened. But I know this: Brett denied it vigorously and everybody she named couldn't verify it, it's 36 years old. I don't see anything new changing,” he said.
Sen. John Kennedy, R-La., on the other hand, said he had an open mind.
"I've talked to Judge Kavanaugh," Kennedy said. "I called him after this happened, the allegations came out, said, 'Did you do it?' He was resolute, determined, unequivocal. But—but ..."
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