Trump wants 'comprehensive' but 'quick' FBI investigation on Kavanaugh

President TrumpDonald John TrumpJulián Castro: It's time for House Democrats to 'do something' about Trump Warren: Congress is 'complicit' with Trump 'by failing to act' Sanders to join teachers, auto workers striking in Midwest MORE said Monday that he wants the FBI to conduct a "comprehensive investigation" into the sexual misconduct allegations against his Supreme Court nominee, Brett Kavanaugh, but also that it should be handled quickly.

ADVERTISEMENT

Trump also called for the FBI to conduct its investigation within the parameters of what the Senate GOP majority had set out.

"I think the FBI should do what they have to do to get to the answer," Trump told reporters during a press conference announcing a new trade deal with Mexico and Canada.

"Now with that being said, I’d like it go go quickly," he continued. "And the reason I'd like it to go quickly — very simple, so simple — because it’s unfair to [Kavanaugh] at this point."

Trump was questioned on the investigation following reports over the weekend that the White House had only permitted the FBI to interview a certain number of witnesses in its review of the allegations against Kavanaugh.

NBC reported Saturday that while the FBI was given the OK to review sexual misconduct allegations against Kavanaugh from Christine Blasey Ford and Deborah Ramirez, it was not permitted to look into claims from Julie Swetnick.

The White House has disputed it has its hand in the investigation, which the president authorized Friday after senators, led by Sen. Jeff FlakeJeffrey (Jeff) Lane FlakeFlake donates to Democratic sheriff being challenged by Arpaio in Arizona The Hill's Morning Report - Trump says US-China trade talks to resume, hails potential trade with Japan, UK Joe Arpaio to run for Maricopa County sheriff in 2020  MORE (R-Ariz.), pushed for a renewed investigation into the claims.

Multiple reporters attempted to ask Trump about the FBI investigation early in Monday's press conference, but he refused to answer and said he wanted to focus on trade. He fielded reporters' questions about Kavanaugh later in the news conference.

Trump in his remarks suggested he was open to the FBI talking to whoever they wanted to interview, but also suggested that his view of the investigation was colored by what the Senate GOP wanted.

"I’m guided by the Senate," Trump said. "I want to make the Senate happy, because ultimately they’re making the judgment. I’m not making the judgment."

Trump expressed no reservations about the FBI speaking with Kavanaugh for their review, and said it "wouldn't bother me at all" if investigators spoke to all three women who have made allegations against the judge.

The president said he expected the bureau to speak with Ford — who testified last week that Kavanaugh pinned her to a bed and groped her in the 1980s — and Ramirez, who claimed that Kavanaugh exposed himself to her during a college party in the 1980s.

"I've heard that the third one has … very little credibility," Trump said, referencing Swetnick. "If there is any credibility, interview the third one. But I want it to be done quickly because it's unfair to the family and to the judge."

Swetnick, who is represented by Michael Avenatti, alleged in a signed declaration last week that Kavanaugh was part of a group of high schoolers in the 1980s who intoxicated women so they could be "gang raped."

Kavanaugh called the allegation a "farce," and Trump has attacked Avenatti as a "low-life."

Trump indicated that the investigation was already underway as of Friday.

"The FBI’s really working hard and they’re putting in a lot of hours so hopefully they can come up with what everybody’s looking for," Trump said.

Trump has continued to stand by Kavanaugh despite the allegations, noting that the judge has undergone several prior background checks that didn't turn up any red flags.

However, Trump appeared to leave the door open to changing his mind depending on the the FBI's findings this time around.

"I don’t want to talk about 'Plan B,' but look, I’m waiting just like you," he said. "Certainly if they find something, I’m going to take that into consideration.

"I have a very open mind," he continued. "The person that takes that position is going to be there a very long time."