Trump 'surprised' by Kavanaugh's talk about beer at Senate hearing

President TrumpDonald TrumpTrump takes shot at new GOP candidate in Ohio over Cleveland nickname GOP political operatives indicted over illegal campaign contribution from Russian national in 2016 On The Money — Dems dare GOP to vote for shutdown, default MORE said Monday that he was "surprised" at how forthcoming Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh was about his affinity for beer during a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing last week, where he denied a decades-old allegation of sexual assault.

"I was surprised at how vocal he was about the fact that he likes beer and he’s had a little bit of difficulty," Trump told reporters at a Rose Garden press conference to announce a trade agreement with Canada and Mexico.

"This is not a man that said that he was perfect with respect to alcohol," Trump added.

The president downplayed any suggestion that Kavanaugh might be unqualified for the Supreme Court because of his drinking habits. Trump noted that nobody questioned Kavanaugh about his drinking habits during his professional career, suggesting it has not been a problem for the judge.

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"I graduated from high school and while I did not drink, I saw lot of people drinking. They’d drink beer then go crazy," Trump said.

"Does that mean that they can’t do something that they want to do with their life?" he continued. "So it’s a very tough thing. I really believe that he was very strong on the fact that he drank a lot, and so I don’t know where there’d be a big discrepancy."

In testimony last week, Kavanaugh denied an allegation from Christine Blasey Ford that he pinned her to a bed and groped her during a high school party in the 1980s.

While Kavanaugh did not admit to having "difficulty" with drinking as Trump suggested, he repeatedly acknowledged he enjoyed drinking beer in high school and continues to do so today. He denied ever drinking to the point of blacking out.

The judge's drinking habits have come under scrutiny as the FBI conducts its investigation into sexual misconduct allegations against the judge. Multiple former classmates of Kavanaugh's have said in recent days that they believe the judge was not entirely truthful about his history with alcohol, citing experiences where they saw him act belligerently or drink to excess.

Kavanaugh's repeated references to beer became a point of mockery on social media and on "Saturday Night Live."

Pressed on whether it would be disqualifying if Kavanaugh was found to have lied about his drinking habits, the president criticized Democratic members of the Senate Judiciary Committee for their past controversies.

He noted that Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) provided misleading statements in the past to suggest he was a Vietnam veteran, when in fact he was never deployed.

Trump also hit Sen. Cory BookerCory BookerDOJ announces agencywide limits on chokeholds and no-knock entries Fighting poverty, the Biden way Top Senate Democrats urge Biden to take immediate action on home confinement program MORE (D-N.J.) in an apparent reference to the senator's admission that he groped a high school classmate when they kissed. Booker disclosed the incident in a 1992 column for his college paper.