Collins: I believe Ford believes her testimony, but no corroboration it was Kavanaugh

Collins: I believe Ford believes her testimony, but no corroboration it was Kavanaugh
© Greg Nash

Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) said Sunday that there was no corroboration for Christine Blasey Ford's accusation of sexual assault against Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh, though she added that she believes Ford believes her testimony. 

"I found Dr. Ford’s testimony to be heart-wrenching, painful, compelling, and I believe that she believes what she testified to. I don’t think she was coming forth with a political motive," Collins said on CNN's "State of the Union."

“I do not believe that Brett Kavanaugh was her assailant. I do believe that she was assaulted. I don’t know by whom and I’m not certain when," Collins said.

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CNN host Dana Bash pressed Collins on whether that meant she doesn't believe Ford, pointing out that Ford testified under oath that she was "100 percent" certain that Kavanaugh was the person who assaulted her.

Collins said in response that she presumed Kavanaugh was innocent and had asked herself whether it was "more likely than not" that Kavanaugh assaulted Ford.

"And there was no corroborating evidence that he did so," she said. "Each of the people that Professor Ford said was present that night have testified under oath … that they have no memory of this happening," she continued.

Collins also said during the interview that she momentarily thought Kavanaugh might need to withdraw after she heard Ford's testimony last month in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee, which Collins called "very compelling and painful."

But Kavanaugh's "forceful denial" that same day and "the lack of corroboration" led her to conclude that Kavanaugh should be confirmed, Collins added.

The senator also defended Kavanaugh's temperament during his testimony, which some have criticized for being overly emotional and partisan. 

“I think he reacted with anger and anguish as a father of two young girls, a 10-year-old and a 13-year-old," Collins said.

Kavanaugh was sworn in as a Supreme Court justice late Saturday after a contentious confirmation process and 50-48 Senate vote.

— This report was updated at 10:57 a.m.