The Rev. Franklin Graham said the sexual assault allegations against U.S. Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh are “not relevant.”
“It’s a shame that a person like Judge Kavanaugh, who has a stellar record — that somebody can bring something up that he did as a teenager close to 40 years ago. That’s not relevant,” Graham said Tuesday during an interview with CBN News.
Graham’s comments come after Kavanaugh was accused by Christine Blasey Ford of sexually assaulting her when she was just 17 years old. Ford claimed Kavanaugh, who she said was drunk at the time, pinned her to the bed and molested her.
“I thought he might inadvertently kill me,” Ford, who is now 51 years old, told The Washington Post. “He was trying to attack me and remove my clothing.”
President Donald Trump has called for a “full process” to wholly examine the charges against Kavanaugh, who has vehemently denied Ford’s accusations. Two of the federal judge’s former girlfriends have also vouched for him.
Graham, for his part, believes the timing of the claims against Kavanaugh, which have been known by Senate Democrats for months, is purely political.
“We’ve got to look at a person’s life and what they’ve done as an adult and are they qualified for this position,” he said. “This is just an attempt to smear him. They couldn’t find anything else in his record and so this is just an attempt to smear him and to smear his name and put a black dot on it.”
The allegations against Kavanaugh were first shared by Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), who sat on the story for weeks before speaking out about it. Then on Tuesday, she reportedly noted she “can’t say that everything is truthful” about Ford’s claims.
When CBN News reporter Heather Sells pressed Graham on the message he is sending to abuse victims about the relevancy of their experiences based on how much time has lapsed, the evangelical minister seemed perplexed people would even care about Ford’s claims against the high court nominee.
“How far back do we go, Heather, in a person’s life? There’s a lot of things I’ve done when I was a teenager that I certainly am ashamed of and not proud of,” Graham said. “If we’re gonna hold people accountable for things that they did 40 years ago and say whether it’s relevant or not relevant — this is a tactic by the left to try to keep conservatives off the bench.”
The well-known preacher said it’s “unfortunate it’s working,” noting people are “up in arms over this, like. ‘Oh, this is such a disaster.’ You’re talking about two teenagers 40 years ago.”