White House

Sarah Sanders: White House Would Be open to Ramirez Testifying on Thursday

White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders holds the daily briefing at the White House, May 9, 2018. (Jonathan Ernst/Reuters)

White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said on Tuesday that the Trump administration would “be open to”  inviting Deborah Ramirez — the second woman to accuse Brett Kavanaugh of sexual assault — to appear on Thursday on Capitol Hill alongside Kavanaugh and his first accuser, Christine Blasey Ford.

Kavanaugh and Ford, who accused the Supreme Court nominee of pinning her down and attempting to remove her clothes at a high-school party, are scheduled to testify publicly on Thursday before the Senate Judiciary Committee.

While Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley has not yet invited Ramirez to testify as well, Sanders suggested during an interview with ABC’s George Stephanopoulos that the White House would not object to such an invitation.

“You’ve said that everybody’s voices should be heard, so does the president want Mrs. Ramirez to appear before the Senate Judiciary Committee as well?” Stephanopoulos asked.

“Certainly we would be open to that and that process can take place on Thursday. Again, the president has been clear, let them speak. But also let Brett Kavanaugh speak and let him tell his side of the story before we allow allegations to determine his entire future,” Sanders responded.

In a New Yorker article released Sunday evening, Ramirez accused Kavanaugh  of drunkenly thrusting his penis into her face during a dorm party his freshman year at Yale.

Kavanaugh has unequivocally denied the allegation and described it as a political smear, similar to that levied by Ford. Ramirez expressed doubts about Kavanaugh’s guilt to New Yorker reporter Ronan Farrow, as well as to several former Yale classmates. The reporters were unable to find a single eyewitness to corroborate Kavanaugh’s presence at the party in question.

Stephanopoulos pressed Sanders on President Trump’s tendency to believe the accused rather than the accuser with respect to allegations of sexual assault.

“It does seem that the president has already reached a judgment about their stories and there does seem to be a pattern here. When Roy Moore is accused, when Bill O’Reilly is accused, when Roger Ailes is accused, when Rob Porter is accused and now when Brett Kavanaugh is accused, the president every time consistently takes the side of the man.”

Sanders denied that Trump reflexively takes the man’s side after allegations of sexual assault, and she accused Democrats of refusing to address allegations that Democratic representative Keith Ellison of Minnesota assaulted his former girlfriend.

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