Presidential counselor Kellyanne Conway said on Sunday that she had been a victim of sexual assault. Her allegation came during a live interview on CNN’s “State of the Union” while defending Judge Brett Kavanaugh against sexual misconduct allegations he is facing.
“I feel very empathetic, frankly, for victims of sexual assault and sexual harassment and rape,” Conway told host Jake Tapper. “I’m a victim of sexual assault. I don’t expect Judge Kavanaugh or Jake Tapper or Jeff Flake or anybody to be held responsible for that. You have to be responsible for your own conduct.”
Conway didn’t offer any additional specifics.
Tapper was seemingly taken aback by her statement, telling the Trump confidante that he was deeply sorry for her experience.
“This is the first time I’ve ever heard you talk about something personal like that and I’m really sorry,” said Tapper, who then asked how she could work for President Trump, who has been accused of sexual misconduct by numerous women. “You work for a president who says all the women who have accuse him are lying”
Conway cut him off, urging him not to make “everything” about Trump and “conflate” her experience with any allegations he is facing.
Conway’s statement comes after Brett Kavanaugh’s Supreme Court nomination suffered a further delay on Friday when Sen. Jeff Flake and a small group of centrist GOP senators said they would not feel comfortable voting on Kavanaugh until the FBI investigated the sexual misconduct accusations brought against him by Dr. Christine Blasey Ford and other women.
Republicans had resisted the probe, citing six prior FBI investigations into the Kavanaugh’s record, but their hand was forced given their slight Senate majority. The investigation will last no more than a week and will be limited in scope. Investigators are set to question Kavanaugh’s high school friend Mark Judge, who Dr. Ford says was in the room during the alleged sexual assault. Judge has denied the claim in a sworn statement.
Kavanaugh has also denied all allegations of sexual misconduct against him, telling the Senate Judiciary Committee last week that Democrats were engaging in a “calculated and orchestrated political hit” against him as part of a partisan plan to destroy him as “revenge on behalf of the Clintons” for his work in the Monica Lewinsky investigation.