President Trump on Monday opened the door to delaying Brett Kavanaugh's Supreme Court confirmation to look into sexual assault allegations, but predicted the process will "work out very well."
"If it takes a little delay it'll take a little delay," Trump told reporters at the White House. "I'm sure it will work out very well."
When asked if Kavanaugh should withdraw, Trump said it was a "ridiculous question" but added that he has not spoken with the federal judge about the accusations.
Trump was making his first public remarks since a woman came forwardto accuse Kavanaugh of sexually assaulting her when they were both in high school, a charge that has raised doubts about the prospects for Kavanaugh's confirmation.
But the president left no doubt that he will stand by his nominee to the high court, calling Kavanaugh "one of the finest people that anybody has known" and claiming the judge "never even had a little blemish on his record."
Trump also criticized Democrats, saying they "could have done this a lot sooner, because they had this information for many months."
The president, however, said the Senate should take more time to investigate the allegations against Kavanaugh if members choose to do so.
"We want to go through a full process," Trump said. "They’ll go through a process and hear everybody out."
Kavanaugh's confirmation process was rocked on Sunday when The Washington Post published Christine Blasey Ford's account of her accusations against Kavanaugh.
Ford said Kavanaugh pinned her down while trying to rip off her clothes during a high school party in the 1980s then put his hand over her mouth when she screamed for help.
Kavanaugh flatly denied the allegations in a statement Monday morning and said he was willing to testify the before the Senate Judiciary Committee to "defend my integrity."
An attorney for Ford on Monday said that Ford is also prepared to testifybefore the panel to back up her charges.
The controversy sparked several senators from both parties to call for another hearing in order to hear testimony from Ford and Kavanaugh.
Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Charles Grassley (R-Iowa) released a statement Monday saying his panel is "working diligently to get to the bottom of these claims" but stopped short of committing to holding a new hearing.
Grassley has come under pressure to postpone the panel's confirmation vote scheduled for Thursday in order to have both the nominee and his accuser testify before the committed.