WASHINGTON — In the wake of allegations against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, President Donald Trump said Tuesday that this is "a very scary time for young men in America.”
Trump responded to a reporter's question on what his message is to young men in light of the Kavanaugh situation. The president said it is "scary" because "you can be (found) guilty of something you may not be guilty of."
The FBI is currently investigating sexual assault allegations against the current federal appeals court judge.
Speaking with reporters on the South Lawn at the White House, Trump also said he hopes the Senate will vote to confirm Kavanaugh by the end of the week but acknowledged it depends on the result of the ongoing investigation.
"A lot is going to depend on what comes back from the FBI," Trump said while departing for a speech in Philadelphia.
Christine Blasey Ford, who testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee last week, has accused Kavanaugh of pinning her to a bed and groping her at a house party in 1982 when he was 17 and she was 15. Kavanaugh vehemently denies the allegations.
Trump has said he found Ford's testimony "very compelling." But he has also stood firmly behind Kavanaugh, praising the judge's own testimony in which he denied the assault allegations. Trump has accused Democrats of unfairly trying to derail Kavanaugh's nomination.
Members of the #MeToo movement have cast the Kavanaugh nomination as a test of how society treats women who accuse powerful men of sexual misconduct.
During a news conference at the United Nations last week, Trump suggested he was concerned that #MeToo might go too far.
Asked then about his messages to men and women, Trump criticized the Kavanaugh case and said at one point: "When you are guilty until proven innocent, it's just not supposed to be that way. That's a very dangerous standard for the country."
In addition to Ford's allegations, Deborah Ramirez, a former classmate of Kavanaugh's at Yale, has accused Kavanaugh of exposing himself at a drunken party during the 1983-84 academic year.
Another woman, Julie Swetnick, has alleged that in the 1980s she witnessed Kavanaugh and a friend of his, Mark Judge, try to ply teenage girls with alcohol at wild parties where girls were sexually abused.
Kavanaugh said those incidents never happened.
The Associated Press contributed to this story.