Christian evangelist Franklin Graham, the son of late preacher Billy Graham, has weighed in on the sexual assault allegation that’s been brought against conservative Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh. His take? It’s just “not relevant.”
Franklin Graham, a big-time supporter of Donald Trump, said in an interview on Tuesday with Heather Sells on the Christian Broadcasting Network, “It’s just a shame that a person like Judge Kavanaugh who has a stellar record—that somebody can bring something up that he did when he was a teenager close to 40 years ago. That’s not relevant.”
The sexual assault accusation in question came from a professor at California’s Palo Alto University named Christine Blasey Ford (she goes by just Christine Blasey professionally). She claims that when she and Kavanaugh were in high school, around 1982, he drunkenly pinned her down and groped her.
The accusation came in the form of a confidential letter to Congress in July. On Sunday, she publicly identified herself in The Washington Post. Kavanaugh, for his part, has “categorically and unequivocally” denied her claim.
Graham thinks that the allegations made against Kavanaugh are just the Democrats trying to stop, or at least hold up, the judge’s confirmation proceedings. “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,” Graham said during the interview.
Sells asked Graham what message his views about the situation might send to sexual abuse victims, but Graham countered by asserting, “Well, there wasn’t a crime that was committed.”
But it seems he’s not familiar with the specifics because he then suggested that even if the encounter between Kavanaugh and Blasey did happen, “she said no and he respected it and walked away,” which is not at all what Blasey claims. Blasey actually said she was “fighting for her life” during the assault, and only managed to get away from Kavanaugh when another person intervened.
Still, Graham says it’s not fair to hold people accountable for things they did as teenagers.
He told Sells, “There’s a lot of things that I’ve done when I was a teenager that I certainly am ashamed of and not proud of. People are up in arms over this like ‘oh, this is such a disaster.’ You’re talking about two teenagers 40 years ago. That has nothing to do with what we’re talking about today about this man being a judge on the Supreme Court.”
But it very much has to do with it, because someone who sexually assaults another person, at whatever age, is not someone who should be a Supreme Court judge.