While pleading for due process, Kelly says #MeToo doesn’t mean “all women must be believed … some lie.”
It got heated on "Megyn Kelly TODAY" this morning, as the host got into it with a panel over the new sexual misconduct allegations made against Supreme Court pick Judge Brett Kavanaugh.
Kelly was joined by NBC’s Hallie Jackson, PBS’ Amy Holmes and Rolling Stone contributing editor Joe Levy, as they discussed a new allegation from Deborah Ramirez, a former classmate of Kavanaugh from Yale. Ramirez claims Kavanaugh exposed himself to her during a drinking game in a college dorm room.
Ramirez’s allegation comes after Christine Blasey Ford accused Kavanaugh of sexually assaulting her when she was in high school. Kavanaugh has denied both accusations, calling Ramirez’s a "smear" and saying he’ll testify Thursday to defend himself from "these last-minute allegations."
"What a mess, that’s a clean version of what I was thinking in my head," Kelly said at the top of the conversation on Monday morning.
Citing President Trump calling the entire situation "totally political," Kelly agreed that that’s what the debate has become. "Whether you believe these women or you don’t, it’s become completely political because it’s a Supreme Court confirmation hearing," she said. "It’s not like a regular #MeToo allegation, these have come up in the context of a Supreme Court confirmation proceeding."
When Levy and Holmes then tried to say the FBI should conduct an independent investigation into the matter, Kelly wasn’t having it.
"[The FBI’s] not a super-secret special police force to investigate super-secret really bad things the nominee may have done. That’s why we have congressional investigators," she said. "The Republicans actually are investigating the Christine Blasey Ford allegations and the Democrats have refused to do so! They’re standing there in protest saying the FBI needs to do it, which doesn’t really help us."
Kelly then brought up that one of Ford’s lawyers, Debra Katz, made statements back in 1998 that Paula Jones wouldn’t have much of a case against then-president Bill Clinton.
"One of her lawyers denied that it was sexual harassment when Bill Clinton allegedly exposed himself to Paula Jones," she said. "That woman saw sexual harassment very differently when the accused was a Democrat. Christine Blasey Ford did her no favors by aligning with these partisan operatives in my view."
Levy made sure to point out that Kavanaugh’s stance on the Clinton investigation "have changed" in the 20 years since, but Kelly cut him off.
"He’s saying he didn’t do it, Joe!" she shot back. "He’s not saying that those allegations against him amount to nothing if he did! He’s saying he didn’t do it!"
When Levy said he was just trying to point out how people’s minds "on both sides have changed over time," she again shot back, "No, absolutely not. You have no evidence for that whatsoever. What he’s saying is he didn’t do the thing he’s being accused of. He’s not trying to justify it if it’s proven."
While Kelly called Trump’s tweets about the Kavanaugh case "utterly diminishing of all victims of sexual assault," she went on to say that, in her view, "the #MeToo movement does not mean all women must be believed. All women must get a fair hearing. They must be listened to with an open mind."
"But it also true, I believe, the vast majority of the women who come forward with these allegations are telling the truth because they have such skin in the game if they do this and it’s not true, but some lie, we’ve seen that" she continued. "Let’s have an open fair hearing and let the people make up their minds after they hear her testify and him too. He too is entitled to due process."
She then brought up Sen. Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii) saying Kavanaugh needs to "shut up and step up" to the allegations, getting fired up in the process.
"Look, if he’s been wrongly accused of attempted rape, he does not need to shut up," she said. "He needs to defend himself and we need to be, at least, if you’re a U.S. senator, please give us at least the semblance of fairness, just at least the appearance of fairness to both sides would be really appreciated."
Watch the full exchange above.
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