WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump, at the White House ceremonial swearing in for Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh, offered a stunning apology to Kavanaugh for his experience during the confirmation process.
"On behalf of our nation, I want to apologize to Brett and the entire Kavanaugh family for the terrible pain and suffering you have been forced to endure," Trump said, adding that the confirmation process was based on "lies and deception."
"You, sir, under historic scrutiny, were proven innocent," said Trump.
Kavanaugh, who was officially sworn in to the Supreme Court on Saturday after the Senate narrowly confirmed his nomination amid allegations of sexual assault, was accompanied by his wife and two daughters at the ceremonial White House event.
Historically, White House swearing-in ceremonies have taken place during the daytime and after the justice's work on the Supreme Court is well under way. President Trump instead opted to hold the event before Kavanaugh's first official day and during an evening time slot, less than a month before the midterm elections.
Although Trump's Supreme Court fight may be over for now, he showed no sign of tamping down the rhetoric on Monday.
Hours before the swearing-in ceremony, Trump told reporters that the sexual assault allegations against Kavanaugh were a "hoax" created by the Democrats. Later that afternoon at a law enforcement event in Florida, Trump called the allegations "totally untrue" and claimed they were "brought about by people that are evil."