In defending Brett Kavanaugh against new allegations of sexual assault, President Donald Trump has made it clear that he understands some things. He understands how people report sexual assault. He understands how drinking works. But what he really understands is college.
In dismissing the claims of Deborah Ramirez, Kavanaugh’s latest accuser, Trump said of Kavanaugh, “You know, when he said that really, what he was focused on was trying to be number one in his class at Yale, to me, that was so believable,” Trump said. “I understand college very well. I understand being No. 1 in your class, and I understand a lot of things.”
Kavanaugh’s defense has mainly been predicated on his image as a virginal, focused, hardworking young man, even as contemporaneous evidence suggests otherwise. In an interview with Fox News on Tuesday, Kavanaugh claimed that he was a virgin in high school and “for many years thereafter,” a statement which may be true, but is irrelevant to the claims leveled against him.
It could be just another instance of Trump saying something inane, but in this case, Trump apparently made the statement to suggest that Kavanaugh was so busy trying to be number one in his class that he couldn’t possibly have time to sexually harass a woman. But plenty of smart, hardworking, and successful people sexually assault women, as we’ve seen over the past year.
Trump has also claimed that he graduated first in his class at Wharton, but no evidence supportsthis.
Twitter had fun with the statement, though:
Trump: “I understand college very well, being number 1 in your class, I understand a lot of things.” [Narrator’s voice: He was not number one at Wharton.]
— Glenn Kessler (@GlennKesslerWP) September 25, 2018
He’ll always be #2 for me
— Spurious (@blockchagrin) September 25, 2018
Trump: Kavanaugh “said he was focused on being number 1 in his class at Yale… I understand college very well, being number 1 in your class. I understand a lot of things. When he said that, I understood exactly.”
Trump didn’t even make the Dean’s List his senior year at Penn.
— Christina Wilkie (@christinawilkie) September 25, 2018
I study higher ed and even I wouldn’t say “I understand college very well.”https://t.co/lH27ysKJz2
— Joshua Goodman (@JoshuaSGoodman) September 25, 2018
— Avery Tullen (@averytullen) September 25, 2018
“I understand college very well.”
It’s where he learned hurricanes are wet. https://t.co/zonjP2ncbu
— Jenn (@jenngulbrandsen) September 25, 2018
His own university, which was the focus of a lawsuit Trump was forced to settle, also shows he doesn’t understand it.
His so-called university was a fantastic example of how he understands higher education. https://t.co/yZPqYdHVqy
— Rob (@RHTownsend) September 25, 2018
Trump made the statement while speaking at the United Nations General Assembly on Tuesday, then suggested that the accusations are part of a “con” by Democrats to keep his nominee off the Supreme Court.
“It’s horrible what the Democrats have done. It’s a con game they’re playing,” he said. “They’re really con artists. They’re trying to convince—you know, they don’t believe it themselves, okay? They know he’s a high-quality person. They don’t believe it.”