President Donald Trump said the FBI has "free rein" in its investigation into the sexual assault allegations against his Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh Saturday morning. Trump also denied a NBC News report part of an NBC News report on the investigation's limits.
"The FBI as you know is all over, talking to everybody," Trump told reporters in Washington early Saturday before heading to West Virginia, reports CNN. "They have been all over it already. They have free rein to do whatever they have to do."
On Friday, the White House agreed to order the FBI to investigate Dr. Christine Blasey Ford's claims against Kavanaugh after the Senate Judiciary Committee put in the request. Although the committee voted along party lines to move Kavanaugh's nomination to the Senate floor for a final vote, Sen. Jeff Flake said he would not vote for Kavanaugh unless the FBI was allowed to investigate.
"I've ordered the FBI to conduct a supplemental investigation to update Judge Kavanaugh's file. As the Senate has requested, this update must be limited in scope and completed in less than one week," the president said in a statement after the committee hearing.
On Saturday, the scope of the investigation became clearer. People briefed on the investigation told NBC News that the FBI will also investigate Deborah Ramirez's claim against Kavanaugh, but not Julie Swetnick.
A White House official told NBC News that Swetnick's claims will not be investigated. One source also confirmed to the Wall Street Journal that Swetnick's claims will not be pursued.
Swetnick's attorney, Michael Avenatti, also confirmed that the FBI has not contacted his client.
"We have yet to hear from the FBI. When and if we do, we will promptly disclose to them all information and witnesses in our possession. We continue to request this opportunity as we have been doing for days. My client is telling the truth and deserves to be heard and not shammed," Avenatti tweeted Saturday.
Ford claims Kavanuagh sexually assaulted her at a party in 1982, when they were both still in high school. Ramirez accused Kavanaugh of exposing himself to her when they were Yale students. Swetnick accused Kavanaugh of sexual misconduct during parties in the 1980s when he attended Georgetown Prepatory School. She also claims Kavanaugh was at a party where she was gang raped.
Kavanaugh has denied all claims against him. "This is ridiculous and from the Twilight Zone. I don't know who this is and this never happened," Kavanaugh said in a statement about Swetnick's claims.
The White House counsel gave the FBI a list of witnesses they can interview, according to NBC News' sources. They said the limitations could make it harder for the FBI to look into other leads in their probe. However, Trump later denied this part of the NBC News report, saying the FBI has free range to interview any witness "they deem appropriate."
NBC News incorrectly reported (as usual) that I was limiting the FBI investigation of Judge Kavanaugh, and witnesses, only to certain people. Actually, I want them to interview whoever they deem appropriate, at their discretion. Please correct your reporting!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 30, 2018
During the rally in West Virginia Saturday, Trump again voiced his support for Kavanaugh, calling him "one of the most accomplished legal minds of our time," reports Fox News.
"Thursday, the American people saw the brilliant and really incredible character, quality and courage of our nominee for the United States Supreme Court, Judge Brett Kavanaugh," Trump said.
Photo credit: Mark Wilson/Getty Images