Sen. Jeff Flake: 'I don't know if I believed' Kavanaugh or Ford

Arizona Republican appeared on ABC's 'The View'

By KATE SULLIVAN, CNN
2018 Getty Images

Senate Judiciary Committee Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) listens to fellow committee members debate the confirmation of Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh during a mark up hearing in the Dirksen Senate Office Building on Capitol Hill on…

(CNN) - Sen. Jeff Flake said Tuesday that he's still not sure if he believes Christine Blasey Ford's accusation of sexual assault against Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh -- and he's not sure he believes Kavanaugh's denials either.

"If the mere allegation with no corroboration is sufficient to disqualify someone, we've entered a new phase that we probably don't want to enter," the Arizona Republican said Tuesday on ABC's "The View."

"So you didn't believe her?" asked "The View's" Sunny Hostin, referring to Ford, a California professor who accused Kavanaugh of sexually assaulting her when they were both in high school. Kavanaugh vehemently denied the claim.

"No, I don't know. I don't know," Flake said. "I don't know if I believed him either."

Flake eventually voted to confirm Kavanaugh.

On September 27, Ford and Kavanaugh testified in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee, of which Flake is a member.

"She was very compelling," Flake said. "He was very persuasive. I don't know. I don't know. I wish I had the certitude that some of my colleagues expressed."

"But I said on the (Senate) floor before that hearing we're likely to leave the hearing with as much doubt as certainty," Flake continued, "and that's, that's how I felt afterwards."

After the hearing, Flake called for a delay in the confirmation process and for the FBI to conduct a supplemental background investigation. The weeklong investigation was narrowly focused, top officials said, with sources telling CNN the White House controlled the scope of the probe.

On Tuesday, Flake said he would've liked "a broader investigation that started sooner" but that "it was thorough," and he added, "I wish that the country could have read that report."

On October 6, the Senate voted 50-48 to confirm Kavanaugh to the nation's highest court.

Flake defended Kavanugh's "stellar" judicial record during Tuesday's appearance and said the nominee "was a model of decorum and decency, and I think that should count for something."

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