President Donald Trump apologized on Monday to newly confirmed Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh for “the terrible pain and suffering” he and his family underwent while he was being investigated for sexual misconduct and other issues.

Trump’s comments came at a swearing-in ceremony for Kavanaugh at the White House. The president said the 53-year-old judge and his family were “forced to endure” in recent weeks.

“Those who step forward to serve our country deserve a fair and dignified evaluation, not a campaign of political and personal destruction based on lies and deception,” said Trump.
“What happened to the Kavanaugh family violates every notion of fairness, decency and due process.”

The president went on to cite the presumption held in the American justice system that everyone is innocent until proven guilty.

“You, sir, under historic scrutiny, were proven innocent,” Trump told the judge.

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Also on Monday, Trump slammed the allegations of sexual assault against Kavanaugh brought by Christine Blasey Ford and other women as a “hoax” orchestrated by Democrats in an attempt to block the judge’s confirmation to the Supreme Court, which ultimately came by a Senate vote of 50-48 on SaturdayBrooke Baldwin of CNN was one of several reporters to criticize the president for pushing this conspiracy theory.

Kavanaugh’s 50 “yes” votes were the fewest received by any Supreme Court justice in modern history. He will replace retiring Justice Anthony Kennedy.