Kavanaugh gets combative with Democratic senator over questions about drinking
Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh on Thursday combatively responded to questions from Sen. Amy Klobuchar about his drinking habits.
Kavanaugh’s drinking as a high school and college student has become a line of questioning in a hearing about sexual assault allegations made against him. The Minnesota Democrat addressed her father’s own struggle with alcoholism during the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing, including the fact that her father still attends Alcoholics Anonymous as age 90 to combat his struggle. She then asked Kavanaugh if he had ever drank so much he “didn’t remember what happened the night before or part of what happened.”
“You’re asking about blackout, I don’t know, have you?” he responded.
“Could you answer the question, judge?” Klobuchar said, looking somewhat surprised by the response. “So, you have, that’s not happened? Is that your answer.”
“Yeah, and I’m curious if you have,” he added.
“I have no drinking problem, judge,” she said, her timing running out.
“Nor do I,” Kavanaugh concluded.
The exchange was a bizarre turn in a hearing full of surprises and Kavanaugh, seemingly aware that he had crossed a line with his responses, apologized after the committee took a short break.
“Sorry I did that,” he said. “This is a tough process. I’m sorry about that.”
“I appreciate that,” Klobuchar said. “I’d like to add when you have a parent that is an alcoholic, you are pretty careful about drinking.”
Klobuchar has written extensively about her father’s alcoholism, including in her 2015 memoir and in a 2010 profile with Elle magazine.
“He had two DWIs when I was in junior high and it was on the front page of the paper,” she told Elle. “Some kid used a key and carved drunk on my locker.”
She also recalled that after she watched her father struggle to put a diaper on her younger sister, a young Klobuchar wrote this note to her mother: “I think something’s rong (sic). Can you please check when you get home? I didn’t want to hurt his feels.”