US President Donald Trump blasted The New York Times Monday after the newspaper updated a story that detailed a previously unreported accusation of sexual misconduct by Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh to say the alleged victim did not recall the incident.
The article made waves when it was published over the weekend, re-examining sexual assault allegations aired last year at Kavanaugh's polarizing Senate confirmation hearing.
The article dealt mainly with one of his accusers, Deborah Ramirez, who alleged that Kavanaugh waved his penis in her face at a drunken dorm party when both were students at Yale.
But it also included a previously unreported account by a Yale classmate who said he saw Kavanaugh expose himself to another female student at another party.
The report triggered fierce reaction, including from several Democratic 2020 presidential hopefuls who called for a new investigation, or even impeachment.
On Monday, The Times said its story failed to include key details: that the alleged victim declined to be interviewed and "friends say she does not recall the episode."
"That information has been added to the article," the Times said in an editor's note.
Trump seized on the story and the update to launch a full-throated attack on the Times, urging Kavanaugh to sue for libel and suggesting the Justice Department "come to his rescue."
"DO YOU BELIEVE WHAT THESE HORRIBLE PEOPLE WILL DO OR SAY," Trump tweeted. "They are looking to destroy, and influence his opinions - but played the game badly. They should be sued!"
Trump accused the media of working in lockstep "with their partner," the Democrats.
"The one who is actually being assaulted is Justice Kavanaugh - Assaulted by lies and Fake News!" he said.
Kavanaugh has categorically denied engaging in sexually inappropriate behavior.
The Times account was adapted from a forthcoming book by the article's authors, which detailed an assertion by the Yale classmate that friends of Kavanaugh "pushed his penis into the hand of a female student."
The witness notified US senators and the Federal Bureau of Investigation about the account, but the FBI did not investigate, according to the Times.
Last September an outcry by Democrats and some concerned Republicans prompted a one-week suspension of Kavanaugh's contentious confirmation process so that the FBI could conduct a fast-track investigation of misconduct allegations against Kavanaugh.
The agency reportedly declined to question dozens of potential witnesses or corroborators.
Several Republican lawmakers and party leaders joined Trump Monday in condemning the Times and Democrats' calls for Kavanaugh's impeachment.
Republican Party chairwoman Ronna McDaniel said the Times was "disgraceful" for leaving out evidence in order to "push their own narrative."
"Smears like this on Justice Kavanaugh make it impossible to deny the mainstream media's bias," McDaniel tweeted.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)
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