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‘Not relevant:’ Franklin Graham weighs in on Kavanaugh sexual assault accusations

Evangelist Franklin Graham said sexual assault accusations against U.S. Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh from when he was a teenager are “not relevant” and that the U.S. Senate should confirm his nomination.

Graham made the remarks in an interview Tuesday with the Christian Broadcasting Network.

Asked by the CBN interviewer what kind of message his remarks send to sexual abuse victims, Graham replied: “Well, there wasn’t a crime that was committed. These are two teenagers and it’s obvious that she said no and he respected it and walked away.”

According to an article published by the Washington Post Sunday, Christine Blasey Ford said when they were in high school in the early 1980s, “Kavanaugh pinned her to a bed on her back and groped her over her clothes, grinding his body against hers and clumsily attempting to pull off her one-piece bathing suit and the clothing she wore over it.”

The Post reported that Ford said Kavanaugh put his hand over her mouth when she tried to scream for help. Both were in high school in Maryland at the time.

Ford is a 51-year-old California university professor who graduated from UNC Chapel Hill in 1988, according to General Alumni Association records, McClatchy’s Washington, D.C., bureau reported.

In a series of four tweets about the sexual assault accusations, Graham blamed U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., and “the liberal progressives in the Democratic Party” for raising the allegation.

“Judge Kavanaugh has a stellar reputation of judicial excellence, integrity, & character,” Graham said in another of his tweets Monday. “Now, someone is accusing him of an incident when he was in high school. Judge Kavanaugh has made it clear: ‘I did not do this back in high school or at any time.’”

Graham told CBN he’s “ashamed of” many things he did as a teenager.

In his memoir, “Rebel With a Cause,” Graham wrote about rebelling during his youth against his family’s strict Christian ways.

“I knew plenty about tobacco. I sneaked cigarettes every chance I got and would get a beer whenever I could manage it,” he wrote. Graham also wrote about getting into fistfights and getting kicked out of one college.

Charlotte Observer staff writer Tim Funk contributed.

Joe Marusak: 704-358-5067; @jmarusak

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