President Donald Trump held a rare solo press conference in New York after the United Nations General Assembly. This comes as his Supreme Court nominee, Brett Kavanaugh, faces increased scrutiny ahead of a Thursday hearing with one of his accusers. It's only the president's 5th solo press conference since taking office.
While Mr. Trump met with the world's top leaders Wednesday, it was domestic politics that dominated headlines, as attorney Michael Avenatti released a sworn declaration from Julie Swetnick, who claims Kavanaugh was "present" when she was "gang raped" at a party in high school. Kavanaugh is expected to testify, along with his first accuser, Christine Blasey Ford, before the Senate Judiciary Committee after 10 a.m. Tuesday.
At the U.N. on Wednesday, Mr. Trump said he will be meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un soon, announced he supports a "two-state" solution in the Middle East, and claimed China is attempting to interfere in the midterm elections.
CBS News correspondent Steven Portnoy asked the president what message he has for young men, given the allegations against Kavanaugh.
Mr. Trump called this a "dangerous" time for the country, and that anyone could be accused of anything at any time. The president brought up that he himself has been accused of things "many times."
"It's a very dangerous period in our country," he said.
He added: "In this case, you're guilty until proven innocent."
Mr. Trump was asked about an incident the day before when world leaders laughed, after he declared his administration had accomplished more than perhaps any other.
The president declared coverage of that event fake news.
"They weren't laughing at me, they were laughing with me," Mr. Trump said.
The president, in response to a reporter's question, said he rejected a one-on-one meeting with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau because he is unhappy with how Canada is treating the U.S. on trade, and Trudeau doesn't seem to want to change his approach.
"We're not getting along at all with their negotiators," Mr. Trump said.
The president said he told Secretary of State Mike Pompeo not to get into the "time game" over denuclearization in North Korea.
The president said that, whether denuclearization takes two years, three years, or five months, it doesn't matter.
Mr. Trump said he would "certainly prefer not" to fire Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, amid speculation that he might.
The two men are set to meet Thursday, the same day as the Kavanaugh hearing. But the president said he may delay his meeting with Rosenstein slightly, so as to focus on the Kavanaugh nomination process.
Mr. Trump, pressed insistently by CBS News correspondent Weijia Jiang, admitted that the accusations of sexual misconduct against him from multiple women "absolutely" affect how he views the allegations against Kavanaugh.
The president went off about how "women who got paid a lot of money to make up stories about me. We caught them and the mainstream media refused to put it on television." Their accusations, false ones, the president said, certainly affect his view of the Kavanaugh allegations.
"Well it does impact my opinion you know why, I've had a lot of false charges made against me," Mr. Trump said.
Mr. Trump was asked whether there would be any situation under which he would have Kavanaugh's nomination withdrawn.
"If I thought he was guilty of something like this, yeah, sure," the president responded.
Mr. Trump declined to say whether he believes the women accusing Kavanaugh are all lying, saying he would need to watch their testimony Thursday.
CNN's Jim Acosta asked the president why he tends to side with the accused, and not the accusers, such as in the situation of failed Republican Senate candidate Roy Moore.
Mr. Trump said that women could be accusers, too. The president said that any women who are invited to testify should be able to.
The president said that he "could be persuaded also."
Mr. Trump, asked if any of the women are lying and if there is anything that could encourage him to pull Kavanaugh's nomination, said, "I won't get into that game."
But he went on to tell those present that Kavanaugh is exceptionally qualified, and declared that the accusations are "false."
Fox News' John Roberts asked the president if there was an opportunity missed in not having the FBI further review the allegations against Kavanaugh.
"Well the FBI told us they've investigated Judge Kavanaugh six times, five times," but "here there was nothing to investigate," Mr. Trump said.
The president then went on to say Democrats are carrying out a "con" job in pushing the allegations and allowing the process to slow down. Mr. Trump said that behind closed doors, Democrats "laugh like hell."
Mr. Trump expressed his dissatisfaction that the Feds have raised interest rates, but said that happened because the economy is doing so well.
Mr. Trump took to the podium early, touting his trade talks with Japan, and updated trade agreement with South Korea.
Mr. Trump also said the U.S. is doing well with negotiations with Mexico. With Canada, he was less certain, saying the U.S. would say what happens.
Mr. Trump also criticized Chinese tariffs on U.S. goods, even as the U.S. continues its trade spat with the country.
"China is not open, but we're open to them," Mr. Trump said.
Mr. Trump's number of open-ended presidential press conferences -- in other words, not in the four-question format of joint press conferences with world leaders -- can easily be counted on one hand.
He did hold a lengthy press conference after his summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, taking a surprising number of questions for more than an hour.
But it's unclear exactly how long the president will take questions Wednesday night. On the White House schedule, which is not at all exact, it's scheduled for roughly an hour. Reporters are likely to focus most of their questions around Kavanaugh, with hours until Thursday's highly anticipated hearing.
White House press secretary Sarah Sanders, in announcing the press conference Wednesday, said Mr. Trump would discuss the U.N. summit and "news of the day."
Mr. Trump, in a meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, declared the latest accusation about Kavanaugh "ridiculous," and blasted Democrats for the way they're handling the nomination process.
"I think it's ridiculous," he said. "It's a con game that they're playing," Mr. Trump said, referencing the Democrats.
"They can do to it anybody ... other than perhaps Prime Minister Abe, because he's so pure," he added.
The president's remarks were in respect to claims made by Julie Swetnick in an affidavit made public by her attorney, Michael Avenatti. Swetnick is the third woman to come out with negative claims about the president's Supreme Court nominee.
President Trump took to Twitter Wednesday afternoon after Avenatti released Swetnick's declaration. Without naming Swetnick, Mr. Trump eviscerated Avenatti, calling him a "low-life" who is good at making "false accusations."
Avenatti is the attorney representing Stormy Daniels, the adult film actress who alleges she had a sexual encounter with Mr. Trump more than a decade ago.
"Avenatti is a third rate lawyer who is good at making false accusations, like he did on me and like he is now doing on Judge Brett Kavanaugh. He is just looking for attention and doesn't want people to look at his past record and relationships - a total low-life!" Mr. Trump tweeted.