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Kavanaugh accuser’s friend dismisses original allegations, detail also not mentioned in NYT excerpt of book

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Kavanaugh accuser’s friend dismisses original allegations, detail also not mentioned in NYT excerpt of book

Leland Keyser, a friend of Christine Blasey Ford who allegedly was at the party where Ford says Brett Kavanaugh assaulted her decades ago, now says the story “just didn’t make any sense.”

That revelation is contained in a forthcoming book, by New York Times reporters Robin Pogrebin and Kate Kelly, titled “The Education of Brett Kavanaugh: An Investigation.” But the Times omitted any reference to Keyser’s comments in a widely panned article this weekend by Pogrebin and Kelly that was adapted from the book.

NYT FORCED TO ISSUE EDITORS’ NOTE, ADDING INFORMATION THAT ALLEGED VICTIM DOESN’T EVEN REMEMBER SUPPOSED ASSAULT

The Times’ article instead included an uncorroborated allegation from a Clinton-linked lawyer claiming Kavanaugh had sexually assaulted a female student, without mentioning that the student did not recall the events in question. The Times later published a major update to include those details, along with an editors’ note, but not before virtually all major Democratic presidential candidates had called for Kavanaugh’s impeachment.

“I don’t have any confidence in the story,” Keyser told the reporters of Ford’s claims, according to outlets that have reviewed advance copies of the forthcoming book.

“Those facts together I don’t recollect, and it just didn’t make any sense,” Keyser added.

Specifically, Keyser challenged Ford’s narrative that sometime in the summer of 1982, Kavanaugh and his friend Mark Judge assaulted her at a party also attended by Keyser and P.J. Smith.

“Those facts together I don’t recollect, and it just didn’t make any sense.”

— Leland Keyser

Ford has been unable to identify exactly where or when the alleged assault occurred, or how she got home after the incident.

Keyser reportedly remarked: “It would be impossible for me to be the only girl at a get-together with three guys, have her leave, and then not figure out how she’s getting home.” Keyser told Pogrebin and Kelly, “I just really didn’t have confidence in the story.”

Christine Blasey Ford accused Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh of sexually assaulting her decades ago when they were both teenagers.

Christine Blasey Ford accused Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh of sexually assaulting her decades ago when they were both teenagers.
(Associated Press)

Last year, Keyser, speaking through her attorney, said she could not corroborate Ford’s claims. Keyser told the FBI she felt pressured by partisan activists and Ford’s friends to change her account and later revised her statement to indicate that she believed Ford despite her lack of memory of the episode.

Keyser’s initial statement was that “Simply put, Ms. Keyser does not know Mr. Kavanaugh and she has no recollection of ever being at a party or gathering where he was present, with, or without, Dr. Ford.”

The revised statement from Keyser’s attorney read: “Ms. Keyser does not refute Dr. Ford’s account, and she has already told the press that she believes Dr. Ford’s account. However, the simple and unchangeable truth is that she is unable to corroborate it because she has no recollection of the incident in question.”

2020 DEMS CONTINUE TO PUSH FOR KAVANAUGH IMPEACHMENT, DESPITE DUD NYT ‘BOMBSHELL’ GOING BUST

The Times’ authors, in the book, cast doubt on Keyser’s memory, writing that “Keyser’s memory might be affected by her struggles with alcohol and other substances.” Keyser, though, also informed the reporters of an apparent smear campaign directed at her, in an effort to get her to change her story.

Ford, in her explosive testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee last year, indicated that it wasn’t surprising Keyser wouldn’t remember the episode.

“She didn’t know about the event. She was downstairs during the event and I did not share it with her,” Ford said.

Ford added: “Leland has significant health challenges, and I’m happy that she’s focusing on herself and getting the health treatment that she needs, and she let me know that she needed her lawyer to take care of this for her, and she texted me right afterward with an apology and good wishes, and et cetera.”

Rather than mention Keyser’s latest remarks, the Times’ article instead focused on a new accuser mentioned in the book, who was allegedly sexually assaulted by Kavanaugh. But the Times’ article omitted key details from the book, including that the accuser herself had no recollection of the event.

The Times later published an editors’ note adding information about the accuser’s denials, but not before virtually all 2020 Democratic presidential candidates demanded Kavanaugh’s’ impeachment.

Throughout the day on Sunday, Kamala Harris, Elizabeth Warren, Beto O’Rourke, Cory Booker and Julian Castro, among others, declared that Kavanaugh must be removed from office, citing the allegation.

The Times’ update also stated for the first time that the alleged victim refused to be interviewed, and has made no other comment about the episode.

The only firsthand account concerning the supposed attack in the original piece, which was published on Saturday, came from a Clinton-connected lawyer who claimed to have witnessed it. The lawyer, Max Stier, did not actually provide his account directly; the Times acknowledged that “two officials who have communicated with Mr. Stier” had relayed his supposed version of events.

The Times did not mention Stier’s work as a Clinton defense attorney, or Stier’s legal battles with Kavanaugh during the Whitewater investigation, and simply called him a “respected thought leader.”

The Times went on to note in the article that it had “corroborated the story with two officials who have communicated with Mr. Stier,” but the article apparently meant only that the Times had corroborated that Stier made his claim to the FBI. No firsthand corroboration of the alleged episode was apparently obtained.

The Times’ revision stated: “Editors’ Note: An earlier version of this article, which was adapted from a forthcoming book, did not include one element of the book’s account regarding an assertion by a Yale classmate that friends of Brett Kavanaugh pushed his penis into the hand of a female student at a drunken dorm party. The book reports that the female student declined to be interviewed and friends say that she does not recall the incident. That information has been added to the article.”

The Times’ update came only after The Federalist’s Mollie Hemingway, who reviewed an advance copy of the book, first flagged the article’s omission on Twitter — prompting other commentators to press the issue.

The Times did not immediately respond to an email from Fox News seeking comment. But commentators made clear they felt the paper’s note wasn’t sufficient.

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“Should I be surprised at this point that the NYT would make such an unforgivable oversight?” asked RealClearInvestigations’ Mark Hemingway.

Wrote the Washington Examiner’s Jerry Dunleavy: “Crazy how the ‘one element’ that wasn’t included in the original article was the part where the alleged victim’s friends said she doesn’t remember it happening.”

For his part, President Trump unloaded on the Times, and suggested Kavanaugh should sue.

“The one who is actually being assaulted is Justice Kavanaugh – Assaulted by lies and Fake News!” Trump wrote. “This is all about the LameStream Media working with their partner, the Dems.”

He added: “DO YOU BELIEVE WHAT THESE HORRIBLE PEOPLE WILL DO OR SAY. They are looking to destroy, and influence his opinions – but played the game badly. They should be sued!”

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Trump rips New York Times over Kavanaugh piece, calls for resignation of anyone involved in ‘SMEAR story’

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Trump rips New York Times over Kavanaugh piece, calls for resignation of anyone involved in 'SMEAR story'

President Trump blasted The New York Times over its supposed bombshell report on Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh, calling on “everybody” involved in the “smear” to resign.

“I call for the Resignation of everybody at The New York Times involved in the Kavanaugh SMEAR story, and while you’re at it, the Russian Witch Hunt Hoax, which is just as phony!” Trump tweeted Monday evening.

“They’ve taken the Old Grey Lady and broken her down, destroyed her virtue and ruined her reputation… She can never recover, and will never return to Greatness, under current Management. The Times is DEAD, long live The New York Times!”

NEW YORK TIMES CRITICIZED FROM BOTH SIDES OVER NOW-REVISED KAVANAUGH ALLEGATIONS

Late Sunday, The New York Times walked back an explosive report about a resurfaced allegation of sexual assault by Kavanaugh from his college days. The piece by Robin Pogrebin and Kate Kelly, adapted from their forthcoming book, alleged there was corroboration of an incident in which Kavanaugh, as a college student at Yale, exposed himself to a female classmate at a party.

However, The Federalist’s Mollie Hemingway — who reviewed an advance copy of the book – flagged an omission and the paper eventually revised the controversial story after being lampooned on social media over the gaffe.

The update included the significant detail that several friends of the alleged victim said she did not recall the purported sexual assault. The newspaper also stated for the first time that the alleged victim refused to be interviewed, and has made no other comment about the episode.

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Trump was asked about whether anyone from The Times should be “fired” over the controversy. He called it a “fair” question but didn’t directly give an answer.

“I think The New York Times made another terrible mistake,” Trump said. “It’s a shame that a thing like that could happen… They used to have a thing called fact-checking. They don’t have fact-checking anymore.”

Fox News’ Brian Flood and Gregg Re contributed to this report.

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With New Mexico rally, Trump seeks to flip state won by Clinton in 2016

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With New Mexico rally, Trump seeks to flip state won by Clinton in 2016

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Donald Trump will hold one of his signature rallies on Monday night in New Mexico, a longtime Democratic stronghold his campaign has added to the list of states it hopes to win in the November 2020 election.

FILE PHOTO: U.S. President Donald Trump holds a campaign rally in Fayetteville, North Carolina, U.S., September 9, 2019. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque/File Photo

The last time New Mexico supported a Republican in a presidential race was 2004. Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton beat Trump there by 8 percentage points three years ago.

Trump’s campaign sees an opening in the state with Latinos, who it believes will swing his way despite tough immigration policies, including a crackdown on migrants from Central America and a push to build a wall along the U.S. border with Mexico.

Democrats have criticized those efforts. But a Trump campaign aide said the Republican president could win over Latinos who came to the United States legally and believe others should, too.

“Big crowd expected in New Mexico tonight, where we will WIN. Your Border Wall is getting stronger each and every day — see you in a few hours!” Trump tweeted ahead of his trip.

The campaign also views Trump’s support for the fossil fuel industry as a plus in the state, which is rich in oil and natural gas, said the campaign aide, who declined to be named. Trump is likely to discuss energy on Monday night.

Trump won the White House in 2016 with electoral votes from traditional Republican-leaning states and some surprise Democratic-leaning ones.

The Trump campaign says it wants New Mexico’s five electoral votes to augment the 306 electoral votes the president received in his first election, not create a separate path for victory. A candidate must get 270 electoral votes nationally to win.

Democrats, who did well in New Mexico during the 2018 mid-term elections, are skeptical.

“Last cycle, Democrats crushed Republicans in New Mexico because voters are fed up with President Trump’s toxic healthcare agenda and broken promises,” said David Bergstein, a communications director for the Democratic National Committee focused on battleground states.

“We take nothing for granted, but this GOP strategy looks like they’re concerned about a realistic pathway to 270 electoral votes,” he added.

Trump won electoral-vote-rich swing states such as Ohio and Florida in 2016, while also picking up Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania from Democrats.

The campaign says it is eyeing more pickups in 2020, including Colorado, New Hampshire, Minnesota and Nevada.

Reporting by Jeff Mason; Editing by Colleen Jenkins and Tom Brown

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California adds Iowa to ‘travel ban’ over refusal to fund gender transitions

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California adds Iowa to 'travel ban' over refusal to fund gender transitions

California announced Monday that it has added Iowa to the list of states on its ever-expanding “travel ban” list because of that state’s new prohibition against funding gender-transition surgeries under Medicaid.

The announcement by state Attorney General Xavier Becerra means that as of Oct. 4, California will no longer offer taxpayer-funded trips to Iowa for any public employee or student at a state-run university.

Becerra’s authority came from a 2016 California law signed by then-Gov. Jerry Brown that bars state-funded travel to other states that undercut LGBT rights. The list already included Alabama, Kentucky, North Carolina, Texas, Oklahoma and Mississippi.

WATCH: LIBERAL POLICIES BLAMED FOR WORSENING CALIFORNIA’S HOMELESSNESS CRISIS

Conservatives have called the law ineffective, inconveniencing, possibly unconstitutional and hypocritical. The state’s sports teams have turned to private funding to get around the restrictions, according to The Los Angeles Times.

A homeless woman smokes as she waits for city crews to clean the area near Los Angeles City Hall Monday, July 1, 2019. California is overrun with homeless individuals. (AP Photo/Richard Vogel)

A homeless woman smokes as she waits for city crews to clean the area near Los Angeles City Hall Monday, July 1, 2019. California is overrun with homeless individuals. (AP Photo/Richard Vogel)

“The Iowa Legislature has reversed course on what was settled law under the Iowa Civil Rights Act, repealing protections for those seeking gender-affirming health care,” Becerra said in a statement. “California has taken an unambiguous stand against discrimination and government actions that would enable it.”

The brouhaha began after the Iowa Supreme Court ruled in March that taxpayers could be forced to pay for gender reassignment surgery. Republican Gov. Kim Reynolds signed a law effectively overriding that ruling two months later.

At the federal level, the Trump administration has disputed the idea that sex-based discrimination prohibitions under law include protections for gender identity. The Health and Human Services Department, in May, angered progressive advocates with rules that both allowed doctors not to perform certain operations and stated that “gender identity” was not protected under sex discrimination law in health care.

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Fox News’ Sam Dorman contributed to this report.

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