People noticed when Ashley Kavanaugh, wife of embattled Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, was stopped by her husband before she could answer a question posed directly to her during a joint Monday night interview on Fox News Channel’s The Story with Martha MacCallum.
Mid-way through the second segment, host Martha MacCallum asked, “Do you believe there should be an FBI investigation into these allegations and that a pause should happen and, you know, sort it all out? If there’s nothing to worry about and nothing to hide, why not have that process, Ashley? And then I’ll ask you that, Brett.”
Just before the FBI question was posed, Ashley Kavanaugh had previously answered two questions in succession–regarding Dr. Christine Blasey Ford‘s mental state. And Mrs. Kavanaugh appears to have understood that the FBI question was initially intended for her as well.
During MacCallum’s ask and immediately afterwards, Ashley Kavanaugh briefly opened her mouth as if to speak. But before she had the opportunity to do so, and after the spouses briefly glanced at one another, Mr. Kavanaugh decided to answer the question for both of them. He said:
I mean, I’ve said all along and Ashley, too, I want to be heard. I was first interviewed last Monday, the day after the allegation appeared by the committee staff under penalty of felony, and I denied this categorically and unequivocally and I said twice during that, I said, “I want a hearing tomorrow,” last Tuesday, a week ago.I want an opportunity – a fair process. America’s about fairness, I want a fair process where I can defend my integrity and clear my name as quickly as I can in whatever forum the Senate deems appropriate.
Notably, this isn’t a direct response. And, some of Kavanaugh’s partisan opponents have characterized his answer as a “dodge.”
But the nominee’s interjection–again, before his wife could even address the question posed directly to her–wasn’t lost on many of the critics watching Kavanaugh’s unprecedented Fox News interview.
Salon author Jared Yates Sexton noted:
Kavanaugh’s wife Ashley was asked if she thought there should be an FBI Investigation, he jumped in and gave an obviously scripted non-answer.
It’s readily apparent the Republic line is to avoid an investigation at all costs without directly addressing it.
— Jared Yates Sexton (@JYSexton) September 24, 2018
Think Progress author Aaron Rupar also pointed out the interaction:
Kavanaugh cuts off his wife after she’s asked if she thinks the FBI should investigate the assault allegations since her husband doesn’t have anything to hide. Ultimately neither of them answer the question. pic.twitter.com/BvYNSK7rdb
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) September 24, 2018
University of Alabama Law Professor and former U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Alabama Joyce Vance interpreted Kavanaugh’s interruption through a different lens:
Brett Kavanaugh cutting off his wife Ashley so she couldn’t answer a question put to her about whether there should be an FBI investigation was everything I needed to know about his attitude towards women.
— Joyce Alene (@JoyceWhiteVance) September 25, 2018
[image via screengrab]