Kavanaugh makes defense in Fox News interview

Kavanaugh defends himself in TV interview

(CNN) - Brett Kavanaugh launched a bold effort to save his nomination to the Supreme Court on Monday.

Two women have accused Kavanaugh of inappropriate sexual behavior. He's now calling it "character assassination" and vowing to clear his name.

The D.C. District Court judge went on Fox News and did an interview Monday evening with his wife, Ashley, by his side.

"I'm not going to let false accusations drive us out of this process, and we're looking for a fair process where I can be heard and defend my integrity. My lifelong record of promoting dignity and equality for women, starting with the women who knew me when I was 14 years old," Kavanaugh told Fox's Martha MacCallum. "I'm not going anywhere."

Ashley Kavanaugh said it had been an "incredibly difficult" process.

"But at the end of the day our faith is strong and we know that we're on the right path," she said.

In a letter sent earlier on Monday to the Senate Judiciary Committee, he said, "I will not be intimidated into withdrawing from this process."

Kavanaugh's forceful message comes as a second woman has come forward alleging sexual misconduct.

Deborah Ramirez, a former classmate of Kavanaugh's at Yale, told The New Yorker that at a party in a dorm room in the early 80s, Kavanaugh exposed himself to her.

"Brett was laughing," Ramirez told The New Yorker. "I can still see his face, and his hips coming forward, like when you pull up your pants."

CNN has not spoken to anyone so far who is willing to corroborate Ramirez's story.

Kavanaugh denies the allegations, calling them "smears, pure and simple" in the letter to Congress.

Top Republican leaders on Capitol Hill are continuing to push forward.

"Even by the far left's standards, this shameful, shameful smear campaign has hit a new low," Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-KY, the majority leader, said on Monday.

President Donald Trump is also standing by Kavanaugh.

"There's a chance that this could be one of the single most unfair, unjust things to happen to a candidate for anything, but I am with Judge Kavanaugh," Trump said.

The president was dismissive of the allegations.

"Tor people to come out of the woodwork from 36 years ago and 30 years ago, and never mentioned it, all of a sudden it happens, in my opinion it's totally political," he said.

That argument was echoed by White House officials attempting to poke holes in the report.

"It's starting to feel like a vast left-wing conspiracy," said Kellyanne Conway. "The New York Times says that they interviewed dozens of people over the last couple weeks, trying to verify the second accusation, and they couldn't go forward with the reporting. Not because they're supportive of President Trump's Supreme Court nominees, but because they have some standards."

Ronan Farrow, one of the authors of The New Yorker report defended his reporting.

"We did receive, however, several direct accounts from people who said they were told right after, or saw her describing it right after, and who independently of Ms. Ramirez, recounted the same fact pattern about Brett Kavanaugh doing this," Farrow said.

The new allegations are also re-energizing protests on Capitol Hill.

The chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Sen. Charles Grassley, R-IA, said he'll look into the new allegations, but Thursday's hearing with Christine Blasey Ford and Kavanaugh is still on.

Copyright 2018 CNN. All rights reserved.