>> I want them to do a very comprehensive investigation.>> President Trump insists he's not reigning in the FBI as it investigates allegations of sexual misconduct against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh. But Democrats and others are crying foul, saying the agency should also look into Kavanaugh's alcohol use.
I'm Andy Sullivan in Washington, where the FBI has been interviewing people who knew Kavanaugh in high school and college, as lawmakers try to determine whether he's been telling the truth about his past. The big question, of course, is whether he engaged in sexual misconduct. But Kavanaugh's drinking is also shaping up to be a key issue.
If it turns out he's been lying on that front, that too could sink his nomination. At the White House Rose Garden on Monday, Trump said Kavanaugh had been forthright about his drinking habits as a young man when he testified in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee last week.
>> I was surprised at how vocal he was about the fact that he likes beer.>> I liked beer, I still like beer.>> And he's had a little bit of difficulty.>> But I did not drink beer to the point of blacking out. And I never sexually assaulted anyone.
>> Kavanaugh insisted that a reference to a ralph club in his high school yearbook was referring to throwing up from spicy food, not throwing up from alcohol. But several former classmates at Yale University say this picture of moderation was not what they remember.>> I can unequivocally say that in denying the possibility that he ever blacked out from drinking, and in downplaying the degree and frequency of his drinking, Brett has not told the truth.
I have no desire to speak further publicly and nothing more to say to the press at this time. I will, however, take my information to the FBI.>> But will the FBI speak to him? The White House said Monday it's expanding the probe to allow FBI agents to talk to anyone they want.
But Trump says he wants to avoid a fishing expedition.>> I think the FBI should do what they have to do to get to the answer.>> Democrats say this amounts to a white wash. Now, Republican Senator Jeff Flake, one of the few swing votes here, says he'll vote no if it turns out that Kavanaugh was lying about anything, not just sexual misconduct.
>> We certainly want the FBI to do a real investigation. It does no good to have an investigation that just gives us more cover.>> That's why Kavanaugh's drinking matters, and that's why it poses a threat to his chances to sit on the nation's highest court.