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Orrin Hatch offers confusing defense of Brett Kavanaugh.

Alex Wong/Getty

Utah Senator Orrin Hatch made comments Monday supporting Kavanaugh’s beleaguered Supreme Court nomination, but in ways that did nothing to settle the underlying challenge of a serious accusation of sexual assault. Speaking to reporters at the Capitol, Hatch related that he spoke to Kavanaugh who said, “he didn’t do that, and he wasn’t at the party.” It’s not clear which party Hatch and Kavanaugh are referring to since the accuser did not provide any details to identify it.

Hatch added, “So, you know, clearly, somebody’s mixed up.” Asked if the accuser, Christine Blasey Ford, was to be believed, Hatch indicated no. “I think she’s mistaken,” the Republican Senator said. “I think she’s … she’s mistaken something that I don’t know. I mean, I don’t know her.”

But in the same gaggle, Hatch also indicated that even if Ford were telling the truth, it wouldn’t matter. “If that was true, I think it would be hard for senators to not consider who the judge is today,” Hatch said. “That’s the issue. Is this judge a really good man? And he is. And by any measure he is.”

So Hatch’s position is: Ford is mistaken because Kavanaugh wasn’t at a party that Ford didn’t really describe but it wouldn’t matter if Ford were telling the truth because Kavanaugh is a good man. The philosopher Jacques Derrida described this type of thinking as “kettle logic”: the making of contradictory arguments with no regard for internal coherence. It’s only added to the atmosphere of highly charged chaos heading into the week.