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Mazie Hirono: Brett Kavanaugh is fudging the truth: The Hawaii senator gets candid about why she believes Kavanaugh's accuser, what it's like being the only immigrant in the Senate and her own #MeToo story.

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Hawaii Sen. Mazie Hirono gets candid about why she believes Kavanaugh's accuser, what it's like being the only immigrant in the U.S. Senate, and shares her own #MeToo story.Mazie Hirono thinks Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh is not telling the truth about the sexual assault he allegedly committed as a teenager. She thinks he wasn’t telling the truth to the Judiciary Committee when he claimed not to remember any sexual misconduct by a judge he clerked for who was forced to resign last year after allegations from more than a dozen women.  And the Hawaii senator says that if she gets to question Kavanaugh in another hearing, she’s going to tell him that the revelations over the weekend—when Christine Blasey Ford came forward to accuse Kavanaugh of attempting to rape her at a high-school party in the early ‘80s—now make her doubt what the nominee said under oath two weeks ago even more. “It somewhat stretches credulity, let’s put it that way,” said Hirono in an interview for the latest episode of POLITICO’s Off Message podcast. “I think he didn’t want to lie about it, so one way you get through that is saying, ‘I don’t remember.’” If Kavanaugh’s nomination fizzles and President Donald Trump has to name a replacement, Hirono says he better find someone whom she considers less of a conservative ideologue, or else prepare for Senate Democrats—especially if they win a majority in November’s elections—to keep the court seat vacant until after the 2020 election. “I think we’ve had those kinds of vacancies before, and we certainly had over a one-year vacancy with Merrick Garland,” said Hirono. “So the world does not come to an end because we don’t fill all of the nominees.” Hirono is short. She is quiet. She’s not much of a tweeter. She’s not running for president. She doesn’t have an outsize personality in a chamber bursting with them—her hobbies include making her own paper and folding origami cranes. She does pottery, too, but says she lacks the patience to use a wheel. Yet the unassuming senator has become Democrats’ firmest pillar of resistance on judicial nominations, refusing to vote for cloture for any Trump nominee, and asking every man who appears before her at a committee hearing if he’s engaged in physical or verbal sexual assault as a legal adult. Nominees “can lie,” Hirono said, explaining why she’s made that her standard question, “but they better hope that nobody that they did this to will come forward.”POLITICO's Off Message podcast is hosted by Isaac Dovere and is part of the Panoply network. Produced by Zack Stanton. Executive Producer is Dave Shaw. Theme music by Podington Bear. Get more at politico.com/podcasts/off-messageLearn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

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