United States President Donald Trump on Monday apologised to new Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh, who has been accused of sexual assault and misconduct by three women, Reuters reported. Trump called the claims made against Kavanaugh a “hoax” and “all made up”.

The accusations had come as the confirmation process for Kavanaugh’s nomination began, prompting the judiciary committee of the Senate to put proceedings on hold for a week to allow the Federal Bureau of Investigation to look into the matter. On Thursday, the White House received the agency’s report declaring there were no corroborating witnesses to support the accusations made by Christine Blasey Ford, one of the complainants. Ford and Kavanaugh had testified before the Senate panel last month. The Senate confirmed his nomination by 50 votes to 48.

“On behalf of our nation, I want to apologise to Brett and the entire Kavanaugh family for the terrible pain and suffering you have been forced to endure,” Trump said at Kavanaugh’s swearing-in ceremony at the White House. “Those who step forward to serve our country deserve a fair and dignified evaluation, not a campaign of political and personal destruction based on lies and deception.”

Trump claimed the allegations were “all made up, it was fabricated and it was a disgrace”, BBC reported. “A man or a woman must always be presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty. And with that I must state that you, sir, under historic scrutiny, were proven innocent,” Trump said.

Kavanaugh said he would aim to be a force for stability and unity at the court. “The Senate confirmation process was contentious and emotional,” Kavanaugh said. “That process is over. My focus now is to be the best justice I can be. Although the Senate confirmation process tested me as it has tested others, it did not change me.”