Trump mocks Ford’s claims against Kavanaugh
Donald Trump ignited a crowd at a campaign rally in Mississippi on Tuesday by mocking a woman who has claimed she was sexually assaulted by Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh decades ago.
The audience laughed as Trump ran through a list of what he described as holes in Christine Blasey Ford’s testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee. She testified that Kavanaugh pinned her on a bed, tried to take off her clothes and covered her mouth in the early 1980s, when the two were teenagers. Kavanaugh has denied Ford’s allegations.
“How did you get home? ‘I don’t remember,’” Trump said at the rally in Southaven. “How did you get there? ‘I don’t remember.’ Where is the place? ‘I don’t remember.’ How many years ago was it? ‘I don’t know. I don’t know. I don’t know.’”
Imitating Ford, he added, “But I had one beer — that’s the only thing I remember.”
It marked the sharpest criticism by Trump of Ford since she came forward publicly with the allegation last month. He had previously called Ford a “very credible witness.”
Ford’s lawyer Michael Bromwich called Trump’s attack “vicious, vile and soulless.”
“Is it any wonder that she was terrified to come forward, and that other sexual assault survivors are as well?” Bromwich tweeted. “She is a remarkable profile in courage. He is a profile in cowardice.”
The president was in Mississippi on Tuesday looking to use his influence to sway the outcome of a low-profile election that could tip the balance of the Senate.
As Republicans fight headwinds ahead of the Nov. 6 midterm election, Trump sought to rally his supporters behind GOP Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith, who was appointed to fill the seat of Republican Thad Cochran, who retired in April. She faces three candidates — Republican Chris McDaniel and Democrats Mike Espy and Tobey Bernard Bartee — in next month’s special election for the remainder of the two-year term.
“She’s always had my back,” Trump said. “She’s always had your back. And a vote for Cindy is a vote for me.”
But Trump spent much of the rally lamenting the treatment of Kavanaugh by Democrats, whose attacks, he said, had taken their toll on the judge’s family.
“A man’s life is in tatters,” he said. Of Democrats, he added, “These are really evil people.”
He even raised questions about the drinking habits of Vermont Sen. Patrick Leahy in an attempt to turn the tables on Democrats who have gone after Kavanaugh’s beer drinking. Trump told the crowd they should do an online search for “Patrick Leahy slash drink.” Leahy’s office didn’t immediately return a message seeking comment Tuesday.
Some Republicans and White House allies have suggested the allegations against Kavanaugh can be potent political fodder in the run-up to Nov. 6, animating GOP voters who have so far lacked the same motivation to head to the polls as their Democratic counterparts.