The White House on Wednesday turned up the heat on vulnerable red-state Democrats, with a senior adviser to President Donald Trump warning them against being “complicit” in a scheme to “destroy” Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.
Kellyanne Conway, a senior adviser to Trump, sharply criticized Senate Judiciary ranking member Dianne Feinstein for an “unpardonable sin” to have kept a letter from Christine Blasey Ford with accusations against the nominee to herself.
“She wanted to remain anonymous. They’ve made her a household name. People recognize her now. It’s not fair to her. It’s not fair to Judge Kavanaugh,” Conway told reporters outside the White House.
She called on the Senate to “have a vote on the man” and “vote him up or down,” which Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Kentucky, says the chamber will do this week as it awaits a FBI report about a probe of allegations against Kavanaugh.
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“If I were one of these red-state Democrats, including but not exclusively the three who voted for Justice Neil Gorsuch … I’d be very concerned that I am stuck being complicit in a process that is trying to destroy a man that revealed the identity of a woman who wanted to remain anonymous,” Conway said, referring to Sens. Joe Manchin of West Virginia, Joe Donnelly of Indiana and Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota.
Conway did not respond directly when pressed about Trump mocking and imitating Ford during a Tuesday night campaign rally in front of thousands of supporters.
“How did you get home? I don’t remember. How’d 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,” Trump said, flailing his arms around to mock her as he has some of his political foes or journalists during similar events in the past.
Taking a cue from their boss, Conway and other senior White House aides are steadily upping their criticism of Ford. But they also continue blasting Feinstein and other Democrats for how they have handled the accusations — and treated the accuser.
Conway, as Trump did Tuesday night, highlighted Ford’s “memory lapses” and “factual inconsistencies.” She also noted sharply, “The woman has been accommodated by all of us,” and contended that Ford has been “treated like a Faberge Egg.”
Trump shared similar sentiments in a tweet shortly after Conway spoke to reporters, saying “Voters are really angry at the vicious and despicable way Democrats are treating Brett Kavanaugh!”
I see it each time I go out to Rallies in order to help some of our great Republican candidates. VOTERS ARE REALLY ANGRY AT THE VICIOUS AND DESPICABLE WAY DEMOCRATS ARE TREATING BRETT KAVANAUGH! He and his wonderful family deserve much better.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 3, 2018
And in a new twist, Conway did not hide that polling data showing support for Kavanaugh in competitive states is circulating throughout the West Wing.
“She was used for their purposes. They can either be complicit in that process or they can vote for Judge Kavanaugh, which is the will of their own voters in their states,” she said of the three red-state Democrats. “Go look at the polls. The people in their states — which President Trump won by significant double digits — want him to be confirmed.
Hours earlier in Mississippi, the rally audience laughed as Trump mocked Ford and used the Kavanaugh drama to warn his supporters that men are under attack — and that a single allegation can ruin their lives.
“Think of your son,” he said. “Think of your husband.” The crowd responded by chanting “Lock her up” — only this time they appeared to want Ford thrown in jail rather than Hillary Clinton.