Updated 10:03 a.m. | President Donald Trump suggested Friday that if Christine Blasey Ford had been sexually assaulted by Brett Kavanaugh when they were both in high school, then charges would’ve been filed against him.
That claim runs contrary to the fact that most sexual assault victims do not report the incidents.
Trump called on Blasey Ford to come forward with charges that might have been filed at the time.
“I have no doubt that, if the attack on Dr. Ford was as bad as she says, charges would have been immediately filed with local Law Enforcement Authorities by either her or her loving parents,” Trump tweeted. “I ask that she bring those filings forward so that we can learn date, time, and place!”
Ford told The Washington Post that she didn’t discuss the incident with anyone in any detail until a 2012 therapy session with her husband.
Earlier this week, the president put some distance between himself and his nominee, saying if Ford testifies and puts in a “credible showing,” he would have a “decision” to make about Kavanaugh as his nominee.
He had stayed on message all week, not lashing out at Blasey Ford while focusing on what he sees as the nominee’s qualifications. At a campaign rally in Las Vegas Thursday night, he said he was not going to mention “anybody else” as he heaped praise on Kavanaugh, saying he is “under assault by radical left-wing politicians.” But he did not hold back on Friday morning as he rose in Sin City.
Trump dubbed his embattled nominee a “fine man” who has an “impeccable reputation,” saying Democratic lawmakers “don’t want to know the answers, they just want to destroy and delay.”
The president and Senate Republicans are eager to move the nomination beyond a possible hearing next week to hear from accuser and accused. It is increasingly apparent that unless Blasey Ford can prove Kavanaugh assaulted her, Judiciary Chairman Charles E. Grassley of Iowa and Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky plan to move to committee and floor votes. Since Republicans have ample votes in the chamber to confirm him, Kavanaugh, despite the allegations, appears poised to tip the high court toward conservatives.
Before the rally started, Trump lightly criticized Blasey Ford during a brief interview at the Las Vegas Convention Center with Fox News personality Sean Hannity.
“You say, why didn’t somebody call the FBI 36 years ago?” he said, referring to the accuser without naming her. “I mean, you could also say, when did this all happen? What’s going on?”
After saying he wanted senators to take a “little delay” to look into the matter, Trump on Thursday night said of the hearing that it is time to “get on with it.”
An alleged sexual assault would not have been the business of the FBI, however. It would have been a matter for local Montgomery County law enforcement to look into, but Blasey Ford opted against going to the police.
Despite the president’s decision to begin criticizing Blasey Ford, he did again on Thursday night say he believes the Senate Judiciary Committee and American people need to hear her side of what allegedly happened. Blasey Ford and her attorneys, backed by Senate Democrats, have called for an FBI investigation of the matter.
They contend the bureau could reopen his latest background check; Republicans counter that a sexual assault is not in the jurisdiction of the FBI. Trump could order a FBI probe, but has rejected the idea.
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