SOUTHAVEN, Miss. (AP) - President Donald Trump ignited a crowd at a campaign rally in Mississippi 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 Tuesday 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.”
Arizona Republican Sen. Jeff Flake said Wednesday on NBC’ “Today” that mocking “something this sensitive at a political rally is just not right.”
“I wish he hadn’t done it,” Flake said. “It’s kind of appalling.” Flake is a key GOP vote in the confirmation battle, and while he said last week he would vote to confirm Kavanaugh, he also called for an expanded FBI investigation that resulted in a one-week delay. Flake has not said how he will vote if the nomination comes up this week.