President Donald Trump‘s eldest son mocked Christine Blasey Ford, who has accused Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh of sexual assault, for saying she has a fear of flying—while also admitting Thursday that she travels by plane for work, vacations and family visits.
CNN previously reported that two longtime friends of Ford said the university professor had described to them feeling uncomfortable in enclosed spaces, suggesting the uneasiness stemmed from the alleged encounter with Kavanaugh.
When the psychology professor testified in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday, attorney Rachel Mitchell, the prosecutor Republicans hired to conduct their line of questioning, inquired about Ford’s history of plane travel.
“May I ask, how did you get to Washington?” Mitchell asked.
Ford replied, “In an airplane.”
Mitchell went on to ask about several other trips Ford took for both work and pleasure despite her fear of flying. Ford, a California resident, shared that she flies every year to visit family in Delaware.
Ford’s fear of flying was cited as the reason she could not grant Committee chairman Chuck Grassley’s request that she travel to Washington, D.C. to testify on Sept. 17.
“I ask that because it has been reported by the press that you would not submit to an interview with the committee because of your fear of flying. Is that true?” Mitchell said.
Ford said she “was hoping they would come to me,” but added, “I realized that was an unrealistic request.”
Ford also admitted that she flew to pursue her interests in Hawaiian culture, oceanography and surfing.
“In fact, you fly fairly frequently for your hobbies and you’ve had to fly for your work, is that true?” Mitchell asked.
“Correct, unfortunately,” Ford answered.
She added, “It’s easier to travel going that direction when it’s a vacation.”
Donald Trump Jr. jumped on Twitter to comment on the discrepancy.
“I’m no psychology professor but it does seem weird to me that someone could have a selective fear of flying,” he wrote. “Can’t do it to testify but for vacation, well it’s not a problem at all.”
Critics were just as quick to jump on Trump Jr., pointing out everything from his lack of understanding about anxiety, to his own marital and legal woes in the Russian-collusion investigation.
“Your lack of education on the subject is clearly evident, circumstance causing anxiety is in fact likely to aggravate an underlying phobia. Phobias are not particularly rational or controlable. Most adults know this, but it is not surprising you would insist you don’t understand,” countered Henry C. Davis.