As Christine Blasey Ford, who accused President Donald Trump‘s Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh of sexual assault, testified in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday, Sen. Orrin Hatch drew criticism for calling her “attractive” and “pleasing.”
When asked if he found Ford credible, the Republican senator from Utah said, according to ABC News, “Well, it’s too early to say. I don’t think she’s un-credible. I think she’s an attractive, good witness, but it’s way early.”
A reporter asked, “What do you mean by attractive, sir?”
Hatch replied, “Oh. In other words, she’s pleasing.”
Ford, a research psychologist and professor at Palo Alto University, claims that Kavanaugh, 53, sexually assaulted her at a high school party in the 1980s, where he allegedly pinned her down to a bed, groped her and tried to remove her clothes. Kavanaugh has denied the allegations.
Matt Whitlock, Hatch’s deputy chief of staff and communications director, tweeted, “Hatch uses ‘attractive’ to describe personalities, not appearances. If you search his past quotes you’ll see he’s used it consistently for years for men and women he believed has compelling personalities.”
Twitter users including Carole Radziwill were quick to react to Hatch’s choice of words.
A second woman, Deborah Ramirez, accused Kavanaugh of committing sexual misconduct when they were freshmen at Yale. Ramirez, 53, said that Kavanaugh “exposed himself at a drunken dormitory party, thrust his penis in her face, and caused her to touch it without her consent as she pushed him away,” The New Yorker reported on Sunday.
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A third accuser, Julie Swetnick, accused Kavanaugh of sexual misconduct on Wednesday.
Kavanaugh has denied all allegations. “This is ridiculous and from The Twilight Zone. I don’t know who this is and this never happened,” he said in response to Swetnick’s assertion, according to CNBC.
If you or someone you care about is affected by sexual violence, contact the National Sexual Assault Hotline: 1-800-656-HOPE (4673).