Trump Questions Why Kavanaugh Accuser Didn't Call the FBI '36 Years Ago'
Donald Trump doesn't understand why Brett Kavanaugh's accuser waited nearly four decades to report his alleged sexual assault
President Donald Trump doesn’t understand why Brett Kavanaugh’s accuser waited nearly four decades to report his alleged sexual assault.
Trump — who himself denied accusations of sexual harassment or assault by several women during the 2016 presidential campaign — gave an interview to his Fox News pal Sean Hannity on Thursday before his Las Vegas rally, questioning the claims against his Supreme Court nominee.
“I think it’s a very sad situation,” said Trump, 72. “He’s an outstanding person and frankly Sean, to see what’s going on is just very, very sad. You say, why didn’t somebody call the FBI 36 years ago? When did this all happen? What’s going on? To take a man like this and besmirch?”
Christine Blasey Ford has accused Kavanaugh, 53, of pinning her down to a bed, groping her and trying to remove her clothes at a high school party in the early 1980s. Kavanaugh has denied the allegation, but Ford — a 51-year-old research psychologist and professor at Palo Alto University — is reportedly negotiating the terms under which she would testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee next week.
“Judge Brett Kavanaugh is a fine man, with an impeccable reputation, who is under assault by radical left wing politicians who don’t want to know the answers, they just want to destroy and delay. Facts don’t matter. I go through this with them every single day in D.C.,” Trump tweeted Friday morning.
In a second tweet, Trump added, “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. I ask that she bring those filings forward so that we can learn date, time, and place!”
“Let her have her say, and let’s see how it all works out,” Trump told Hannity on Thursday, stressing that Senate Democrats shouldn’t delay the vote much longer. “They’ve delayed it a week already, they have to get on with it.”
“I think everything’s going to be just fine,” he later said at the rally.
Federal surveys and data analyzed by the Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network (RAINN) show that two out of three sexual assaults go unreported.
The accusers who come forward are often humiliated, re-victimized and blamed for the incident in the process.
“Why suffer through the annihilation if it’s not going to matter?” Ford herself told The Washington Post.
Former Vice President Joe Biden was chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee in 1991, when law professor Anita Hill accused then-SCOTUS nominee Clarence Thomas of sexual harassment.
“It’s important that people understand how hard it is to come forward,” Biden, 75, told Today on Friday. “I always say to men who say, ‘Why so hard?’ — how ’bout if you were abused? … Would you want to relive that?”
“So much has changed about how the public understands the pressure on women,” he continued. “[Ford] should not have to go through what Anita Hill went through and the way the right went out with her on national television and questioned her integrity and not just her honesty, but questioned her behavior. That’s just not appropriate. You shouldn’t have to be twice put through the same exact thing. It took her a lot of courage for her to come forward. ”
Biden has been an outspoken supporter of victims, even writing the Violence Against Women Act. But he was criticized during Hill’s two-day hearings for not shutting down the insulting questions that came Hill’s way — something Biden apologized for on Today.
“Anita Hill was vilified when she came forward by a lot of my colleagues,” he explained. “[It was a] character assassination. I wish I could have done more to prevent those questions and the way they ask them. I hope my colleagues learn from that. [Ford] deserves to be treated with dignity. It takes enormous courage for a woman in the bright lights of millions of people watching and relive something that happened to her. And she should be treated with respect.”
“The woman should be given the benefit of the doubt and not be abused again by the system,” Biden added, reiterating that he regretted not being able to stop senators who attacked Hill’s character during questioning. “She got victimized again during the process. I believed her when she came forward, I encouraged her to come forward. … I hope that they understand what courage it takes to come forward. Treat her with respect. Ask tough questions, ask substantive questions. But don’t go after [her character].”
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Meanwhile, the White House continues to brace for Ford’s testimony.
An email from her lawyer obtained by CBS News said that she has been getting threats, and a source told the outlet that Ford’s attorneys laid out a number of conditions that would have to be met in order for her to testify next week. Kavanaugh could not be in the room at the time, Ford would not testify before next Thursday (so that she has time to prepare and ensure her safety), and Kavanaugh would testify first and have no opportunity to respond, CBS News reported.
Ford first wrote a letter about the alleged incident to Sen. Dianne Feinstein in July. Ford has claimed that Kavanaugh “held her down” and “attempted to force himself on her” at a party while they were both students in high school. Kavanaugh had been drinking at the time of the incident, she alleged. To drown out the sound of her protests, she claimed that he turned up music in the room they were in.
“I thought he might inadvertently kill me,” Ford told The Washington Post. “He was trying to attack me and remove my clothing.”
Kavanaugh has “categorically and unequivocally” denied the woman’s allegations, telling The New Yorker, “I did not do this back in high school or at any time.”
The White House went on to claim that the letter was merely an “11th-hour attempt to delay” Kavanaugh’s nomination, according to a statement provided to PEOPLE.
If you or someone you care about is affected by sexual violence, contact the National Sexual Assault Hotline: 1-800-656-HOPE (4673).