US Politics

Trump questions credibility of Kavanaugh accuser, lashes out at Democrats

US president tweets that woman would have told police if alleged sexual assault by his Supreme Court pick in the 1980s was ‘as bad as she says’

PUBLISHED : Friday, 21 September, 2018, 10:41pm
UPDATED : Saturday, 22 September, 2018, 3:02am

US President Donald Trump on Friday questioned the credibility of the woman who has accused Judge Brett Kavanaugh of sexual assaulting her when they were teenagers, saying she would have reported the attack to law enforcement at the time if it were as bad as she has said.

Trump’s tweet marked a sharp break from the days after the accusation first surfaced, during which he refrained from attacking Christine Blasey Ford, a professor in California, and said she deserved to be heard by the Senate Judiciary Committee.

“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 said in the tweet, which was his first to mention his Supreme Court nominee’s accuser by name.

“I ask that she bring those filings forward so that we can learn date, time, and place!” Trump said.

Senate Republicans are likely to propose moving a committee hearing on sexual assault allegations against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh to Wednesday, CNN reported on Friday, citing two sources familiar with the negotiations.

The sources said Ford would testify first, then Kavanaugh.

In other early morning tweets from Las Vegas, Trump also contended that Kavanaugh is under assault by “radical left wing politicians” who aren’t interested in finding the truth about the allegation but instead “just want to destroy and delay”.

“Facts don’t matter. I go through this with them every single day in D.C.,” Trump said.

He also took aim at Ford and others who have called on the Federal Bureau of Investigation to investigate her allegations. “Why didn’t someone call the FBI 36 years ago?” Trump said.

Ford said in an interview published on Sunday that Kavanaugh drunkenly pinned her to a bed on her back, groped her and put his hand over her mouth to stifle her screams at a house party in the early 1980s.

US Supreme Court nominee’s accuser will not testify Monday but open to doing so later next week

Trump’s tweets came as lawyers for Ford continued negotiations with Republicans about conditions under which she might testify next week in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee.

In his tweets, Trump continued to strongly defend Kavanaugh as “a fine man, with an impeccable reputation” as he voiced mounting frustration with the roiled confirmation process.

The tweets came a day after a lawyer for Ford said that her appearing at a planned Senate hearing on Monday to detail her claims is “not possible” but that she could testify later in the week.

Debra Katz, Ford’s lawyer, relayed the response to top staff on the Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday, seeking to negotiate the conditions under which Ford would be prepared to testify later next week.

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On Thursday, Ford also dismissed a theory advanced by a prominent Kavanaugh friend and supporter that she was attacked by one of Kavanaugh’s classmates.

“I knew them both, and socialised with” the other classmate, Ford said, adding that she had once visited him in hospital. “There is zero chance that I would confuse them.”

Additional reporting by Reuters