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Sen. Jeff Flake calls Trump’s mockery of Christine Blasey Ford ‘appalling’

By Rob Tornoe • Oct 3, 2018 at 12:11 PM

At a political rally in Mississippi Tuesday night, President Trump mocked a woman who testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee that Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her at a party while they both were in high school.

"I had one beer! How did you get home? 'I don't remember,'" Trump said, mocking Christine Blasey Ford's recollection of events to laughter from the large crowd gathered in Southaven, Miss. "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.'"

"‘Upstairs? Downstairs? Where was it?’ ‘I don’t know. But I had one beer. That’s the only thing I remember,’” Trump said, acting as Ford.

Ford told the Judiciary Committee that she was assaulted in an upstairs bedroom by Kavanaugh and his friend, Mark Judge. Ford alleged that Kavanaugh pinned her on the bed, attempted to remove her clothes, and covered her mouth when she attempted to scream. "I thought he was going to accidentally kill me," Ford said of Kavanaugh, citing his inebriated state.

Kavanaugh has vehemently denied the allegations of Ford and two other women — Deborah Ramirez and Julie Swetnick.

The comments marked a dramatic reversal for Trump, who just last week told reporters he thought Ford's testimony was "very compelling" and called her a "very credible witness."

Sen. Jeff Flake of Arizona, one of three Republicans expected to be swing votes on Kavanaugh's nomination, told the Today show he was appalled by Trump's comments about Ford and her testimony.

"There's no time and no place for remarks like that. But to discuss something this sensitive at a political rally is just not right…It's kind of appalling," Flake said, standing next to his colleague, Democratic Sen. Chris Coons of Delaware.

Here are other recent developments:

Michael Proctor and Mark Osler, two former Yale classmates of Kavanaugh, withdrew their endorsements of his Supreme Court nomination due to his testimony last week.

"In our view that testimony was partisan, and not judicious, and inconsistent with what we expect from a Justice of the Supreme Court, particularly dealing with a co-equal branch of government," Procter and Osler wrote in a letter to Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R, Iowa) and ranking member Dianne Feinstein (D., Calif).

Procter and Osler were among the 27 classmates who wrote a letter backing Kavanaugh's nomination in August. On Monday, three former Kavanaugh clerks who had also previously supported his nomination said in a letter to Grassley and Feinstein they were "deeply troubled" by the allegations he faces.

The New York Times obtained a letter written by Kavanaugh in 1983 that appears to contract claims the Supreme Court nominee made during his testimony to the Senate Judiciary Committee.

The letter, written ahead of a "beach week" in Ocean City, Md., includes references to drinking and women, and ends with an instruction to warn neighbors "that we're loud, obnoxious drunks with prolific pukers among us."

Through a lawyer, Kavanaugh confirmed to the Times he had written the letter to organize "Beach Week" in the summer of 1983. Kerri Kupec, a White House spokeswoman, said in a statement: "It seems The New York Times is committed to embarrassing Judge Kavanaugh with three-decade-old stories of adolescent drinking."

The issue of Kavanaugh's past drinking history has become relevant due to comments he made during his testimony, in which he claimed he never blacked out or suffered memory loss from drinking too much. He also claimed that references to vomiting stemmed from his difficulty holding down "spicy food," not excessive drinking.

"I'm known to have a weak stomach, and I always have," Kavanaugh said when asked by Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D., R.I.), about references to "Beach Week Ralph Club." Kavanaugh largely avoided answering Whitehouse's questions directly, instead pressing the senator on his own drinking habits.

"I like beer. I like beer. I don't know if you do," Kavanaugh shot back.


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