Sen. Jeff Flake (R-AZ) told NBC’s Today Show Wednesday morning that he took offense to President Donald Trump’s criticism of Christine Blasey Ford, calling the remarks “kind of appalling.”
“There’s no time and no place for remarks like that,” the outgoing Arizona senator said. “To discuss something this sensitive at a political rally is just not right. It’s just not right. I wish he hadn’t of done it. It’s kind of appalling.”
— TPM Livewire (@TPMLiveWire) October 3, 2018
During a Tuesday evening rally in Southaven, Mississippi, President Trump took aim at Ford’s testimony — her specific memory of consuming just a single beer when she claims Brett Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her but failing to remember a time, date, or location for the incident.
“I had one beer, that’s the only thing I remember,” the president said, mimicking the 51-year-old California psychology professor. “I don’t know. I don’t know. Upstairs, downstairs, I don’t know. I don’t remember.”
Moments later, President Trump lamented how the left has rushed to condemn Kavanaugh over the allegations despite a lack of corroborating evidence. “I looked at him, and I looked at the man that we appointed just before him, Justice Neil Gorsuch, who was put through the paces but nothing like what’s happening now, which is just crazy. They have ‘gang rape’ many times,” the president told rally attendees. “Well, that turned out to be false. So many different charges. ‘Guilty until proven innocent’ — that’s very dangerous for our country.”
President Trump said the shaky accusations, amplified and politicized by “evil people,” have “shattered” the lives of Kavanaugh’s family. “A man’s life is in tatters. A man’s life is shattered. His wife is shattered, his daughters, who are beautiful, incredible young kids … they destroyed people,” he said. “They want to destroy people. These are really evil people.”
At Flake’s insistence, the White House ordered the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) to launch an investigation into the decades-old allegations against the Trump court pick last Friday and are said to be wrapping up the probe as early as Wednesday. As of Wednesday evening, Sens. Flake, Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) and Susan Collins (R-ME) have stayed mum on how they intend to vote when Kavanaugh’s confirmation comes before the full Senate.
The same night as Trump’s rally, a letter to the Senate Judiciary Committee went public from a man claiming to be Blasey Ford’s ex-boyfriend. The man contradicted parts of her under-oath testimony, particularly her claim that she has “never” advised anyone on how to take a polygraph test.