President Donald Trump may have stooped to a new low Tuesday night, when he decided to openly mock Christine Blasey Ford and her allegations against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh during a rally in Mississippi.
And honestly, the only thing that’s surprising is that it took this long to happen. Gone are the headlines that touted the president’s “restraint,” like CNN’s, which read “Aides Quietly Stunned by Trump’s Respectful Handling of Kavanaugh Accuser.” In the piece, two sources quoted Trump as saying, “Why would I attack her?”
But last night that’s exactly what he did, going so far as to imitate Ford.
“’I had one beer.’ Well, do you think it was… ‘Nope. It was one beer.’ Oh good. How did you get home? ‘I don’t remember.’ How did you get there? ‘I don’t remember.’ Where is the place? ‘I don’t remember,'” Trump said, prompting laughter from those in the crowd. “How many years ago was it? ‘I don’t know. I don’t know. I don’t know.’ What neighborhood was it in? ‘I don’t know.’ Where’s the house? ‘I don’t know. Upstairs. Downstairs. I don’t know. But I had one beer that’s the only thing I remember.'”
“And a man’s life is in tatters,” Trump continued. “A man’s life is shattered.” Then, echoing his comments from earlier in the day when he expressed fear for young men in the age of #MeToo, he claimed that he had many “false allegations” against him, adding that the crowd should “think of your son” because men are “guilty until proven innocent.”
Perhaps even more jarring than Trump’s own outrageous words is the laughter and applause of the crowd. Many social media users made the astute connection between the reactions at the rally and Ford’s poignant testimony about her memory of the alleged attack: “Indelible in the hippocampus is the laughter, the uproarious laughter between the two,” she said of the one thing she remembers the most about that night more than 30 years ago.
Senator Jeff Flake (R–Ariz.), who helped request the FBI investigation into Kavanaugh which delayed the confirmation vote, appeared on the Today show Wednesday morning and condemned Trump’s speech. “There’s no time and no place for remarks like that,” he said. “I wish he hadn’t have done it. It’s kind of appalling.”
Twitter agreed—and many wonder how this type of rhetoric will affect senators like Flake, Lisa Murkowski (R–Alaska), Susan Collins (R–Maine), and Joe Manchin (D–W.V.), who are thought to be on the fence regarding their Kavanaugh nomination votes.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R–Ky.) has said that the Senate will vote on Kavanaugh’s nomination this week.