Trump mocks Kavanaugh accuser he had called credible witness

It marked the sharpest criticism by Trump of Christine Blasey Ford since she came forward publicly with the allegation last month

President Donald Trump ignited a crowd at a campaign rally in Mississippi by mocking a woman who has claimed she was sexually assaulted by Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh decades ago.

The audience laughed as Trump ran through a list of what he described as holes in Christine Blasey Ford’s testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee. She testified that Kavanaugh pinned her on a bed, tried to take off her clothes and covered her mouth in the early 1980s, when the two were teenagers. Kavanaugh has denied Ford’s allegations.

“How did you get home? ‘I don’t remember,’” Trump said at the rally Tuesday in Southaven. “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.’”

Imitating Ford, he added, “But I had one beer — that’s the only thing I remember.”

RELATED: Christine Blasey Ford steps into spotlight; defiant Kavanaugh fights back

It marked the sharpest criticism by Trump of Ford since she came forward publicly with the allegation last month. He had previously called Ford a “very credible witness.”

Ford’s lawyer Michael Bromwich called Trump’s attack “vicious, vile and soulless.”

“Is it any wonder that she was terrified to come forward, and that other sexual assault survivors are as well?” Bromwich tweeted. “She is a remarkable profile in courage. He is a profile in cowardice.”

Arizona Republican Sen. Jeff Flake said Wednesday on NBC’ “Today” that mocking “something this sensitive at a political rally is just not right.”

“I wish he hadn’t done it,” Flake said. “It’s kind of appalling.” Flake is a key GOP vote in the confirmation battle, and while he said last week he would vote to confirm Kavanaugh, he also called for an expanded FBI investigation that resulted in a one-week delay. Flake has not said how he will vote if the nomination comes up this week.

The president was in Mississippi on Tuesday looking to use his influence to sway the outcome of a low-profile election that could tip the balance of the Senate.

As Republicans fight headwinds ahead of the Nov. 6 midterm election, Trump sought to rally his supporters behind GOP Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith, who was appointed to fill the seat of Republican Thad Cochran, who retired in April. She faces three candidates — Republican Chris McDaniel and Democrats Mike Espy and Tobey Bernard Bartee — in next month’s special election for the remainder of the two-year term.

“She’s always had my back,” Trump said. “She’s always had your back. And a vote for Cindy is a vote for me.”

But Trump spent much of the rally lamenting the treatment of Kavanaugh by Democrats, whose attacks, he said, had taken their toll on the judge’s family.

“A man’s life is in tatters,” he said. Of Democrats, he added, “These are really evil people.”

RELATED: Trump says he supports ‘comprehensive’ FBI investigation into Kavanaugh

He even raised questions about the drinking habits of Vermont Sen. Patrick Leahy in an attempt to turn the tables on Democrats who have gone after Kavanaugh’s beer drinking. Trump told the crowd they should do an online search for “Patrick Leahy slash drink.” Leahy’s office didn’t immediately return a message seeking comment Tuesday.

Some Republicans and White House allies have suggested the allegations against Kavanaugh can be potent political fodder in the run-up to Nov. 6, animating GOP voters who have so far lacked the same motivation to head to the polls as their Democratic counterparts.

Republican officials and the White House expect Hyde-Smith’s race to go to a runoff under the state’s jungle election rules that force a showdown between the top two finishers if no candidate wins at least 50 per cent of the vote on Election Day. With Republicans defending majorities in the House and Senate next month, officials cast Trump’s visit as an attempt to get ahead of a potentially perilous situation.

Officials said Trump is seeking to boost Hyde-Smith as close as possible to the 50 per cent threshold and lend momentum for a possible runoff. Depending on how Republicans perform on Nov. 6, the eyes of the nation could fall on a Nov. 27 Mississippi runoff in what could become an expensive and high-profile race to determine control of the Senate.

“Your vote in this election will decide which party controls the United States Senate,” Trump said.

A vocal minority of the crowd Tuesday backed the other conservative in the race, McDaniel, a state senator, and booed Hyde-Smith when Trump introduced her. They launched into occasional chants of “We want Chris.”

Earlier Tuesday, Trump told electrical contractors gathered in Philadelphia that his economic policies would translate into more jobs for their ranks as he highlighted a new trade deal among the U.S., Mexico and Canada.

“We’re in the midst of a manufacturing renaissance — something which nobody thought you’d hear,” Trump said in a speech to the National Electrical Contractors Association Convention a day after celebrating the new North American trade deal.

In fact, North America already is a manufacturing powerhouse. The United States ranks No. 2 in the world behind China in manufacturing output. Mexico ranks 11th and Canada 13th, according to United Nations numbers pulled together by the Brookings Institution.

Trump calls the new trade agreement USMCA, for U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement. “Like YMCA or U.S. Marine Corps with an A at the end,” he explained.

He said he doesn’t want to use the previous name, NAFTA, the North American Free Trade Agreement, which he contends cost American jobs and railed against during his 2016 presidential campaign. The new trade deal still must be approved by Congress.

“We are finally rebuilding our country, and we are doing it with American aluminum, American steel and with our great electrical contractors,” he said.

Trump said the strong economy “means more jobs for our great electrical contractors.”

Before departing the White House, Trump tweeted, “THE ONLY REASON TO VOTE FOR A DEMOCRAT IS IF YOU’RE TIRED OF WINNING!”

The Associated Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Six Fort St. James students awarded scholarships for post-secondary education

Indigenous students awarded to further their studies

Coastal GasLink gets interim injunction against Unist’ot’en

The LNG pipeline company can start work Monday with enforcement approved by court.

Editorial: Go out and play

How much is too much screen time?

Fort St. James businesses get into the Christmas spirit with decorating contest

Northland Automotive Ltd. won first place in Fort St. James Chamber of… Continue reading

REPLAY: B.C’s best video this week

In case you missed it, here’s a look at the replay-worth highlights from this week across the province

Microscopic parasite found in Prince Rupert water affecting thousands

More than 12,000 residents affected by the boil water advisory issued Dec. 14

Trudeau lashes out at Conservatives over migration “misinformation”

Warning against the “dangers of populism,” Trudeau says using immigration as a wedge political issue puts Canada’s future at risk.

B.C. hockey coach creates ‘gear library’ to remove cost barrier of sport

Todd Hickling gathered donations and used gear to remove the cost barrier for kids to play hockey.

Canada’s ambassador meets with second detainee in China

Global Affairs says John McCallum, Canada’s ambassador to China, met with Spavor Sunday

‘They’re coming:’ Flying cars may appear in urban skies by 2023

Air taxis will number 15,000 and become a global market worth $32 billion by 2035

B.C. VIEWS: Andrew Wilkinson on taxes, ICBC and union changes

Opposition leader sees unpredictable year ahead in 2019

5 tips for self-care, mental wellness this holiday season

Ministry of Mental Health and Addictions urging British Columbians to prioritize self care through festive season

Rescued B.C. cat with misshapen legs in need of forever home – with carpet

Mirielle was born with misshapen back legs and after a tough life on the streets, is looking for a forever home.

Most Read