Presidential adviser Kellyanne Conway on Wednesday told reporters the White House had treated Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh accuser Dr. Christine Blasey Ford like a “Fabergé egg.”
One night earlier, at a rally in Mississippi, President Donald Trump cruelly mimicked the California professor. Last Thursday, Ford testified under oath before the Senate Judiciary Committee that Kavanaugh had drunkenly tried to rape her at a gathering in 1982, when the two were teenagers.
“I had one beer. Well, do you think it was — nope, it was one beer,” Trump said, implying Ford’s memory of the attack was faulty. “How did you get home? I don’t remember. How’d 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.”
According to CNN, Trump’s comments were met with “laughter and applause” from rally attendees.
Conway was asked by NBC News’ Peter Alexander Wednesday morning whether Trump’s decision to mock Ford had been appropriate.
“I see that that is the lemming-like word you’re all using together, but let’s be fair,” she responded. “…The woman has been accommodated by all of us, including the Senate Judiciary Committee. … She’s been treated like a Fabergé egg by all of us, beginning with me and the president.”
“He’s pointing out factual inconsistencies. Do you have corroboration for her claims?” she added. “Have you found — excuse me — can you fill in her memory gaps, her factual inconsistencies? That is part of the evidence-gathering process in any hunt for truth. And those who pretend they’re searching for truth are already voting against Brett Kavanaugh.”
Kellyanne Conway speaks to media on Christine Blasey Ford outside the White House. pic.twitter.com/zllqLj2TmG
— CSPAN (@cspan) October 3, 2018
Since coming forward with her account last month, Ford — who also goes by “Blasey” professionally — has faced a deluge of threats and harassment and has been forced into hiding, only stepping out to testify in D.C. last week.
On Capitol Hill, Republicans both inside the Senate Judiciary Committee and out have pushed the idea that Ford is simply a participant in a partisan smear job meant to keep Kavanaugh off the Supreme Court. Others have propagated unfounded conspiracy theories, suggesting without proof, for instance, that the professor was paid by progressive billionaire donor George Soros to give false testimony against Kavanaugh.
Ford initially came forward with her allegations in a confidential letter to her congresswoman, Rep. Anna Eshoo (D-CA) this past July. And during her testimony last week, she addressed her fears about speaking out, telling senators she had only done so after her name was leaked to the public and because she believed it was her “civic duty.”
“I am here today not because I want to be. I am terrified,” Ford said. “I am here because I believe it is my civic duty to tell you what happened to me while Brett Kavanaugh and I were in high school.”
Ford testified that, at a small gathering in 1982, Kavanaugh had allegedly pushed her into an empty bedroom, pinned her to the bed, and attempted to rape her. She said he had turned up the music and covered her mouth with his hand to muffle her screams, and that she had only escaped after his friend, Mark Judge, who was in the room at the time of the alleged attack, jumped on the bed, jostling them apart.
“I thought that Brett was accidentally going to kill me,” she said.
Following that testimony, Trump told reporters Ford seemed like a “very credible witness.”
“I thought her testimony was very compelling and she looks like a very fine woman to me, very fine woman,” he said, speaking with reporters afterward. “It was an incredible moment I think in the history of our country. But certainly she was a very credible witness. She was very good in many respects.”
Days later, Trump reversed course. At a press conference Monday, the president first refused to answer any questions about the allegations against Kavanaugh or the subsequent FBI investigation into them, then launched into an angry tirade in defense of Kavanaugh, who he claimed was being treated unfairly.
“What he’s gone through over the last three weeks is incredible,” Trump said. “It’s unfair to him at this point.”
Kavanaugh has been accused by at least three women, including Ford, of sexual assault or misconduct. Deborah Ramirez, one of Kavanaugh’s Yale classmates, claims he thrust his penis into her face at a dormitory party in the 1980s, causing her to touch it against her wishes.
Another woman, Julie Swetnick, claims Kavanaugh was present at a house party in the 1980s where she was gang-raped by several teen boys. She did not directly implicate him in the rape, but claimed he was part of a group of boys who frequently spiked the punch and drugged women in order to assault them.
Kavanaugh has denied all the allegations. The FBI is currently examining some of those claims as part of a supplementary background investigation, and is expected to wrap up by the end of the week.
Though the White House initially instructed the FBI to limit its interviews to a small handful of people, Trump later stated the bureau could investigate whatever it wanted, so long as the probe was finished within one week.