When the Senate Judiciary Committee broke for lunch on Thursday, following the first half of Christine Blasey Ford’s testimony about a sexual assault she said was perpetrated by Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT) told a press gaggle that Blasey Ford was an “attractive, good witness.”
When reporters asked Hatch to elaborate on what he meant by “attractive,” he said “In other words, she’s pleasing,” Kate Irby, Congressional reporter for McClatchy DC, tweeted.
Asked what he meant by “attractive” Hatch said “in other words, pleasing.”
He later said “she’s attractive, a nice person. I wish her well.”
— Karen Travers (@karentravers) September 27, 2018
Matt Whitlock, communications director for Hatch, defended the Senator’s use of the word attractive and said Hatch uses the word to describe personalities and has used the word for both men and women. He did not tweet about the use of the word “pleasing.”
Lindsay Wise, reporter for the Kansas City Star, told Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) about Sen. Hatch’s remark, and the senator responded, “That’s interesting.”
From my colleague @lindsaywise:
Q: Did you see that Sen. Hatch referred to her as an attractive witness after the break?
Feinstein, after a few seconds of silence: "That's interesting."
— Kate Irby (@kateirby) September 27, 2018
Regardless of Sen. Hatch’s intention, the use of the word “attractive” was an odd choice to describe a woman, who is testifying about an alleged sexual assault. It’s also yet another representation of how poorly the all-male GOP side of the committee, which has remained mute throughout the hearing, is handling the proceedings.
When you call a witness "attractive" during testimony about sexual assault like @OrrinHatch hatch did, it's pretty clear that you care less about women's rights and why the hearing was convened than if a woman can please you sexually.#KavanaughHearings #OrrinHatch #metoo
— Dr. DaShanne Stokes (@DaShanneStokes) September 27, 2018
SHE’S RELIVING HER SEXUAL ASSAULT ON NATIONAL TELEVISION AND ORRIN HATCH CALLED HER ATTRACTIVE https://t.co/VbQAqLzTJc
— The Volatile Mermaid (@OhNoSheTwitnt) September 27, 2018
The GOP assigned a prosecutor, Rachel Mitchell, to ask questions of Blasey Ford, which has only served to make them look cruel and unsympathetic to her alleged assault. At one point, Mitchell asked Blasey Ford about having to take a polygraph test not long after her grandmother’s funeral, later asking repeated questions about who paid for the polygraph test. Mitchell also spent some time focusing on Blasey Ford’s fear of flying, questioning how she had managed to make it to D.C. from California.
Emma Dumain, a McClatchy DC reporter, tweeted that, during the lunch break, a woman approached Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), one of Kavanaugh’s most ardent defenders, to inform him that she was a rape survivor. Graham said, “I’m sorry. Tell the cops,” as he headed into an elevator.
A woman just told @LindseyGrahamSC she was raped. He said, as he headed into an elevator, "I'm sorry. Tell the cops."
— Emma Dumain (@Emma_Dumain) September 27, 2018