Donald Trump credited his blistering attacks last week against Christine Blasey Ford for getting his Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh confirmed by the U.S. Senate.
Trump said mocking comments he made about Ford’s memory lapses in recounting an alleged sexual assault by Kavanaugh turned the tide for the nomination. He made his remarks on the Justice with Judge Jeanine program on Fox News late Saturday.
In recent days, Kavanaugh’s nomination had seemed at risk of possibly being defeated in the US Senate.
And until Trump’s eviscerating verbal attack at a rally last week in Mississippi, the president had shown relative restraint in his remarks about Ford, who says Kavanaugh tried to rape her back in the 1980s, when both were teenagers. After her testimony in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee, the president even described her as a “very credible witness.”
But last week he took a dramatic and devastating change of strategy, and began attacking Ford.
“There were a lot of things happening that weren’t true and a lot of things left unsaid. I thought I had to even the playing field,” the president explained to Fox News host Jeanine Pirro.
“Once I did that, it started to sail through,” Trump boasted. Here are his remarks, which were part of a lengthier exchange with Pirro:
And here are the remarks Trump made at the rally last Tuesday in Southhaven, Mississippi, in a rapid-fire minute-long tirade in which he “re-enacts” the role of Ford being questioned at the hearing.
“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’.”
“How many years ago was it? ‘I don’t know. I don’t know. I don’t know’.”
WATCH: President Trump mocks Dr. Christine Blasey Ford, who has accused Trump's Supreme Court pick Judge Kavanaugh of sexual misconduct, during rally in Mississippi. https://t.co/pZfWN8IFMV pic.twitter.com/81YEs8oXr5
— MSNBC (@MSNBC) October 3, 2018
The Washington Post also took note of the president’s strategy change, saying it was decisive in getting Kavanaugh’s nomination over the finish line.
“The senators whose votes Kavanaugh was wooing said they were aghast at the president’s rally-stage behavior. But Kavanaugh allies saw a clear benefit: An argument by the president that bucked up Kavanaugh, discredited Ford and became a clarion call for conservatives,” The Post wrote.
Some Republican senators criticized the president’s decision to ridicule Ford, calling his remarks “appalling” and “wrong” but never actually hinted that it threatened their ability to support Kavanaugh.
Trump’s interview on Jeanine Pirro’s show followed a campaign rally in Topeka, Kansas just hours after Kavanaugh was sworn in as a Supreme Court justice.
The ceremony was held at the Supreme Court late Saturday, as several hundred demonstrators, furious about his confirmation, rallied outside.