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

Prince Rupert Gas Transmission project searches for partners

TransCanada is renewing permits for its natural gas pipeline project to North Coast.

Coastal GasLink stops work to investigate archaeological find

OGC archaeologists are en route to the Houston-area site where Unist’ot’en report finding stone tools

All Native Basketball Tournament Day 5: Recap

Highlights and results from day 5 at the All Native Tournament

All Native Basketball Tournament Day 6: Preview

Look ahead to all the action scheduled for Feb. 16 at the All Native Tournament

Coastal GasLink prepares sites of construction work camps

Unist’ot’en condemn 14 ‘man camps’ housing 500-800 workers as threatening safety of women and children

VIDEO: Canada’s flag turns 54 today

The maple leaf design by George Stanley made its first appearance Feb. 15, 1965

Eight cases of measles confirmed in Vancouver outbreak

Coastal Health official say the cases stem from the French-language Ecole Jules Verne Secondary

Plecas won’t run in next election if B.C. legislature oversight reforms pass

B.C. Speaker and Abbotsford South MLA says he feels ‘great sympathy’ for Jody Wilson-Raybould

Workshop with ‘accent reduction’ training cancelled at UBC

The workshop was cancelled the same day as an email was sent out to international students

Former B.C. premier Gordon Campbell accused of sexual touching

Accuser went to police, interviewed by Britian’s Daily Telegraph

Judge rules Abbotsford home must be sold after son tries to evict mom

Mom to get back down payment and initial expenses

Trump officially declares national emergency to build border wall

President plans to siphon billions from federal military construction and counterdrug efforts

Snow turns to slush, rain as it warms up across B.C.’s south coast

Some areas are already covered by more than half a metre of snow following three separate storms

Father to be charged with first-degree murder in Amber Alert case

11-year-old Riya Rajkumar was found dead in her father’s home in Brampton, Ontario

Most Read