President Donald Trump suggested Friday that the woman who accused Judge Brett Kavanaugh of a teenage sexual assault should have filed a police report 36 years ago – and challenged her to produce one to prove her case.
Christine Ford has been in the eye of a Washington maelstrom since identifying herself last Sunday, with Republicans demanding her Capitol Hill testimony and Democrats rallying to defend her, reports Daily Mail.
"I have no doubt that, if the attack on Dr. Ford was as bad as she says, charges would have been immediately filed with local Law Enforcement Authorities by either her or her loving parents," Trump tweeted Friday.
"I ask that she bring those filings forward so that we can learn date, time, and place!"
There is no evidence to suggest Ford told her parents about an incident at the time, or that anyone in her family reported it to law enforcement in Maryland, where she alleges the attack took place.
But Trump's tweets were condemned by Susan Collins, the Republican senator from Maine whose vote is crucial to getting Kavanaugh confirmed.
Her office released an audio recording to Politico in which she said: "I was appalled by the president's tweet.
"I thought that the president's tweet was completely inappropriate and wrong.
"We know that allegations of sexual assault are one of the most unreported crimes that exist."
Trump incubated the idea on Thursday night before a rally in Las Vegas, Nevada, telling Fox News Channel host Sean Hannity that federal law enforcement should have been involved with investigating a state-level sex crime in 1982.
"Why didn't somebody call the FBI 36 years ago?" he asked.
The president reiterated that unusual question Friday morning on Twitter: "The radical left lawyers want the FBI to get involved NOW. Why didn't someone call the FBI 36 years ago?"
Ford spoke to no one of her experience until 2012 when she and her husband discussed it in therapy.
Kavanaugh denies ever assaulting Ford, or anyone else.
The president had until Friday taken great pains to avoid challenging Ford by name. He defended Kavanaugh during the Las Vegas rally but insisted: "I'm not saying anything about anybody else."
Before engaging Friday morning, he blasted his political nemeses for accepting Ford's story at face value no matter the consequences.
"Judge Brett Kavanaugh is a fine man, with an impeccable reputation, who is under assault by radical left wing politicians who don't want to know the answers, they just want to destroy and delay," Trump tweeted.
"Facts don't matter. I go through this with them every single day in D.C."
But Democrats are furious that Trump has broken his silence about Ford.
"It's victim-shaming," a Senate Democratic aide said Friday. "It's inexcusable."
Trump told Hannity on Thursday night that the Senate Judiciary Committee should move swiftly to finish vetting Kavanaugh.
Committee Republicans are trying to secure a commitment from Ford to appear at a hearing on Monday.
"I say let her say what she has to say and let's see how it all comes out," Trump told said inside a Las Vegas arena before his scheduled rally. "But they've delayed it a week, and they have to get on with it."
Minutes later the president stood behind his podium and exclaimed: "Look at our judges! What's going on?"
Thousands spontaneously began chanting Kavanaugh's name before Trump could mention it himself.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell predicted Friday morning, just an hour after Trump tweeted his attack on Ford, that the Kavanaugh confirmation would plow ahead.
"President Trump has nominated a stunningly successful individual. You've watched the fight. You've watched the tactics," McConnell said at the Value Voters Summit in Washington.
"Here's what I want to tell you: In the very near future, Judge Kavanaugh will be on the United States Supreme Court."