At around 6 a.m. Friday in Las Vegas, things started getting pretty wild at the Trump International Hotel and Casino. But the gambling this time was by the president of the United States, placing his bets on attacking a woman who says she was sexually assaulted.
Trump, who spent the night in Vegas after hosting a rally the night before, fired off a series of tweets challenging the credibility of Christine Blasey Ford, a California psychologist who says she was sexually assaulted by Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh at a party when they were high school students. It was Trump’s first direct attack on Ford since her accusations were made public, landing just as new reports indicated the relief Senate and White House aides were feeling at his “measured” response to the allegations.
“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.”
Trump followed up a few minutes later, calling out Ford by name and saying that if she had really been attacked by a teenage classmate as she claimed, she would have reported it to police.
“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. “I ask that she bring those filings forward so that we can learn date, time, and place!”
Minutes later, he tweeted: “The radical left lawyers want the FBI to get involved NOW. Why didn’t someone call the FBI 36 years ago?”
But as Trump — who has been accused of sexual harassment or assault by at least 16 women — well knows, most victims of sexual violence do not report their assaults to police for a variety of reasons that include fear of retaliation and a distrust of police, according to RAINN. About two of every three instances of sexual assault go unreported.
At the rally Thursday night, Trump had been remarkably hesitant about calling Ford out by name.
“Brett Kavanaugh, and I’m not saying anything about anybody else, Brett Kavanaugh is one of the finest human beings you will ever have the privilege of knowing or meeting,” Trump said.
Anonymous officials told Axios that aides had been working in overdrive to prevent Trump from attacking Kavanaugh’s accuser. Unfortunately for them, what happened in Vegas this morning didn’t stay there very long.
Cover image: US President Donald Trump speaks during a 'Make America Great Again' rally at the Las Vegas Convention Center in Las Vegas, Nevada on September 20, 2018. (Photo by MANDEL NGAN / AFP) (Photo credit should read MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)