President Donald Trump is attempting to cast doubt on Christine Blasey Ford's account of being sexually assaulted by Brett Kavanaugh in high school, suggesting in a Friday morning tweet that she could be lying about the severity of the alleged attack.
"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 wrote. "I ask that she bring those filings forward so that we can learn date, time, and place!"
Trump went on to wonder why Ford's "radical left lawyers" were calling for the FBI to investigate her allegations against Kavanaugh now and not "36 years ago," when the alleged incident occurred. Kavanaugh, he added, was a "fine man" whose confirmation she and ill-intentioned Democrats were trying to sabotage.
"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 said. "Facts don’t matter. I go through this with them every single day in D.C."
Trump's Twitter tear may be the result of White House officials' failure to keep the president from attacking Ford.
A source close to the president who has been involved in discussions surrounding Kavanaugh's embattled Supreme Court nomination told Axios it had been extremely difficult to keep Trump from laying into Ford over the last week: "You have no idea," the source said.
And on Thursday—less than 24 hours before Trump's Friday morning attacks—a White House official told the outlet they were holding out hope that the president could "keep it together until Monday," when Kavanaugh and Ford were initially scheduled to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee. "That's only, like, another 48 hours right?" they said.
Ford, who has accused Kavanaugh of holding her down and trying to force himself on her at a high school party when they were both teenagers, reportedly moved out of her home earlier this week and hired a security detail after receiving an onslaught of death threats and getting doxxed.
"These are all the ills that I was trying to avoid," Ford, who had wished to remain anonymous, told the Washington Post on Sunday. "Now I feel like my civic responsibility is outweighing my anguish and terror about retaliation."
In light of the abuse and threats to Ford's safety, the 51-year-old professor's legal team has been in talks with the Senate Judiciary Committee to negotiate the terms of her hearing to testify against Kavanaugh. Ford's attorneys have requested that the FBI first conduct an investigation her claims, but Republicans—eager to vote on Kavanaugh—wanted her to appear before the committee on Monday, and gave her until 10 PM on Friday to decide if she would or not.
Before the deadline, Ford's lawyers wrote that Ford would testify on Thursday, at the earliest, granted that the committee will work with her legal counsel to draw up terms "that are fair and which ensure her safety."
In her interview with the Post, Ford wondered if coming forward, giving her testimony, could ever be worth it when Senate Republicans were likely to cast the deciding votes to confirm Kavanaugh to the bench regardless of her allegations.
She said: "Why suffer through the annihilation if it’s not going to matter?”