W.H. Staffers On Damage Control As They Scramble To Keep Trump From Victim-Shaming


The controversy surrounding President Donald Trump’s pick for the U.S. Supreme Court Brett Kavanaugh is continuing to rage on this week. As it turns out, the sexual predator turned commander-in-chief made his SCOTUS pick a credibly accused sexual predator.

California’s Christine Blasey Ford brought forward her story of an attempted rape at Kavanaugh’s hands years ago, and in the explosive revelation’s aftermath, administration staffers have sought desperately to keep Trump from going after her. They’ve failed in those efforts, though.

Friday morning, the president posted a series of tweets casting doubt on Kavanaugh’s accuser’s story. Among other points, he claimed that if the incident was “as bad as she says,” there’s no way a police report wasn’t filed. He asserted that the police report should be brought forward, although the remark is no doubt just chest-puffing on the president’s part. He’s no doubt well aware of the fact that there isn’t a police report.

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In his remarks, he ignores the fact that a large portion of the sexual assaults perpetrated in this country go unreported for years, if not forever. At times, the incidents come down to a “he said, she said” situation, and while there remain pretty much no incentives for victims to make up stories of assault, the legal system is not on victims’ side. They’re left out in the metaphorical cold, facing the pressure of having to prove what happened to them — and often, they decide to simply try and move on with their lives outside of the legal system. The “#MeToo” movement of women bringing forth their stories of sexual harassment and assault has made this yet again abundantly clear.

It’s certainly not as though the president has himself proven a supporter of “#MeToo” in the first place. He’s faced many credible accusations of sexual assault and harassment, boosted in part by some of his own comments caught on tape. On an infamous recording, Trump can be heard bragging about his supposed freedom to commit sexual assault because of his social standing.

The tweets he posted Friday morning about Kavanaugh and the judge’s accuser are another in a long line of public relations gaffes sure to put White House staffers through the ringer — although they could always just quit, and they’re hardly the victims here.

Still, a White House source complained to Axios that “you have no idea” how hard it had been to keep the president from going after Ford. (Again, that’s now proven a futile effort.)

A source added:

‘Hopefully [Trump] can keep it together until Monday. That’s only, like, another 48 hours right?’

That was before his Friday morning meltdown about the allegations.

A Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on the story is set for Monday, although what will actually transpire when the new week dawns remains to be seen. Committee Republicans set the date without even confirming Ford would testify, and her team and the GOP remain in negotiations over the terms of a potential future appearance before Congress.

There’s the looming possibility, too, that Kavanaugh’s nomination falls apart altogether. Strikingly, a recent poll found that 38 percent of Americans actively oppose the judge’s confirmation, while only 34 percent support it. MSNBC shared that this “is the first time in the history of the poll that a U.S. Supreme Court nominee has had more opposition than support.”

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