Donald Trump slammed for mocking ‘victim’
US PRESIDENT Donald Trump has been slammed for mocking alleged sexual assault survivor Christine Blasey Ford days after he called her "a very fine woman".
Mr Trump ignited a crowd at a campaign rally in Mississippi by mocking Dr Ford who has claimed she was sexually assaulted by Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh decades ago.
The audience laughed as Mr Trump ran through a list of what he described as holes in Dr 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. Mr Kavanaugh has denied Dr Ford's allegations.
"How did you get home? 'I don't remember,"' Mr Trump said at the rally 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."
It marked the sharpest criticism by Mr Trump of Dr Ford since she came forward publicly with the allegation last month.
He had previously called Dr Ford a "very credible witness."
Dr Ford's lawyer Michael Bromwich called Mr 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?" Mr Bromwich tweeted. "She is a remarkable profile in courage. He is a profile in cowardice."
Arizona Republican Senator Jeff Flake said that mocking "something this sensitive at a political rally is just not right".
“There’s no time and no place for remarks like that. But to discuss something this sensitive at a political rally is just not right…It’s kind of appalling.” @JeffFlake on President Trump’s comments about Dr. Ford at a rally last night pic.twitter.com/6SaTLZK899— TODAY (@TODAYshow) October 3, 2018
"I wish he hadn't done it," Sen. Flake said. "It's kind of appalling."
Flake is a key Republican 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.
Sen. Flake has not said how he will vote if the nomination comes up this week.
His Republican colleague Susan Collins joined in with criticism of the president, saying his comments were "just plain wrong".
Republican Senator Lisa Murkowski called the comments "wholly inappropriate and in my view unacceptable."
Senators Flake, Collins and Murkowski are potential swing voters on Mr Kavanaugh's confirmation.
Susan Collins made a point of stopping and answering a question about Trump's attacks on Ford. She could have walked into hearing and ignored it, but she wanted to express her displeasure. But the FBI report is more likely to influence her vote than anything Trump is saying pic.twitter.com/d9OzbU7LnE— Manu Raju (@mkraju) October 3, 2018
Republicans hold a 51-49 majority in the Senate, with Vice President Mike Pence a potential tie-breaking vote, meaning they can only lose one vote on Kavanaugh's nomination.
Actress Alyssa Milano, who came forward as a sex assault survivor last week, led the chorus on Twitter of people who were repulsed by Mr Trump's comments.
Writing to Donald Trump Jr, Milano said: 'Your father is an a**hole. This is the most misogynist display of barbaric insensitivity that I've ever seen. This is why I didn't report [my abuse]. This right here. Women are watching. And we vote.'
BREAKING: Trump mocks Dr. Ford (Video)— Alyssa Milano (@Alyssa_Milano) October 3, 2018
Your father is an asshole.
This is the most misogynist display of barbaric insensitivity I’ve ever seen.
THIS IS WHY I DIDN’T REPORT. THIS RIGHT HERE.
Women are watching. And we vote. pic.twitter.com/VJgWPzNlRd
As a nation, we all should be ashamed of our president. https://t.co/LHVvcrhwXQ— George Takei (@GeorgeTakei) October 3, 2018
Trump mocks Dr. Christine Blasey Ford at his Mississippi MAGA Rally.— Billy Baldwin (@BillyBaldwin) October 3, 2018
What kind of message does this send young girls across America?
Women will bail on the GOP in droves and they will pay dearly for this in the midterms.
The death of shame.
The death of compassion.#Disgrace pic.twitter.com/YYTtDX5iPi
What I cannot understand is how the wave of shame and regret didn't wash over you when you got the end of the first line. You just kept typing as if your soul got left in a shopping cart somewhere. And then you hit the tweet button. Damn. https://t.co/uyZJLjFATO— David Simon (@AoDespair) October 3, 2018
Watch these 3 men at Trump’s Mississippi campaign rally laugh and laugh as Trump does a mocking impersonation of Dr Blasey Ford describing her sexual assault. pic.twitter.com/kRZPuW36wo— John Aravosis 🇺🇸 (@aravosis) October 3, 2018
Trump just mocked Dr. Ford, a victim of sexual assault. This shouldn’t surprise us — he’s mocked Gold Star parents, the disabled, and prisoners of war. But it should disgust us all the same. https://t.co/9YunYJYo4W— Adam Schiff (@RepAdamSchiff) October 3, 2018
Dear survivors,— Kaz Weida (@kazweida) October 3, 2018
When Dr. Ford said it was their laughter that she remembered for years after her assault, we all nodded our heads in understanding. Same, sister
When Trump humiliated and mocked Dr. Ford on a public stage tonight, we heard that same laughter ringing in our ears.
Last week we saw Dr. Blasey Ford display more courage, strength in 1 day than the bullies—who disbelieved her before she said a word—would muster in a lifetime. To survivors, Im sorry for how triggering this is. I am with u. So many r with u. U r seen, heard, believed, & u matter— Mariska Hargitay (@Mariska) October 3, 2018
LAX will now allow travellers to have marijuana in their carry-on bags. So instead of watching our president make fun of assault victims, we can focus on some of the positive strides.— Chelsea Handler (@chelseahandler) October 3, 2018
This kind of behavior from a sitting President will have long lasting consequences for him, and for any men that behave like him.— Amber Tamblyn (@ambertamblyn) October 3, 2018
Mark my words:
Women. Are. Watching.
And. We. Vote. https://t.co/MSbfuek2IP
And if one day you say a woman’s testimony is “credible” and a few days later you go to a rally and mock her, how credible are YOU?— David Axelrod (@davidaxelrod) October 3, 2018
Mr Kavanaugh's truthfulness to Congress - including how he represented his alcohol consumption - is also under the microscope, with former Yale classmates accusing the judge of misleading politicians when he said he never experienced blackouts.
That claim was further called into question after the New York Times published a copy of a letter written by Mr Kavanaugh in 1983 where he warned his friends of the danger of eviction from a beachfront condo they had rented for the weekend.
"Warn the neighbors that we're loud, obnoxious drunks with prolific pukers among us. Advise them to go about 30 miles," he wrote.