WASHINGTON — Citing his early bedtime, Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, said he hadn’t watched President Donald Trump’s speech Tuesday night in which he mocked the woman accusing his Supreme Court nominee of sexual assault.
Christine Blasey Ford testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee last week that Brett Kavanaugh drunkenly attacked her at a party when they were both teenagers. Kavanaugh testified as well, denying Ford’s allegations, as well as claims by two other women of additional misconduct. Grassley is chairman of the committee.
Trump mocked Ford’s testimony during his political rally in Mississippi, garnering laughs from the audience as he mimicked her saying she did not remember the location of the attack and other details.
Trump had previously shown restraint in avoiding sharp criticism of Ford but let loose at the rally, a move that drew bipartisan criticism. Grassley said he hadn’t seen the comments for himself, however.
“I know it must have been pretty strong because I’ve heard people speak about it,” Grassley told reporters Wednesday. “But I’d rather be remembered for what I did, as Dr. Ford asked, to give her a forum to speak to everybody and to guarantee her safety, and a transparent and open process for her to tell her story. And we did that.”
Trump also suggested that Grassley’s colleague on the committee, Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., has a drinking problem.
Grassley said he’d never seen evidence of Leahy having a drinking problem.
“I’d have to be pretty close and probably smell something and see it regularly,” Grassley said.
Senate Republicans have suggested they will vote on Kavanaugh this week, as soon as they receive a supplemental FBI report.
Grassley said that he had no further information on timing and that he’s purposefully avoided calling the FBI about the report in an effort to avoid political influence on it.