Trump mocks Christine Blasey Ford at Mississippi rally
Donald Trump, at a rally tonight in Mississippi, went into an extended riff mocking Brett Kavanaugh accuser Christine Blasey Ford, as his crowd roared with laughter.
Except for a few tweets, Trump had been relatively restrained, resisting his impulse to lash out at Blasey Ford on advice from Mitch McConnell. The mockery is as foul as you can imagine, and you can watch some of it here.
Trump is now daring Jeff Flake, Susan Collins and Lisa Murkowski to vote against Kavanaugh.
I noticed a subtle shift in the conversation in the Senate today around Kavanaugh, with his perjury and repeated false statements made to the Judiciary Committee being talked about as being potentially genuinely disqualifying. The FBI appears to be wrapping up its investigation without doing a real investigation, which is another thumb in the eye of Flake and Murkowski.
The senators on the fence, I suspect, are torn between two impulses: One, they don’t think he belongs on the Supreme Court, for one or several reasons (Flake today noted that his shouting at Democrats at the hearing was not the kind of behavior that belonged on the Supreme Court), but they also think (wrongly) that Democratic leadership set a trap for Republicans and they don’t want to effectively reward that by giving them a victory. But they have to pick one or the other.
Special note for members of the House and Senate, and White House officials: Jamal Kashoggi, Washington Post columnist and Saudi dissident, went into the Saudi consulate in Istanbul today for a document and hasn’t been seen since. A friend of his told me he was secreted out of the country by land before Turkish police could surround the consulate, and has been brought back to Saudi Arabia.
Pressure from American officials on Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, and also on UAE Ambassador Yousef Al Otaiba, is likely the only way to free Kashoggi, a Virginia resident, before it’s too late.
The DC foreign policy establishment, for taking the word (and the money) of Otaiba about bin Salman, owns this kidnapping.
On Saturday, we started raising money for an advance for Kerri Evelyn Harris to write a memoir. Folks who read this newsletter have kicked in $3,500 so far, toward our goal of about $30,000. A huge thank you.
Meanwhile, the White House seems serious about its Kavanaugh-or-bust plan, making the Senate race that much more important. And Michael Bloomberg just announced he’s dropping $20 million on behalf of Democrats.