White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders elicited a rapid response from reporters on Wednesday when she said that President Donald Trump‘s rally description of Dr. Christine Blasey Ford‘s allegation against Brett Kavanaugh was Trump “stating the facts.”
Trump, who commented after Ford testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee that she seemed “credible,” raised some eyebrows Tuesday when he went the opposite direction, openly questioning Ford during a rally Tuesday in Mississippi.
Here’s how Trump recounted Ford’s story to the crowd:
“I had one beer. Well, do you think it was — nope, it was one beer.”
“How did you get home? I don’t remember. How’d 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. What neighborhood was it in? I don’t know. Where’s the house? I don’t know. Upstairs, downstairs — where was it? I don’t know — but I had one beer. That’s the only thing I remember.”
Reporters were quick to say that it was wrong to say that the president was speaking “facts,” citing Ford’s on-the-record testimony about who, when and where.
NBC White House correspondent Hallie Jackson and NBC political editor Mark Murray pushed back on this White House fact claim.
Trump: the only thing Ford remembers was having one beer.
Ford: Stated that she believed with “one hundred percent certainty” that Kavanaugh assaulted her.
Trump: “How many years ago was? I don’t know.”
Ford: “In the summer of 1982, like most summers, I spent most every day at the Columbia Country Club in Chevy Chase, Maryland, swimming and practicing diving.”
Trump: “What neighborhood was it in? I don’t know. Where’s the house? I don’t know. Upstairs, downstairs — where was it?”
Ford: “I attended a small gathering at a house in the Bethesda area. There were four boys I remember specifically being there: Brett Kavanaugh, Mark Judge, a boy named P.J., and one other boy whose name I cannot recall. I also remember my friend Leland attending.”
“II went up a very narrow set of stairs leading from the living room to a second floor to use the restroom. When I got to the top of the stairs, I was pushed from behind into a bedroom across from the bathroom.”
Trump’s commentary has not been received well by Republican lawmakers, including Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.), Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) and Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.).
Graham, one of Kavanaugh’s foremost defenders, felt compelled to say, “So President Trump went through a factual rendition, that I didn’t particularly like, and I would tell him to knock it off. You’re not helping.”
Flake said the comments were “appalling”; Collins said the remarks were “just plain wrong.”
[Image via Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images]
Have a tip we should know? [email protected]