Fox News host questions 'wisdom' of Trump attacking assault victim


Brian Kilmeade criticized Trump for mocking Christine Blasey Ford, but only as an example of poor 'tactics.'

Trump's vicious mockery of Dr. Christine Blasey Ford has even Fox News host Brian Kilmeade saying that Trump blew it, if only because it was "tactically" unwise.

At a rally in Mississippi Tuesday night, Trump cruelly and inaccurately mimicked Ford's gut-wrenching testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee, in which she described a sexual assault at the hands of Brett Kavanaugh that left her in fear of her life.

On Wednesday morning's edition of "Fox & Friends," Kilmeade took issue with the mockery, but not because it was morally reprehensible.

"The tactic of [Trump] laying low has been lauded by all sides," Kilmeade said. "Last night, he chose to blow it, as the FBI is handing in the report as early as today."

"I wonder about the wisdom, as much as the crowd loved it, I wonder about the wisdom tactically of him doing that," Kilmeade added.

Trump has, indeed, falsely received credit for a restraint that he hasn't actually shown.

Trump began attacking Ford just days after she came forward to tell her story to the Washington Post, comparing her story to a "witch hunt."

Several days after that, Trump attacked Ford in a tweet, essentially calling her a liar because like many survivors of sexual assault, she did not report the attack at the time.

Trump's mockery at that rally Tuesday night crossed yet another line, a layer of cruelty that any decent person would recoil from in horror. Ford testified at her hearing that the laughter of her attackers is what haunts her most, and Trump's performance amplified that trauma in front of the world.

But to Kilmeade's point, Trump also created a political problem for Kavanaugh's confirmation. Mocking Ford — and by extension, all survivors of sexual violence — could make confirming Kavanaugh more difficult for ostensibly undecided Republican senators like Arizona’s Jeff Flake, Maine’s Susan Collins, and Alaska’s Lisa Murkowski.

Flake has already weighed in on Trump's performance, if somewhat weakly. He told NBC News that Trump's remarks were "kind of appalling."

Collins told reporters Wednesday morning that Trump's comments "were just plain wrong."

All three of the "undecided" Republicans have made a habit of making noises about opposing Trump publicly, but have voted with him about 80 percent of the time. Collins, in particular, has demonstrated a deep well of denial where Kavanaugh is concerned.

But Trump's performance is a clarifying moment that reveals the moral stakes of the Kavanaugh confirmation, and the message it would send. Christine Blasey Ford testified credibly and powerfully, and confirming Kavanaugh now would tell Americans that it's okay to mock and destroy women like her.

That would be much more than a "tactical" problem, it would be a disgrace.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.