President Trump mocked Sen. Dianne Feinstein, the Democrat leading the opposition to Supreme Court nominee Brett M. Kavanaugh, at a campaign rally Saturday, telling voters she may have been the unknown person who leaked allegations of sexual assault without the accuser’s consent.
Speaking at a rally in West Virginia, Mr. Trump mocked Ms. Feinstein’s “body language” as she sought to deny the allegation that she or her staff were responsible for first outing Christine Blasey Ford, the woman who has accused Judge Kavanaugh of sexually assaulting her at a high school party in 1982.
Mr. Trump did a caricature of Ms. Feinstein seeming to stumble through a response Thursday when she was asked by Republican senators how Ms. Blasey Ford’s letter making the allegations had leaked. She first denied she had leaked, then said she hadn’t asked her staff but was sure they didn’t, then turned to the staff, who apparently told her they weren’t responsible.
“It did not leak from us, I assure you of that,” said the California Democrat, suggesting that it may have been Ms. Blasey Ford’s friends who revealed the letter.
Mr. Trump, speaking in Wheeling, West Virginia, seemed doubtful.
“I’ll tell you want, that was really bad body language. Maybe she didn’t, but that was the worst body language I’ve ever seen,” he said.
Ms. Blasey Ford shared her allegations with Ms. Feinstein on the condition of confidentiality, but she said somehow word got out and reporters started hounding her, at which point she went public.
Ms. Feinstein’s role in the whole affair has come under scrutiny.
She has expressed some regret over her handling of the initial allegation, saying she wished she hadn’t accepted a confidential complaint because it tied her hands. Republicans wondered why she didn’t do anything with the allegations until after Judge Kavanaugh had faced the committee for more than 30 hours of questions early in September.
Sen. Lindsey Graham, South Carolina Republican, told Fox “Sunday Morning Futures” that he believed Ms. Feinstein’s denial but vowed to pursue whoever did leak the letter.
He also questioned who on Ms. Feinstein’s staff had suggested the law firm Ms. Blasey Ford was using. Mr. Graham said those lawyers appear to have ill-served Ms. Blasey Ford, including refraining from telling her that the committee was willing to send investigators to California to speak with her privately rather than force her to appear at a public hearing.
“It’s improper for senators to recommend lawyers to constituents,” Mr. Graham said.
Mr. Trump, at Saturday’s rally, called Democrats’ treatment of Judge Kavanaugh “angry and mean and nasty and untruthful.”
“They’re willing to throw away every standard of decency, justice, fairness, due process to get their way,” Mr. Trump said.
The president was stumping for Patrick Morrisey, West Virginia’s Republican attorney general, who is seeking to unseat Sen. Joe Manchin III, a Democrat.
Mr. Manchin is one of only two Democrats who have not yet signaled plans to vote against Judge Kavanaugh’s confirmation — but Mr. Trump said Mr. Manchin is enabling the other Democrats’ attacks on the nominee.
“I just hope you don’t sit home because bad things will happen if you sit home,” the president told a rabidly enthusiastic crowd.
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