President Trump called on Christine Blasey Ford on Friday to provide a police report to back up her allegations that Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh tried to sexually assault her more than three decades ago.
In a sharp change of tone after days of reserved statements regarding the allegations, the president first tweeted in defense of Kavanaugh and then put pressure on Ford to furnish a police report, though there’s no indication one was ever filed.
“I have no doubt that, if the attack on Dr. Ford was as bad as she says, charges would have been immediately filed with local Law Enforcement Authorities by either her or her loving parents. I ask that she bring those filings forward so that we can learn date, time, and place!” he tweeted.
He tweeted earlier: “Judge Brett Kavanaugh is a fine man, with an impeccable reputation, who is under assault by radical left wing politicians who don’t want to know the answers, they just want to destroy and delay. Facts don’t matter. I go through this with them every single day in D.C.”
The statements come as the deadline passed for Ford to tell the Senate Judiciary Committee whether she will accept an invitation to testify about her claims on Monday. It’s unclear if a deal was made, but talks could still be ongoing, as Ford’s lawyers re-opened discussions Thursday with Republicans over scheduling testimony.
Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley had called on Ford to respond by 10 a.m. Friday. With the deadline passed, Fox News has learned Grassley is speaking with committee members and key other players about what they’re willing to do.
Ford, through her attorneys, has given differing statements about whether she is willing to testify. Earlier this week, Ford’s attorney Debra Katz indicated her client was willing to do so, before later saying they wanted the FBI to investigate the claims first.
Trump, on Friday, took issue with that call. “The radical left lawyers want the FBI to get involved NOW,” Trump tweeted. “Why didn’t someone call the FBI 36 years ago?”
According to an email sent by her attorney Debra Katz to the committee, Ford is willing to appear for a hearing on Capitol Hill as long as senators provide “terms that are fair and which ensure her safety.”
But they do not want Ford to testify on Monday.
Among the terms being requested by Ford’s legal team: Only members of the committee — no lawyers — can question her; Kavanaugh cannot be in the room at the time; and Kavanaugh should be questioned first, before he has the opportunity to hear Ford’s testimony.
It’s not clear if Republicans would agree to those terms, especially over Kavanaugh having to testify before he hears the accusations against him.
Trump has called for Ford to testify, and on Thursday night said he wants to see the confirmation process proceed without delay.
Speaking to Fox News’ Sean Hannity on Thursday night before a rally in Nevada, Trump called Kavanaugh “an outstanding person” and said, “I don’t think you can delay it any longer.”
For his part, Kavanaugh, in a letter to the Judiciary Committee on Thursday, indicated he would be ready and willing to testify on Monday. “I continue to want a hearing as soon as possible, so that I can clear my name,” he wrote.
“Since the moment I first heard this allegation, I have categorically and unequivocally denied it. I remain committed to defending my integrity.”
Kavanaugh’s letter did not contain any preconditions for his testimony. Fox News has learned that Kavanaugh, under oath, answered questions from the Judiciary Committee earlier this week, and denied the allegations.
In a series of tweets earlier Thursday, Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee noted they had obtained statements, under penalty of felony, from two other people at the house party where the alleged assault occurred, including Kavanaugh friend Mark Judge and another individual.
Committee members also wrote that they had reached out to a “fourth person allegedly at the party,” as well as “a schoolmate who claimed on social media this week to have info related to Dr. Ford’s allegations” — but had not heard back.
That was an apparent reference to a widely circulated online account by Cristina Miranda King, who claimed that she heard about the alleged assault at the time. King deleted her online post after questions emerged about apparent inconsistencies in her claims.
On Thursday, Ford’s lawyers reportedly requested that the Judiciary Committee subpoena Judge to testify. Earlier this week, Judge told committee Republicans that he had “no memory” of the alleged incident, and said he did not want to testify.
Asked whether Republicans had planned to call Judge to testify, Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., told reporters, “No reason to. … He’s already said what he’s going to say.”
It would be highly unusual for a witness before a Senate committee to dictate who receives a subpoena as a precondition to testifying.
Meanwhile, a former classmate of Kavanaugh’s said that he had no “recollection” of any incident at the house party Ford described, saying he was one of the people Ford had claimed to be there.
Senate Republicans have been harshly critical of Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., for receiving a letter from Ford outlining her allegations in July, but failing to disclose them, even anonymously, to federal officials or other committee members until last week.
Ford alleged in the letter that Kavanaugh had sexually assaulted her more than 35 years ago, although she has since indicated that she cannot be sure in which house the assault occurred. Kavanaugh has denied all the accusations.
Fox News’ Mike Emanuel and Gregg Re contributed to this report.