Trump Isn’t the Only Republican Mocking Survivors of Sexual Assault

“We will not be intimidated by these people,” said Sen. Mitch McConnell.

Tom Williams/ZUMA

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President Donald Trump’s steady withdrawal from his uncharacteristically measured approach to the sexual assault allegations against Brett Kavanaugh reached its inevitable peak on Tuesday. 

“How did you get home? I don’t remember,” Trump said, openly mocking Ford’s testimony. “How did you get there? I don’t remember. But I had one beer, that’s the only thing I remember.”

The remarks, which triggered laughter and applause from his supporters, made it clear that the president no longer cared to play along with Republican claims that they were empathetic to sexual assault survivors and were dedicated to providing Ford a fair hearing on her allegations.

Now, it appears that the rest of the party is falling in line with the president. On Wednesday, Sen. Mitch McConnell defiantly proclaimed that he and his Republican colleagues would not be deterred by sexual assault survivors who have confronted Republican lawmakers, including the Senate Majority Leader, in public this week to vote against Kavanaugh’s nomination. “I want to make it clear to these people who are chasing my members around the hall her here, or harassing them at the airports, or going to their homes,” McConnell said. “We won’t be intimidated by these people. There is no chance in the world they’re going to scare us out of doing our duty.” 

McConnell was just one of several Republicans who ignored sexual assault survivors in public this week. In another instance on Monday Sen. David Perdue accused protesters of trying to touch him, before running to the men’s bathroom to dodge their questions.

Shortly after McConnell’s speech on the Senate floor, Sen. Lindsey Graham responded to Trump’s remarks on Ford from the night before, first describing them as factually accurate and then saying he didn’t approve of the comments.

He then insisted that Ford was handled “respectfully” by Republicans and that Kavanaugh had been “treated like crap.” 

Graham’s comments drew instant boo’s from the audience.

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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