This morning, Trump finally snapped and launched a Twitter attack on Christine Blasey Ford, the woman who has credibly accused the president’s Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh of attempting to rape her when they were both in high school.
Trump unleashed a slew of tweets trying to undermine Ford and prop up Kavanaugh, in which he questioned the validity of her claims and tried to cast suspicion on her for not coming forward with her allegations sooner. He did this despite the obvious fact that when Ford did decide to come forward — out of a sense of patriotism and desire to prevent her attacker from seizing a Supreme Court seat — she was hit with a deluge of death threats and harassment so vitriolic she was forced to move.
In one particular tweet, Trump claimed that Ford’s attack couldn’t have been “as bad she says” because if it had she would have filed charges at the time. To be clear: this is the most powerful man in the world attacking a woman because, as a sexually traumatized teenager, she didn’t go through the proper legal channels immediately. It’s cruel and calloused and exactly what we’ve come to expect from the man.
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!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 21, 2018
Luckily, some authority figures are unwilling to let Trump’s smear campaign go unchallenged.
Police Chief Art Acevedo of Houston, Texas responded to Trump’s tweet to inform him that sexual assault and domestic violence are statistically some of the most underreported crimes in the United States. Acevedo took it a step further and said that “in the past the law enforcement community has not done a good job of creating safe spaces for victims.”
Acevedo is correct to say that many victims don’t feel like they can come forward with their stories because they fear they could be ignored or worse. It’s heartening to hear that his department is working with the Houston Area Women’s Center to create a safer atmosphere for women.
Sexual assault & domestic violence are row of the most under-reported crimes in society, this is a fact & in the past the law enforcement community has not done a good job of creating safe spaces for victims. Thankfully, we now work with partners like @hawctalk to do better.
— Chief Art Acevedo (@ArtAcevedo) September 21, 2018
Given the president’s obsessive veneration of the law enforcement agencies that aren’t investigating him for potentially treasonous behavior, the Chief’s words are a significant rebuke that really needed to be said.