A second woman coming forward to accuse Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh of sexual misconduct may force many observers to view him less favorably, it appears to have done the opposite for Kellyanne Conway.
Whereas last Monday, the counselor to the president was willing to give Christine Blasey Ford the benefit of the doubt, she came out swinging this morning against what she described as a “vast left-wing conspiracy” trying to take down Trump’s man.
“This woman should not be insulted and she should not be ignored,” Conway told Fox & Friends a week ago, setting the tone for Trump, who was surprisingly measured in response to the allegations—until he came face to face with Sean Hannity a few days later and started questioning Dr. Ford’s credibility.
During an appearance on CBS This Morning today, however, Conway was in full-on attack mode after Kavanaugh’s Yale classmate Deborah Ramirez emerged to tell her story about the time he allegedly put his penis in her face at a college party. Asked if Ramirez should testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee, Conway said she “if she would like to, she can certainly contact” them, but did not say that she believes they should give her a platform.
Calling Ramirez a “so-called accuser,” Conway echoed Kavanaugh’s claim that he is the victim of “smear campaign” and added, “Indeed, this is starting to feel like a vast left-wing conspiracy.”
“I know there is pent up demand for women to get their day, woman who have been sexually harassed and sexually assaulted, and I personally am very aggrieved for all of them,” she added. “But are we going to put decades of pent up demand for women to feel whole on one man’s shoulders? What exactly is the standards for ruining one man’s life based on decades of allegations that have nothing to do with him?”
Conway even brought up former CBS This Morning co-host Charlie Rose, who was ousted from the network last year, to try to turn the issue around on the media. Because Kavanaugh has not been accused of misconduct as he gained more power as a federal judge, Conway suggested that should exonerate him of misbehavior earlier in his life.
Later, co-host John Dickerson more or less cornered Conway into breaking with Trump on the issue of why it sometimes takes women years to come forward about sexual assault. “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,” the president tweeted late last week. On Monday, he said the allegations were “totally political.”
“Based on your understanding of women, is it something that happens often, that women have a sexual assault encounter and then don’t report it?” Dickerson asked.
Conway said that in her experience “some women do not come forward because they fear not being believed,” but in the next breath also blamed false accusations for deterring women who have been abused from speaking out about it. “So it cuts both ways,” she said. At the same time, despite what Trump has said, she admitted that the delay in Ford coming forward does not raise any questions about the veracity of her claims.
When Conway insisted that Trump takes the allegations against Kavanaugh “very seriously,” Dickerson replied, “Kellyanne, how can you say that?”
After arguing that Trump is simply “defending his nominee to the United States Supreme Court,” Conway concluded by saying, “I just don’t think one man’s shoulders should bear decades of the #MeToo movement.”