Dem rep apologizes for tweet downplaying threats against Collins' office

Dem rep apologizes for tweet downplaying threats against Collins' office
© Greg Nash

Rep. Eric SwalwellEric Michael SwalwellHouse to vote on resolution affirming peaceful transition of power Swalwell calls for creation of presidential crimes commission to investigate Trump when he leaves office 'This already exists': Democrats seize on potential Trump executive order on preexisting conditions MORE (D-Calif.) apologized Thursday for a tweet in which he downplayed threats against Sen. Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsSenate GOP set to vote on Trump's Supreme Court pick before election Democratic senator to party: 'A little message discipline wouldn't kill us' Poll: 57 percent of Americans think next president, Senate should fill Ginsburg vacancy MORE's (R-Maine) office, and suggested the Republican senator and her colleagues were dismissive of threats against the woman who accused Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh of sexual assault.

"Boo hoo hoo. You’re a senator who police will protect. A sexual assault victim can’t sleep in her home tonight because of threats," Swalwell wrote in a since-deleted tweet, referencing Christine Blasey Ford, who went public with her accusations on Sunday.

"Where are you sleeping?" Swalwell added. "[Ford's] on her own while you and your @SenateGOP colleagues try to rush her through a hearing."




Swalwell, a rising Democrat who hasn't ruled out a 2020 White House bid, later apologized for saying "something stupid."

He added in a separate tweet that "no one should make threats."

"This is a democracy: Be loud and be heard. We don’t use violence. I didn’t mean to suggest that," he tweeted. "But I’m pissed how this victim’s safety has been ignored and a rush to confirm has been prioritized. Why not offer the witness security?"

In the same interview in which Collins detailed the threats against her office, she called for Ford to receive "any protection that she may ask for for herself and for her family," something Collins's spokeswoman and a number of journalists noted in responses to Swalwell.

Ford alleged in a Washington Post interview published Sunday that Kavanaugh pinned her down and attempted to remove her clothes during a high school party in the 1980s. She also said he put his hand over her mouth when she tried to scream for help.

Kavanaugh has denied the allegations. 

Ford's attorney said that her client has received death threats, and that she and her family have had to relocate from her northern California home as a result.

Kavanaugh is expected to testify on Monday about the allegations. Ford has yet to commit to appearing at the hearing, and has instead called for the FBI to conduct a thorough review of her claims.

Collins, a more moderate Republican, has been subject to intense pressure from liberals over her vote on Kavanaugh. Republicans hold a narrow 51-49 edge in the Senate, meaning they can ill afford their own members to vote against Kavanaugh if all Democrats oppose his nomination.

Staffers have told multiple publications in recent days that the senator's offices have received "vulgar" and "abusive" phone calls and social media messages.