Schumer: Kavanaugh accuser 'won America's hearts'

Schumer: Kavanaugh accuser 'won America's hearts'
© Stefani Reynolds

Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerNYT: Don't make Acosta a political martyr Charities say they never received donations touted by Jeffrey Epstein: report Schumer to donate Epstein campaign contributions to groups fighting sexual violence MORE (D-N.Y.) on Thursday said Christine Blasey Ford, the first woman to publicly accuse Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh of sexual assault, "won America's hearts" with her testimony last week.

"Dr. Ford came forward and won America's hearts. And our Republican colleagues were upset 'cause that might derail their headlong rush to put Judge Kavanaugh on the Supreme Court," Schumer said.

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The Senate Democratic leader also again criticized Republicans' behavior toward Ford, accusing them of demeaning her.

"It's wrong what our Republican friends are doing, what my dear friend the Leader is doing, is demeaning to Dr. Ford," Schumer said Thursday, referring to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by JUUL Labs - House to vote to condemn Trump tweet GOP put on the back foot by Trump's race storm Overnight Health Care — Presented by PCMA —Biden unveils health care plan | Proposal pitches subsidies, public option | Biden vows if you like your health insurance, 'you can keep it' | Sanders protests planned Philadelphia hospital closure MORE (R-Ky.)

Ford claimed Kavanaugh groped her and attempted to take off her clothes without her consent at a party in 1982. Kavanaugh has unequivocally denied the accusation. GOP senators say the allegations remain uncorroborated after viewing the FBI's report regarding its renewed investigation.

Democrats have not mentioned any new evidence contained in the report, but have argued that the investigation was too narrow to be sufficiently thorough.

"If you're talking about partisan histrionics, if you're talking about politics of personal destruction, if you're talking about being intimidated, if you're talking about outrageous smears, you are really accusing Dr. Ford of all those things," Schumer said. "Not anyone else."

Schumer said those actions were demeaning to Ford.

"And demeaning is the last thing that Dr. Ford and others who have gone through what she had gone through need now. Or deserves now," he said.

Schumer has criticized McConnell in the past over his comments regarding Ford. The Senate majority leader in a floor speech had said Democrats were using Ford's allegations to "smear" Kavanaugh. Schumer called for McConnell to apologize.

His most recent comments come not long after President TrumpDonald John TrumpEsper sidesteps question on whether he aligns more with Mattis or Trump Warren embraces Thiel label: 'Good' As tensions escalate, US must intensify pressure on Iran and the IAEA MORE mocked Ford's testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee during a Mississippi rally. Trump launched into an imitation of Ford, making fun of her answers to senators' questions regarding her allegations. The president's mockery prompted laughter and applause from the audience.

Republicans have accused Democrats of wielding Ford and her allegation against Kavanaugh as a political weapon. They have also accused Democrats of mishandling Ford's allegation, which Sen. Dianne FeinsteinDianne Emiel FeinsteinThe peculiar priorities of Adam Schiff Dem senators demand GOP judicial group discloses donors Senate Democrats skipping Pence's border trip MORE (D-Calif.) received privately in July, before Ford went public with her allegations in an interview with The Washington Post. 

Feinstein has said she did not bring Ford's allegation to anyone on the committee or to investigators sooner to respect Ford's wish for confidentiality. Republicans have accused her of leaking the letter from Ford to the press, something Feinstein has denied.

Additionally, Republicans have said that Democrats have whipped up threats and intimidation against them. Two potential swing senators, Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsGOP put on the back foot by Trump's race storm GOP senator: 'Outrageous' to say Trump's tweets about Democratic congresswomen are racist Fox personalities blast Trump's remarks MORE (R-Maine) and Jeff FlakeJeffrey (Jeff) Lane FlakeFlake urges Republicans to condemn 'vile and offensive' Trump tweets Flake responds to Trump, Jimmy Carter barbs: 'We need to stop trying to disqualify each other' Jeff Flake responds to Trump's 'greener pastures' dig on former GOP lawmakers MORE (R-Ariz.), have both reported receiving threats.

The Senate is set to conduct a procedural vote regarding Kavanaugh's nomination Friday and complete a final vote as soon as Saturday.