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

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.


In 2014, before Donald Trump announced his run for president, we knew we had to do something different to address the fundamental challenge facing journalism: how hard-hitting reporting that can hold the powerful accountable can survive as the bottom falls out of the news business.

Being a nonprofit, we started planning The Moment for Mother Jones, a special campaign to raise $25 million for key investments to make Mother Jones the strongest watchdog it can be. Five years later, readers have stepped up and contributed an astonishing $23 million in gifts and future pledges. This is an incredible statement from the Mother Jones community in the face of huge threats—both economic and political—against the free press.

Read more about The Moment and see what we've been able to accomplish thanks to readers' incredible generosity so far, and please join them today. Your gift will be matched dollar for dollar, up to $500,000 total, during this critical moment for journalism.

We Recommend


Sign up for our newsletters

Subscribe and we'll send Mother Jones straight to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.


Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.


We have a new comment system! We are now using Coral, from Vox Media, for comments on all new articles. We'd love your feedback.