A North Carolina Republican leader used a fake photo to mock the physical appearance of Christine Blasey Ford, who has accused Supreme Court nominee judge Brett Kavanaugh of sexual assault.
Lanny Lancaster, GOP chairman for Cabarrus County, this week shared an image on Facebook that he purported to be a teenage Ford, suggesting she was not attractive enough to be a sexual assault victim. Ford, a California psychology professor, told the Senate Judiciary Committee last week that Kavanaugh held her down on a bed, covered her mouth, and attempted to forcibly remove her clothing when the two were in the high school.
“This is the alleged sexual assault victim. Wow,” Lancaster wrote in his post with the picture of a young woman in braces wearing large glasses, according to the News & Observer.
The photo isn’t Ford. It’s actually a meme that has circulated the internet since at least 2012.
When contacted by the News & Observer, Lancaster was unapologetic and attacked the media.
“I didn’t say anything,” Lancaster said. “I just said this is her picture. Basically, the media is distorting the facts on this lady. Everything she’s said is made up. She has no evidence whatsoever. I support that theory.”
Then he launched into a further slam on Ford’s physical appearance.
“The media wants you to think she was a beautiful young lady who was on her way home from the tennis courts,” Lancaster said. “I just wanted you to see the real person. I wanted people to see that this is really her.”
On Sunday, the executive director of the North Carolina Republican Party, Dallas Woodhouse, said Julie Swetnick ― another Kavanaugh accuser ― is a “criminal” who helped to “facilitate child rape.”
Swetnick has alleged she was victim of a gang rape at a high school party where Kavanaugh was present.
Her lawyer, Michael Avenatti, told HuffPost Woodhouse’s comments were “the most blatant example of shaming a sexual assault victim yet.”
President Donald Trump himself has defended some of the sexual misconduct allegations against him by ridiculing the physical appearance of accusers. “Look at her ... I don’t think so,” he said of one.
The president also mocked Ford during a campaign rally Tuesday night in Mississippi:
“I had one beer, right? I had one beer!” Trump said to laughter, pretending to recount Ford’s Senate testimony. “How did you get home? I don’t remember. How’d you get there? I don’t remember. Where’s the place? I don’t remember.”
A report on the FBI investigation into the Kavanaugh accusations was sent to the Senate early Thursday. Democrats have deplored the probe as thin for ignoring key witnesses, including Ford and Kavanaugh themselves.
CORRECTION: A previous version of this story incorrectly stated Julie Swetnick’s alleged assault took place at a Yale party. By her account, it was a high school party.