President Donald Trump assailed protesters who have come forward about their own sexual assault to senators as “very rude elevator screamers,” falsely claiming that they are being paid by Democratic fundraiser George Soros and other groups.
Trump’s Friday morning tweet perpetuated a right-wing conspiracy theory that protesters are paid actors and set up by Democrats.
Public outcry surrounding Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, who has been accused of sexual misconduct by three women, has increased ahead of a likely Saturday vote to confirm the judge.
Last week, sexual assault survivors confronted Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) in a Senate elevator. The protests were part of a series of events that helped convince Flake, a key swing-vote senator on Kavanaugh’s nomination, to call for an FBI investigation in the claims against Kavanaugh.
In response to Trump’s tweet, Ana Maria Archila, one of the women who confronted Flake in the elevator and co-executive director for the Center for Popular Democracy, criticized the president for “trying to ignore the experiences of people in this country by discrediting individuals who dare to raise our voices and force elected officials to listen to our stories,” she said in a statement.
Earlier this week, Trump launched into a disgusting rant mocking Kavanaugh accuser Christine Blasey Ford.
This has been updated throughout.