In an interview with The Hill this week, Donald Trump was critical of the sexual assault allegation against Brett Kavanaugh, arguing that the claim is "no different than the Russian witch hunt." Of course, by the standards of this president, the rebuke was fairly mild.
Indeed, CNN reported yesterday that White House officials have been "quietly stunned" by Trump's muted reaction. They feared the worst, and were pleasantly surprised when the president said Christine Blasey Ford deserved to be heard.
Axios had a related item this morning, quoting a source close to Trump saying the public has "no idea" how difficult it's been to keep Trump from attacking Ford. A White House official added, "Hopefully he can keep it together until Monday."
Indeed, at a campaign rally in Las Vegas last night, Trump offered effusive praise for his Supreme Court nominee, but told supporters, "I'm not saying anything about anybody else."
This morning, however, the Republican who has long struggled with impulse control apparently couldn't contain himself any longer, publishing a trio of tweets on the subject.
"Judge Brett Kavanaugh is a fine man, with an impeccable reputation, who is under assault by radical left wing politicians who don't want to know the answers, they just want to destroy and delay. Facts don't matter. I go through this with them every single day in D.C."I have no doubt that, if the attack on Dr. Ford was as bad as she says, charges would have been immediately filed with local Law Enforcement Authorities by either her or her loving parents. I ask that she bring those filings forward so that we can learn date, time, and place!"The radical left lawyers want the FBI to get involved NOW. Why didn't someone call the FBI 36 years ago?"
Evidently, he just wasn't capable of "keeping it together until Monday."
That said, if Trump has spent the week thinking of how best to go after the California professor, it's striking he couldn't think of something smarter to say.
It's ridiculous, for example, to see Trump argue that Democrats "don't want to know the answers," when it's Democrats who want the FBI to investigate Ford's allegation -- an investigation Republicans oppose for reasons they haven't yet explained.
It's equally bizarre to see the president write ironically about the importance of "facts," given his jaw-dropping propensity for lying.
But Trump's core message is that Christine Blasey Ford didn't report the alleged attack sooner, so therefore, he doubts the veracity of her claim.
This is offensive, it's unpersuasive, and it's evidence of a president who seems increasingly nervous about the fate of a political fight his side might yet lose.