'I treated her with respect': Donald Trump defends remarks against Christine Blasey Ford

Katy Clifton

President Donald Trump has defended his remarks against Christine Blasey Ford saying that he treated her with “great respect”.

The US president faced backlash after appearing to mock Professor Blasey Ford’s testimony against then-Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, who she claims sexually assaulted her.

Ms Ford told the Senate Judiciary Committee that she was “100 per cent” certain that Mr Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her when they were teenagers.

Days after she gave tearful evidence, the US president at a rally in Mississippi appeared to mock her testimony against Mr Kavanaugh, who has now been appointed to the Supreme Court.

Climate change 'will change back,' Donald Trump believes (CBS)

Speaking at the rally on October 3, Mr Trump said: “How did you get home? I don’t remember. How did you get there? I don’t remember. Where is the place? I don’t remember.”

In an interview with CBS’ 60 Minutes, the US president defended his remarks during the speech in Mississippi and said that he treated Ms Ford with great respect.

Asked by CBS’ Lesley Stahl why he made fun of her, Mr Trump said: “I didn’t really make fun. What I said is the person that we’re talking about didn’t know the year, the time, the place."

Ms Stahl reminded the president that thousands of people laughed at Ms Ford when he “mimicked her" testimony, in which she called Mr Kavanaugh “the boy who sexually assaulted me”.

“I think she was treated with great respect, I’ll be honest,” Mr Trump said. “There are those who think she shouldn’t have been.”

Christine Blasey Ford speaks before the Senate Judiciary Committee (REUTERS)

Asked if he in particular treated the 51-year-old with respect, Mr Trump added: “I think so, yeah. I do.”

After Mr Trump was told he appeared to call Ms Ford a liar, he responded: “I’m not going to get into it, because we won. It doesn’t matter, we won.”

In the final vote approving Mr Kavanaugh’s nomination, which was disrupted repeatedly by protesters in the gallery, the selection was cleared by a narrow margin of 50-48.

Mr Trump said on Twitter: “I applaud and congratulate the U.S. Senate for confirming our GREAT NOMINEE, Judge Brett Kavanaugh, to the United States Supreme Court.

"Later today, I will sign his Commission of Appointment, and he will be officially sworn in. Very exciting!"

Brett Kavanaugh (L) at his ceremonial swearing in (Getty Images)

He later apologised to Mr Kavanaugh for the “pain and suffering” he endured during the process leading to his nomination.

The US leader described the allegations against the judge as “a campaign of lies” as he spoke at a swearing-in ceremony.

Ms Ford is still unable to live at home because of the death threats she has received following her testimony, her lawyer said.