Ford told the Washington Post that she received a notification from the social media website saying that her profile was viewed by Ed Whelan, who days later tried to discredit her with a convoluted conspiracy theory.
The LinkedIn notification allegedly came hours before the Post published a report identifying Ford as the woman who had accused Kavanaugh of sexual assault. Per the Post:
That morning, Ford alerted an associate via email that Whelan had looked at her LinkedIn page, according to the email, which was reviewed by The Post. LinkedIn allows some subscribers to see who views their pages.
Some White House officials knew of Ford’s identity in the hours before the report was published. But a White House spokesperson told the Post that no one told Whelan of Ford’s name before the Post‘s report. It’s unclear how he knew enough information to find her LinkedIn.
Whelan, who is helping advise Kavanaugh’s confirmation and is the president of the Ethics and Public Policy Center, defended Kavanaugh in a Twitter thread on Thursday. In the thread, which has since been deleted, Whelan suggested that Ford was mistaking Kavanaugh’s identity and accused another man of assaulting her. Ford denied the theory, saying she knew the other man being accused and that there was “zero chance” she was confused, and Whelan posted an apology.
“I made an appalling and inexcusable mistake of judgment in posting the tweet thread in a way that identified Kavanaugh’s Georgetown Prep classmate,” he wrote. “I take full responsibility for that mistake, and I deeply apologize for it. I realize that does not undo the mistake.”
Allies to Kavanaugh, including White House officials and Congress Republicans who at first seemed ready to push the theory that Ford had mistaken Kavanaugh’s identity, then tried to disassociate from Whelan’s comments.
Read the Post’s full report here.