Ed Whelan, the president of the Ethics and Public Policy Center, posted a bizarre theory in a Twitter thread on Thursday essentially suggesting that Dr. Christine Blasey Ford, who has accused Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh of sexually assaulting her in high school, may have mistaken him for someone else.
Whelan’s thread, which was deleted on Friday morning, sparked intense backlash online and a quick denial from Ford.
In the Twitter thread, Whelan speculated that a different classmate at Georgetown Prep assaulted Ford, by using maps, floor plans, and posting the photographs of the classmate. The thrust of the argument appeared to be that Ford was mistaking Kavanaugh for the other classmate.
Whelan hedged the speculation by claiming in the thread that “I have no idea what, if anything, did or did not happen in that bedroom at the top of the stairs, and I therefore do not state, imply or insinuate that [the person] or anyone else committed the sexual assault that Ford alleges.”
In a statement to the Washington Post, Ford said she knew the person Whelan speculated about, adding there was “zero chance that I would confuse them.”
On Friday morning, after deleting the thread amid backlash online, Whelan apologized for the thread.
“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.”
I made an appalling and inexcusable mistake of judgment in posting the tweet thread in a way that identified Kavanaugh's Georgetown Prep classmate. I take full responsibility for that mistake, and I deeply apologize for it. I realize that does not undo the mistake.
— Ed Whelan (@EdWhelanEPPC) September 21, 2018
Before Whelan’s deletion, his theory seemed to pick up some steam. Fox & Friends discussed the tweets on Friday morning.
“A fellow by the name of Ed Whelan… he looked at what Christine Ford told the Washington Post and figured out, OK these people were named, these 4 people–where do they live?” Fox & Friends host Steve Doocy said, as Mediaite reports. “And looked at what she had said and figured out what house it may have happened at, because it was the house closest to the golf course, and then realized whose house it was and looked at a picture of the young man who lived there at the time, who was a classmate of Mr. Kavanaugh’s, put up side-by-side images–they look a lot of like.”
The hosts continued talking about it, questioning whether it was a “case of mistaken identity,” before noting Ford’s statement that she didn’t confuse the two people.