Kavanaugh Backer Ed Whelan Apologizes After Floating Unfounded Doppelganger Theory for Attack

“I made an appalling and inexcusable mistake of judgment,” says Whelan who leads the Ethics and Public Policy Center

Last Updated: September 21, 2018 @ 8:10 AM

Conservative activist Ed Whelan apologized on Friday after posting a lengthy Twitter thread Thursday night with unfounded speculation that Christine Blasey Ford had misidentified Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh for another similar-looking high school classmate in her account of what she has called an attempted sexual assault.

“I made an appalling and inexcusable mistake of judgment in posting the tweet thread in a way that identified Kavanaugh’s Georgetown Prep classmate,” said Whelan, a former clerk of Antonin Scalia and president of the think tank Ethics and Public Policy Center.

“I take full responsibility for that mistake, and I deeply apologize for it. I realize that does not undo the mistake.” His did not address the substance of his theory, which has already been disputed.

The thread, which Whelan has since deleted, lit up conservative media by floating the unfounded theory that Ford, now a California college professor, might be confusing Kavanaugh with a high school classmate noted at the time for strongly resembling the future judge.

Whelan named the individual and posted his photo suggesting without any evidence that the classmate, and not Kavanaugh, might have committed the attempted assault that Ford described from a high school party in suburban Washington, D.C.

In her own statement after Whelan posted his elaborate theory, Ford dismissed the possibility of mistaken identity. “I knew them both,” she told the Washington Post. “There is zero chance that I would confuse them.”

Questions were immediately raised by critics about whether Whelan was pushing the Kavanaugh “doppelgänger” theory at the behest of the White House.

“Ed, I think it would behoove you to address the questions of whether you worked with Kavanaugh, the White House or others prepping him (including those on the Hill) in coming up with your theory,” said Daily Beast politics editor Sam Stein in the comments to the Whelan apology.

Whelan’s unsubstantiated theory was, however, picked up and promoted on Friday by “Fox & Friends” — a show President Trump is known to watch regularly.