Sen. Orrin Hatch Calls Christine Blasey Ford an ‘Attractive, Good Witness’

“Hatch uses ‘attractive’ to describe personalities, not appearances,” a rep tells TheWrap

Republican senators enlisted a female prosecutor from Arizona to question Christine Blasey Ford on Thursday, in part so they wouldn’t accidentally say something embarrassing. But that didn’t stop Utah Sen. Orrin Hatch from raising eyebrows during a break in testimony, when he referred to Ford as an “attractive, good witness.”

Asked if he found Ford credible, Hatch replied: “Well, it’s too early to say. I don’t think she’s un-credible. I think she’s an attractive, good witness. But it’s way early –“

“What do you mean by attractive, sir?” he was asked.

“Oh,” he said, pausing. “In other words, she’s pleasing.”

A rep for Hatch told TheWrap: “Hatch uses “attractive” to describe personalities, not appearances. If you search his past quotes you’ll see he’s used it consistently for years for men and women he believed has compelling personalities.”

The Hatch moment was first reported by McClatchy reporter Kate Irby on Thursday in a tweet that swiftly went viral. She also posted audio of the moment, which you can listen to here. The moment received a flurry of press attention on Twitter from reporters who witnessed it.

Blasey testified about her accusation that Judge Brett Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her while drunk during a high school party.

Kavanaugh has denied that and other allegations of sexual misconduct leveled against him in recent days.

The gaffe from the 84-year-old senator offers a compelling data point for why Republican members of the committee declined to question Ford directly and outsourced the job to Rachel Mitchell, a career Arizona prosecutor with long experience in sexual assault claims.

Democratic members of the committee have largely filled the void left by their GOP colleagues, offering their fulsome support for Ford and using their platform to urge Republicans to launch an FBI investigation and subpoena Kavanaugh friend Mark Judge — who Ford says witnessed the assault.