Police chief forced to tell Trump it is 'a fact' sex crimes go underreported as president demands Kavanaugh assault evidence
The president called on Christine Blasey Ford — who has accused Mr Kavanaugh of sexual assault while at a party when the two were teenagers — to release any police filings she may have filed at the time of the alleged incident.
“I have no doubt that, if the attack on Dr. Ford was as bad as she says, charges would have been immediately filed with local Law Enforcement Authorities by either her or her loving parents,” Mr Trump wrote in a tweet.
That spurred a response from Art Acevedo, who replied to the president in a tweet of his own that "sexual assault & domestic violence are row [sic] of the most under-reported crimes in society."
"This is a fact," Mr Acevedo continued, adding, "In the past the law enforcement community has not done a good job of creating safe spaces for victims."
The police chief then tagged the Houston Area Women’s Centre, an organisation in Texas aiming to end domestic and sexual assault, writing, "Thankfully, we now work with partners like @hawctalk to do better."
Sexual assault & domestic violence are row of the most under-reported crimes in society, this is a fact & in the past the law enforcement community has not done a good job of creating safe spaces for victims. Thankfully, we now work with partners like @hawctalk to do better.
— Chief Art Acevedo (@ArtAcevedo) September 21, 2018
The confrontation arrived as Ms Ford prepares to potentially speak publicly for the first time about her accusations against Mr Kavanaugh.
Mr Kavanaugh and Ms Ford have been invited to testify Monday before the Senate Judiciary panel. While Mr Kavanaugh has agreed to go, Ms Ford said she can't appear that day and wants to testify next Wednesday or Thursday if Republicans agree to several conditions, including that she not be in the same room with the nominee.
The president previously had avoided naming the California college professor, but now says that Mr Kavanaugh is “under assault by radical left wing politicians".
Mr Trump tweeted Friday that Mr Kavanaugh has an "impeccable reputation" and that Democrats "don’t want to know the answers, they just want to destroy and delay."
He added, "Facts don’t matter. I go through this with them every single day in DC"
Negotiations are set to continue over whether Ms Ford will testify in front of the panel next week.
The Associated Press contributed to this report