Her Actual Title Is Likely “Special Counsel to the Committee.” Not “Female Assistant.”
U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell appeared defensive when NBC News Capitol Hill Correspondent Kasie Hunt Tuesday afternoon pointed out to him that there are only men on the Republican side of the Judiciary Committee. But McConnell’s sexist response is what was perhaps most revealing.
“You don’t have women making decisions about Judge Kavanaugh,” Hunt, who also hosts her own MSNBC show, noted. “What message does that send to the American people?”
After saying that being “a male” isn’t disqualifying to sit on the Committee, McConnell condescendingly added, “As I said earlier and I think you already know, we have hired a female assistant to go on staff and to ask these questions in a respectful and professional way.”
.@SenateMajLdr: “We have hired a female assistant to go on staff and to ask these questions in a respectful and professional way. We want this hearing to be handled very professionally not a political sideshow…” #Kavanaugh pic.twitter.com/N0hGKA6NqX
— CSPAN (@cspan) September 25, 2018
Buzzfeed’s Legal Editor Chris Geidner summed it up: “The ‘female assistant’ is a lawyer, to be clear. Her title, I would imagine, likely is special counsel to the committee or the chair.”
That attorney is also believed to be an expert in sexual assault.
McConnell was immediately excoriated on social media for his sexist and demeaning characterization.
“Female assistant” is not the phrase I would have gone with. https://t.co/qpUTjBHGQM
— Chris Hayes (@chrislhayes) September 25, 2018
Majority Leader McConnell says they’ve hired a “female assistant” staffer to ask questions at a hearing. He has the authority to appoint actual female U.S. senators to be on the Judiciary Committee.@SenateMajLdr: “We have hired a female assistant … to ask these questions.”
— Ari Melber (@AriMelber) September 25, 2018
Mitch McConnell calls the lawyer the GOP Senators on the Judiciary Committee have hired to do their job of questioning Dr. Ford for them a “female assistant.” And shockingly, none of the other GOP Senators show any surprise at the disrespect. https://t.co/g5jUqOJeNi
— Joyce Alene (@JoyceWhiteVance) September 25, 2018
“Assistant”? No. A prosecutor.
They hired a prosecutor to cross-examine an alleged victim of sexual assault in order to discredit her so a man can get a lifetime position deciding cases affecting the lives of millions of women.
They hired a *female* prosecutor for optics. https://t.co/oAaqmVJvsU
— Leah McElrath (@leahmcelrath) September 25, 2018
Are senators not capable of asking questions in a respectful & professional way? There’s no getting around it: These Republican senators are laughable besides being cowardly. A “female assistant”? Why not call her “the girl” while you’re at it, Mitch? https://t.co/N6dSv0Q2aN
— Clyde Haberman (@ClydeHaberman) September 25, 2018
With the former Attorney General of Texas (Sen. John Cornyn) standing behind him, the @SenateMajLdr explains that the Republicans needed to hire “a female assistant” to question Dr. Ford to ensure that the questions are asked in “a professional way.” https://t.co/0s0WRrN3vC
— Sherrilyn Ifill (@Sifill_LDF) September 25, 2018
“Female assistant”?! Really? How about you elect female senators and place them on the committee? No, you want to use women as tools against other women. You don’t want to empower them, you want to exploit them. https://t.co/XtEItnPRcu
— Charles M. Blow (@CharlesMBlow) September 25, 2018
wow… will the GOP’s “female assistant” be making coffee and running errands too? https://t.co/yffGWLR3R1
— Kerry Eleveld (@kerryeleveld) September 25, 2018
“We have hired a female assistant to make sure we don’t do anything stupid like refer to her as a ‘female assistant.’” https://t.co/HfdNRzTHpn
— Scott Bixby (@scottbix) September 25, 2018
A “female assistant” will be doing the actual work?
How is that an “assistant”
Sounds like she’s the lead and the all male Republican wing of the @senjudiciary are scared to do their jobs.
— ☇RiotWomenn☇ (@riotwomennn) September 25, 2018
“Female assistant.” Wow.
Might as well say, “We brought a girl in.” https://t.co/wtYLLVcSjF
— Alt. U.S. Press Sec. (@AltUSPressSec) September 25, 2018
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