A prominent conservative commentator teased the revelation of "compelling evidence" that would exonerate Supreme Court pick Brett Kavanaugh of a sexual assault allegation, electrifying the nominee's supporters on Twitter.
But the argument laid out Thursday, which appeared to suggest that accuser Christine Blasey Ford had mistaken Kavanaugh for another person, was met with a backlash from many on the left and right. Some said the commentator, Ed Whelan, had opened himself up to a possible lawsuit. Ford herself rejected the notion, and Whelan apologized Friday morning.
Whelan is president of the Washington-based conservative think tank Ethics & Public Policy Center and a vocal supporter of Kavanaugh, President Donald Trump's second nominee to join the high court in two years.
In the wake of Ford's explosive allegation that Kavanaugh had drunkenly pinned her to a bed and tried to rip off her clothes at a gathering when they were both in high school, Whelan had tweeted numerous times about the possibility that Ford may be accusing the wrong man.
The allegation against Kavanaugh was first made public last week after Ford sent a letter detailing her story, and requesting anonymity, that was obtained by Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif.