Sarah Sanders, the White House press secretary, called out The New York Times late Monday over its report on a 1985 bar fight that allegedly involved President Trump’s pick for the Supreme Court, Brett Kavanaugh, throwing ice at a fellow bar patron.
The report said that Kavanaugh and four others were questioned by New Haven police after the Sept. 25, 1985, incident. A 21-year-old man reportedly claimed that Kavanaugh was unprovoked when he threw the ice at him.
Sanders tweeted that Democrats are desperate to attack Kavanaugh and used a July tweet from one of the article's co-authors in an apparent attempt to show biased reporting.
“As a @YaleLawSch grad & lecturer, I strongly disassociate myself from tonight’s praise of Brett Kavanaugh,” Emily Bazelon, a Times reporter, tweeted at the time. “With respect, he’s a 5th vote for a hard-right turn on voting rights and so much more that will harm the democratic process & prevent a more equal society.”
Sanders asked in her tweet, “What motivated New York Times reporter to write this ridiculous story? Throwing ice 33 years ago, or her opinion of Judge Kavanaugh in July?”
The New York Times told Fox News the story was straightforward based on police reports, which are public documents. Sanders did not challenge any allegations in the article.
The incident occurred after a UB40 concert at a place called Demery’s, according to Chad Ludington, a former classmate. The group of men apparently saw someone who looked like the lead singer of the band. When the man asked them to stop looking at him, Ludington said Kavanaugh launched a beer at the man. Ludington told CNN that he earlier mixed up a beer for a drink with ice, but said that the man "took a swing at Brett" and they fought.
He said Chris Dudley, a friend of Kavanaugh’s at Yale who went on to play professional basketball, took his drink and "smashed it up against the guy's head."
The alleged victim "who was bleeding from the right ear" was treated at a nearby hospital, the paper reported.
Dudley denied the allegations at the time, the paper reported. He did not comment for the paper's article.
Ludington, who now teaches at North Carolina State University, said he was friend of Kavanaugh’s at Yale and that Kavanaugh was “a frequent drinker, and a heavy drinker."
Trump said Monday that he called on the FBI to do a "comprehensive" investigation into sexual assault allegations invovling Kavanaugh. But he also said Senate Republicans are determining the parameters of the investigation and "ultimately, they're making the judgment."
"My White House will do whatever the senators want," Trump said. "The one thing I want is speed."
The Associated Press contributed to this report