Leahy calls Trump's drinking problem claim `bogus baloney'
President Donald Trump's claim that Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., has a drinking problem is "bogus baloney" and an effort to silence the senator, according to Leahy and his spokesperson.
On Tuesday, Trump told a crowd at a campaign rally in Mississippi that Leahy had a drinking problem while talking about what would happen if the Democrats took control of the Senate.
"A guy like Bernie [Sanders] would be in charge of the Budget Committee. Patrick Leahy — oh, he's never had a drink in his life," Trump said. "Check it out: Look under `Patrick Leahy slash drink.' `Patrick Leahy dash drink' will be in charge of the Appropriations Committee."
Leahy, 78, told the Washington Post that Trump's comments were "bogus baloney" and that the president "attacks everybody except Vladimir Putin."
Leahy spokesperson David Carle said Thursday the president was rehashing a claim by conservative talk show host, Mark Levin, who said in 2010 that Leahy was slurring during a speech on the Senate floor about the Citizen's United court decision.
"The far right brings this out whenever they try to silence Sen. Leahy," Carle said. "And it won't work."
Leahy serves on the Senate Judiciary Committee and plans to vote against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh. Leahy said Kavanaugh repeatedly lied during the hearings.
In a statement, Leahy called Trump a liar too.
"By now just about everyone who stands up to this president has been targeted for his bogus attacks and smears. Curiously, everyone except Putin. I must be doing something right," Leahy said in the statement.
"His shameful mocking of a sexual assault victim is by far the biggest outrage. He has no idea the damage he's doing to sexual assault survivors everywhere, or he just doesn't care."
Trump has come under bipartisan fire for remarks at the rally mocking Christine Blasey Ford, who has accused Kavanaugh of sexual assault, for her inability to remember many of the details of the night she was allegedly attacked.
Whether or not Kavanaugh had a drinking problem in high school and college, and specifically whether he blacked out from drinking, came up a number of times during the Senate hearing. Kavanaugh played down his drinking in a way that his friends from the time have called misleading and dishonest.
"The president and his nominee lie constantly," Leahy said in his statement. "The truth is that Brett Kavanaugh is unfit to serve on the nation's highest court."
Congressional aides interviewed by the Post said Leahy drank alcohol but not to excess.
TALK TO US
If you'd like to leave a comment (or a tip or a question) about this story with the editors, please email us. We also welcome letters to the editor for publication; you can do that by filling out our letters form and submitting it to the newsroom.