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Sexual Assault Survivor Confronts Jeff Flake On CNN: ‘Don’t Look Away From Me’

Two sexual assault survivors confronted Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) on live TV Friday, shortly after the senator announced he would vote to confirm Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.

“You’re telling all women that they don’t matter,” said one woman between tears as Flake tried to leave in an elevator with his head down.

“Look at me when I’m talking to you!” she shouted. “You’re telling me that my assault doesn’t matter.”

“Look at me and tell me that it doesn’t matter what happened to me!” the woman added. “That you’ll let people like that go into the highest court in the land and tell everyone what they can do with their bodies.”

Watch a clip of the exchange on CNN below:

Another woman, Ana Maria Archila, said she believed Christine Blasey Ford, the psychology professor who says Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her when they were in high school, because Blasey’s story was similar to her own experience. 

“What you are doing is allowing someone who actually violated a woman to sit on the Supreme Court!” she shouted at Flake. “What are you doing, sir? This is the future of our country!”

Archila is an executive director of the Center for Popular Democracy, a progressive nonprofit group. She said in a statement after the confrontation that Flake “claims to support civility” but has proven “he would rather ignore women’s stories and support a disrespectful sexual abuser than stick to his values.”

The Senate Judiciary Committee convened Friday morning for a vote on Kavanaugh. 

Flake entered the hearing room frowning. The senator was previously one of a few whose voting plans were unclear following Thursday’s testimonies from Kavanaugh and Blasey. He stood up for Blasey on the Senate floor and criticized a comment from President Donald Trump that cast doubt on her claim because the alleged incident occurred more than three decades ago.

“I do not believe the claim of sexual assault is invalid because a 15-year-old girl didn’t report the assault to authorities, as the president of the United States said just two days ago,” Flake said Thursday. “How uninformed and uncaring do we have to be to say things like that, much less believe them?”

Yet the senator said Friday in a statement that he ultimately decided to vote to confirm Kavanaugh because he had left the hearing the day before “with as much doubt as certainty.”

The vote is largely expected to fall along party lines.

A handful of Democrats ― Sens. Mazie Hirono (Hawaii), Kamala Harris (Calif.), Richard Blumenthal (Conn.), Sheldon Whitehouse (R.I.) and Patrick Leahy (Vt.) ― walked out of the committee after members moved to vote on Kavanaugh’s nomination Friday afternoon.

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