Sen. Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii) called for "the men in this country" to "shut up and step up" on Tuesday during a news conference, RealClearPolitics reported.
The Senate Judiciary Committee member's comment referred to her perceived response from Republican men about the sexual assault allegations lobbed against Supreme Court Justice nominee Brett Kavanaugh by Christine Blasey Ford, a research psychologist in northern California.
"I just want to say to the men of this country: Just shut up and step up. Do the right thing — for a change," Hirono said.
Ford, a registered Democrat, has alleged that a drunk Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her at a house party in the 1980s while they were in high school. She also claimed that she was afraid he might "inadvertently kill me" during the alleged incident.
The 51-year-old Democrat sent letters with her claims to Rep. Anna Eshoo (D-Calif.) and Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) in July — shortly after President Donald Trump chose Kavanaugh as his nominee for Supreme Court justice.
But it wasn't until Friday that the accusations against the federal judge were made public.
What did Hirono tell reporters?
Hirono told reporters that she believes Ford is being victimized for coming forward.
"I think we all know when something is not fair when something smells. And we all know this. Let's face it, this is so patently unfair to her and what really bothers me and gets me so angry that the White House is victimizing this person. Why don't we get that out there? That why should we participate in the victimization of someone who has the courage to come forward? And she is under absolutely no obligation to participate in a smearing of her and her family. And that is why I am very clear about what needs to happen."
The senator went on to say that she would "expect" the media to talk about the unfair treatment of Ford by Republicans, adding that she doesn't consider that as editorializing.
"But at the same time, you know, if the Republicans go forward with their plan to railroad this and to fast-track as they have so many other nominations, I expect the members of the press to talk about how unfair this all is. I don't think that is editorializing, that is laying out some facts. I expect that from you guys," she continued.
A reporter asked Hirono whether or not it helped that there are women on the committee if Ford agrees to participate in a public hearing. The senator is one of four women on the Judiciary Committee.
"Of course, it helps that there are women on that committee, but you know what? I expect the men in this country and the men in this committee and many of them believe me because we all signed on to this letter to demand an FBI investigation. But, really, guess who is perpetuating all of these kinds of actions? It's the men in this country.
"And I just want to say to the men in this country: Just shut up and step up. Do the right thing — for a change," Hirono said. "You can see I’m a little bit upset by this, the unfairness of it."
What does Kavanaugh say?
Kavanaugh has adamantly denied the allegations and is willing to testify under oath before the Senate Judiciary Committee. The Supreme Court nominee has been through six federal investigations over the course of his public career, according to The Associated Press.
“I have never done anything like what the accuser describes — to her or to anyone,” Kavanaugh said on Monday in a statement. “Because this never happened, I had no idea who was making this accusation until she identified herself yesterday.”
Ford's accusations allegedly took place at a party more than 35 years ago. Kavanaugh was reportedly 17 at the time, and Ford was 15.
What did the White House say?
“On Friday, Judge Kavanaugh ‘categorically and unequivocally’ denied this allegation. This has not changed. Judge Kavanaugh and the White House both stand by that statement," the White House statement said.
On Tuesday night, Hirono blasted the White House on Twitter.
"The entire array of the White House's power is behind Judge Kavanaugh. It not only places Dr. Blasey Ford at a disadvantage, it victimizes her. No survivor of sexual assault should be subjected to death threats and concern about the safety of their family," she wrote.