The identity of the woman who came forward to share her story of being violently sexually assaulted at age 15 by Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh was given to Republican operatives before the story published, the Washington Post reports.
After preparing the story in which Professor Christine Blasey Ford told her story, in which she says she worrying that a drunken Kavanaugh might kill her in his attack, the Post contacted the Trump White House for comment, as is standard reporting procedure.
At that point, the Post now reports, Raj Shah, the Deputy Press Secretary who would be responsible for coordinating an official response reportedly “called a number of Trump allies to warn them about the upcoming story.”
The Post‘s source for the allegations against Shah were provided on the condition of anonymity.
“[Raj Shah] disclosed Ford’s identity to a number of people,” the Post reports.
However, the source and the Post sought to distance Shah from the conduct of Kavanaugh ally Ed Whalen. Whalen, a close friend of Kavanaugh, searched Blasey Ford’s LinkedIn page before the Post’s story was published as part of his research.
Whelen’s research into Blasey Ford culminated in a series of conspiracy theory tweets in which he named another man who was party of Kavanaugh’s social circle that he alleged was the real rapist.
The White House has told the Post that “neither Kavanaugh nor anyone in the White House gave Ford’s name to Whelan.”
The Post now reports that its anonymous source maintains Shah “did not talk to Whelan.”
It was unclear how the source would know that Shah did not talk to Whalen unless Shah himself was the source.
Whalen has deleted his conspiracy theory tweets and apologized but refused to tell the Post who contacted him.