- An image from Brett Kavanaugh’s testimony as he denied sexually assaulting Christine Blasey Ford went viral.
- The image shows several women behind Kavanaugh scowling as he became visibly angry during his hearing on Thursday.
- Many saw it as a wider symbol of how women were reacting to Kavanaugh and to the visible emotion Ford displayed during her testimony earlier in the day.
- But people sitting behind Kavanaugh were his friends, family, and allies.
- Here’s who’s in the photo and how they have expressed support for Kavanaugh.
Brett Kavanaugh, the Supreme Court nominee, and Christine Blasey Ford, the woman who has accused him of sexual assault, delivered powerful testimonies to the Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday.
For some watching Kavanaugh’s testimony, one of the most striking things was his visible anger and the reactions of several women sitting behind him, who at times cried and scowled as he categorically denied the accusations against him.
A photo of the people sitting behind Kavanaugh went viral on Twitter, where many saw it as a wider symbol of how women were reacting to Kavanaugh and to the visible emotion that Ford displayed during her testimony earlier in the day.
But others pointed out that they were friends and allies who, rather than acting disgusted with what he said, were most likely mirroring the anger he expressed during his speech.
Who is in the photo
On the left in the photo are Kavanaugh’s parents, Everett and Martha Kavanaugh, who were at his confirmation hearings before the allegations became public.
In his statement to the Judiciary Committee on the first day of his confirmation hearings earlier this month, Brett Kavanaugh called his mum one of his “judicial heroes.”
Laura Cox Kaplan, a friend of Kavanaugh’s, is beside them. She has expressed support for Kavanaugh on her Twitter account. Her husband, Joel Kaplan, Facebook’s public-policy chief, was behind her, with the blue tie.
Kavanaugh’s wife, Ashley Estes Kavanaugh, is to Laura Cox Kaplan’s left. She entered the hearing on Thursday holding hands with her husband and has appeared with their daughters at press conferences since the allegations became public. She also was beside him during a Fox News interview in which he denied ever sexually assaulting anyone.
Suzanne Matan, a school friend of Brett Kavanaugh’s, is to his right. Matan told Fox News earlier this month that she met Kavanaugh in high school and became friends. She has described Ford’s allegation as “something that is completely opposite of the Brett that I knew then and the Brett that I know now.”
To Matan’s right is Zina Bash, a former clerk for Kavanaugh who previously served as a special assistant to the president for regulatory reform, legal, and immigration policy. Kavanaugh has described himself as taking on a gender imbalance in the legal profession by hiring women as clerks, something he mentioned during the hearing on Thursday.
Don McGahn, the White House counsel, is on the right in the photo. Kavanaugh was urged repeatedly by Democratic Sen. Dick Durbin to turn to McGahn to request an FBI investigation into the allegations against him. McGahn, who is set to leave his role soon, has been an advocate for Kavanaugh.
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.