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Democratic strategist Lis Smith, who served as the senior communications director for Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg’s 2020 presidential campaign, believed Christine Blasey Ford was “looney toons,” according to recently revealed text messages.
“Christine Blasey Ford was looney tunes and the height of [#MeToo] overreach so this checks out,” Smith texted to senior members of then-Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s administration. Her remark was an apparent response to a since-deleted tweet from Albany-based New York Times reporter Jesse McKinley.
The texts were included in a trove of messages and exhibits released by New York Attorney General Letitia James related to the investigation to sexual misconduct allegations against Cuomo.
Democratic presidential hopeful Pete Buttigieg’s spokesperson Lis Smith speaks to the press in the Spin Room after participating in the second Democratic primary debate of the 2020 presidential campaign season hosted by NBC News at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts in Miami, Florida, June 27, 2019. (Photo by JIM WATSON/AFP via Getty Images)
Smith’s sentiments were in stark contrast with Buttigieg’s public support of Ford, who in 2018 accused then-Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh of sexually assaulting her when they were in high school.
On Monday, Buttigieg described Ford as “a profile in courage” and said he still believes her.
Following a report from The Guardian in 2019, Buttigieg’s presidential campaign returned donations from two lawyers who represented Kavanaugh during his confirmation hearings.
Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg arrives to attend an event on the global supply chain bottlenecks during in the East Room of the White House, Wednesday, Oct. 13, 2021, in Washington.
(AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
“With nearly 700,000 donors, a contribution we would otherwise refuse sometimes gets through,” a spokesperson for the campaign told The Guardian in a statement at the time. “We believe the women who have courageously spoken out about Brett Kavanaugh’s assault and misconduct, and we thank the Guardian for bringing this contribution to our attention.”
Kavanaugh “should have never been put on the Supreme Court, and this campaign will not accept donations from those who played a role in making that happen,” the spokesperson added.