Ed Whelan will be taking a leave of absence from his position as the president of the right-wing think tank the Ethics and Public Policy Center, Politico reports. Last week, Whelan posted a Twitter thread that delved into Christine Blasey Ford’s accusations of attempted sexual assault against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh. Whelan suggested that Ford had mistaken Kavanaugh for one of his classmates, who Whelan named. The thread also included the blueprints to a house where Whelan claimed the party Ford described may have taken place.
Whelan offered to resign from his position, “in light of what he described as an ‘appalling and inexcusable’ error in posting online a series of comments that he has now deleted and for which he promptly publicly apologized,” the organization said, but the EPPC board declined his resignation. “The board will meet in a month to review the situation,” the statement said.
Whelan also released his own apology.
“I apologize deeply and sincerely to all those whom I have harmed by my appalling and inexcusable tweet thread last week—above all, the person whose name I wrongly made public,“ he said in a statement.
“I also apologize to victims of sexual assault and to Dr. Ford for these and other tweets that did not address with respectful consideration the difficult question of how to assess allegations of sexual assault. I do not believe that all such allegations must be accepted as true, and I believe further that the usual inquiries into motivation, cognition, memory and other matters that apply to other charges properly apply to these as well. But my tweets did not advance the discussion in a constructive way.“
Whelan’s ill-advised Twitter thread wasn’t his work alone. Politico reported that the firm CRC Public Relations helped him publicize his accusations. It’s also been reported that Whelan viewed Ford’s LinkedIn page before her name was made public by the Washington Post. He has denied coordinating with the White House or Kavanaugh to disprove the allegations.