Why did he do it? He, like any sane person, would have known that in doing so he'd be charged with attacking, verbally raping, mocking, making fun of, or any such assault on Dr. Ford. That's exactly how the press would frame it. We all know it. We've watched it for decades. With almost scientific precision, the average thinking American should be able to predict how the press will frame a story.
So why did he do it? Only that very day, the reports suggested Republicans were coalescing around Kavanaugh. Dr. Ford's testimony seemed to be unraveling faster than a bad sweater. Why step in when we know for a fact that anything he said, and any way he said it, would be spun as an attack?
The cynical in me says that he did it to torpedo Kavanaugh. At this point, if Kavanaugh is confirmed, the Left will scream from the rooftops that the GOP is the party of gang rape, it wants all women raped and murdered, it supports rapists and has declared war on women, minorities, children, teddy bears and anything else. It will whip up the mobs and masses to storm the defenses, and the Left's mobs, which are based on hysteria sans brains (or morals), will flood into the streets to obey the glorious revolution.
So, he does what a clever businessman dedicated to the bottom line does: he throws Kavanaugh under the bus. He says something and stuff about Dr. Ford, and knows he'll be accused of wanting to rape and assault and terrorize and insult her. This will whip up the mindless masses - to a point. Just enough to scare the spineless resistance Republicans into not voting for him, thereby defeating his nomination in a classic Bork move.
This will placate the pitchfork brigade of mindless masses on the Left. But it will - rightly so - piss off the Right and anyone who doesn't want to live in the obvious Leftist totalitarian police state that the press and Democrats have openly declared. Instead of that Blue Wave everyone has predicted, it might just be enough to embolden and rouse the unclean conservatives to take a stand in November.
Of course what the president says one way or another should have no bearing at all on the Supreme Court justice nomination. But it's a sign of the times that we all know it will. Kavanaugh is entirely irrelevant. It's about much bigger issues than him. As the Jesuit Review so aptly stated, it's about not pissing off the people who matter. It isn't about things like human life or an innocent man's reputation.
For Trump, he's he might be gambling that by setting up Kavanaugh to fail, it will outrage the people who don't matter. Perhaps I'm wrong, but that's about the only thing that makes sense. Or Trump's a fool. Which I have a hard time believing, given how often he continues to run circles around the largest conspiracy against a leader in our country's history.