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What’s happening in the picture of women scowling behind Kavanaugh



Kavanaugh Hearing
Those sat behind Supreme
Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh during his testimony on Thursday
behind him are friends, family, and

REUTERS/Jim Bourg/Business

  • An image from Brett Kavanaugh’s testimony as he denied
    sexually assaulting Christine Blasey Ford has gone
  • The image shows the women behind Kavanaugh scowling and
    crying as he became visibly angry during his hearing.
  • Many saw it as a wider symbol of how women were
    reacting to Kavanaugh’s alleged actions and the
    visible emotion that Blasey Ford
     displayed during her
  • But those sat behind him are actually friends,
    and allies.
  • Here’s who is in the photo and how they have expressed
    support for Kavanaugh.

Supreme Court Nominee Brett Kavanaugh and Christine Blasey
Ford, the woman who accused him of sexual assault, delivered
powerful testimonies to the Senate Judiciary Committee on
Thursday about the alleged incident.

For some watching, one of the most striking things during
Kavanaugh’s testimony was his visible anger and the reactions of
the women sat behind him, who cried and scowled as he
categorically denied the accusations against him.

Kavanaugh tweet
Twitter user Gustavo Luis
posted the screenshot of the women behind Kavanaugh, which went


The photo went viral on
, where many saw it as a wider symbol of how women
were reacting to Kavanaugh’s alleged actions and the
visible emotion that Blasey Ford
 displayed during her

But others pointed out that those sat behind Kavanaugh were his
friends and allies and that, rather than acting disgusted with
what he said, they were likely mirroring
the anger that he expressed during his speech.

Who is in the photo

Kavanaugh’s parents, Everett and Martha Kavanaugh, sit on the
left of the photo. The pair has been supportive of Kavanaugh and
were at his confirmation hearings, which took place before the
allegations went public. In his prepared opening statement, which
he did not read on Thursday, he called his mom one of his
judicial heroes.”

Laura Cox Kaplan, a friend of Kavanaugh, sits beside
them. Her Twitter account
shows her vocal support for Kavanaugh. 
Her husband, Joel
Facebook’s public policy chief, is behind her, with the blue

Kavanaugh’s wife, Ashley, is to his left. She entered the hearing
on Thursday holding hands with her husband and has appeared with
the pair’s daughters at press conferences since the allegations
went public. She also
appeared beside him in a Fox News interview
where he denied
ever sexually assaulting anyone.

Suzanne Mattan, a school friend of Kavanaugh, is to his right.
Mattan told Fox News in September that she first met
Kavanaugh in high school when they became friends. She said
that “the allegation is something that is completely
opposite of the Brett that I knew then and the Brett that I know

Zina Bash, a
former clerk for Kavanaugh
, is to her right. Bash also
previously served as special assistant to the president for
regulatory reform, legal, and immigration policy. Kavanaugh
prides himself on taking on a gender imbalance in the legal
profession by hiring female clerks, and mentioned it during th

White House counsel Don McGahn is to the right of the
photograph. Kavanaugh was urged repeatedly by
Democratic Senator Dick Durbin to turn to McGahn and request
the FBI investigate the
claims and clear his name. McGahn, who is

set to leave his role soon
, had advocated for

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