Trump mocks Christine Blasey Ford over Kavanaugh allegations

Republicans take careful steps to secure the FBI's background report of Brett Kavanaugh ordered after he was accused of sexual assault

Kavanaugh was initially set to face a Senate vote earlier this week, but the three Republicans abruptly joined Democrats on Friday in demanding an Federal Bureau of Investigation inquiry into allegations by California professor Christine Blasey Ford, who accused Kavanaugh of sexually assaulting her when both were in high school in 1982. She said he was simply "stating the facts" and complained that both Ford and Kavanaugh were "victims" of a Democratic plot to derail the nomination.

Senator Richard Blumenthal, a Democrat from CT, said: "This vile, mocking attack on a credible, immensely powerfully eloquent survivor of sexual assault is a mark of disrespect and disregard not only for Dr Blasey Ford but the entire survivor community".

Christine Blasey Ford arrives for a Senate judiciary committee hearing in Washington.

But the undecided senators - Flake, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and Susan Collins of ME, all Republicans; and Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota and Joe Manchin III of West Virginia, both Democrats - are keeping an open mind.

Separately, Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, told reporters, "The president's comments were just plain wrong".

If McConnell musters a majority of senators to vote to limit debate on Kavanaugh, there would then be up to 30 hours of debate, meaning the final vote on confirmation would most likely come on Saturday.

"All of us need to keep in mind there's a few people that are on the fence right now". "And a man's life is in tatters", he added.

"I just got this text does anyone know what it means?" That testimony which she gave - and I have now watched it five times - was the testimony of an adolescent. Lawyers for PJ Smyth and Leland Ingham Keyser, who Ford says were at the house at the time of her attack, said their clients are cooperating with authorities.

Flake and Collins are among five senators who have not publicly said how they will vote on Kavanaugh's confirmation.

As he flew aboard Air Force One to the MS rally, Trump was also enraged by stories in The New York Times about Kavanaugh's high school and college years and alleging tax avoidance efforts by the president and his family, according to a person familiar with the situation who spoke on the condition of anonymity.

White House counsellor Kellyanne Conway on Wednesday echoed the president's newly aggressive approach.

"I got boys and I got girls, and when I see what's going on right now - it's scary", Trump Jr. said. She said a drunken Kavanaugh pinned her down, tried to remove her clothing and covered her mouth when she screamed.

Afterward, law professors across the country began discussing "with great distress, the unprecedented and unfathomable demeanor of Judge Kavanaugh", said Bernard Harcourt, a professor at Columbia Law School. "Vote him up or down". Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota.

Senators are preparing to vote on Kavanaugh as soon as late this week - and it's expected to be close. Deb Fischer of Nebraska, who is campaigning for a second Senate term.

U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell set up a procedural vote for as early as Friday on the Kavanaugh nomination.

The FBI has finished an interview with Chris Garrett, a high school friend of Kavanaugh.

The lack of interviews raises "serious concerns that this is not a credible investigation and begs the question: what other restrictions has the White House placed on the FBI?"

Flake has previously said that his vote depends on the results of the FBI's investigation and has declined to speculate on whether he would be comfortable voting on Kavanaugh if the probe is not yet completed.

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