Thursday, 18 October, 2018

Pivotal GOP senators slam Trump for mocking Kavanaugh accuser

A demonstrator holds a sign during a protest and march against the U.S. Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh in New York City. Reuters A demonstrator holds a sign during a protest and march against the U.S. Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh in New York City. Reuters
Lisa Bryan | 04 October, 2018, 08:25

Addressing thousands of supporters at a MS rally, Trump gave his own re-enactment of Ford's responses to questions at last week's Senate hearing where she testified that Kavanaugh assaulted her.

"How did you get there?"

"What neighbourhood was it in?" 'I don't know.' Where's the house?

"Upstairs, downstairs where was it?" I don't know - but I had one beer. 'How did you get there?' I don't remember.

The President said Tuesday night that Kavanaugh's "life is in tatters".

"I'm sure we'll get over it", he added. Jeff Flake (R-AZ), who forced the committee's hand over the investigation, spoke with Today on Wednesday morning where he called the remarks "kind of appalling".

Speaking to reporters early Wednesday afternoon, Murkowski said: "I thought the president's comments yesterday mocking Dr. Ford were wholly inappropriate and in my view unacceptable".

Mr Trump's fellow Republicans control the Senate by a 51-49 margin. If all the Democrats in the Senate stick together, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell can afford to lose only one senator from his ranks and still confirm Trump's pick.

Graham accused Democrats of stalling and doing anything they possibly could to keep the Supreme Court seat vacant in case they retake the White House in 2020.

President Donald Trump on Tuesday openly mocked the university professor who has accused his Supreme Court nominee of sexual assault, joking about her inability to remember details surrounding the night of the alleged attack.


Judge has denied any memory of such an incident, as have at least three others with information about Ford's allegations and those of a second accuser, Deborah Ramirez, who has said Kavanaugh exposed himself to her when they were Yale University students.

Trump limited the investigation to no more than a week. Writing in all capital letters, Trump said when he goes to political rallies, which are organised by Republicans, he sees that voters are angry at the "vicious and despicable" way Democrats are treating his nominee.

The White House - through press secretary Sarah Sanders and others - has dismissed all the allegations against him as old news that had been litigated during the campaign.

But White House counselor Kellyanne Conway brushed off criticism of the President and bolstered the toughened White House line towards Ford.

"BK's lies about binge drinking are false exculpatory statements created to undermine Ford's 100% certain I.D. of him as her attacker. There are facts that she can not remember: how she got home, how she got there, where the house was, what the date was".

Besides Flake, Collins and Murkowski, Democratic Senators Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota and Joe Manchin of West Virginia also have yet to announce how they will vote.

"[McConnell] said we would vote this week", Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn (R-TX) told reporters, Fox News reported.

"There will be plenty of time for members to review and be briefed on the supplemental material" before Friday's vote, McConnell said to the almost empty chamber. "This is all part of the organised effort to delay, obstruct and intimidate, including those of us who will be voting this week".

Blasey Ford's lawyers, Bromwich and Debra Katz, wrote a letter to the agency questioning an apparent decision not to interview Kavanaugh, and expressed concern that the Federal Bureau of Investigation was not following up on witnesses and evidence they had identified.

"It is inconceivable that the FBI could conduct a thorough investigation of Dr Ford's allegations without interviewing her, Judge Kavanaugh, or the witnesses we have identified in our letters to you", Dr Ford's lawyers said in a letter to FBI Director Christopher Wray.

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