Key Republicans criticise Trump for 'appalling' mockery of Kavanaugh accuser

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Senators prepared to view the FBI's completed report on Supreme Court nominee Brett M. Kavanaugh, which the Judiciary Committee announced it had received early Thursday morning, setting up another day of high drama on Capitol Hill.

While trying to round up votes on his side, McConnell has also taken sharp aim at Democrats, accusing them of trying to "move the goal posts" on Kavanaugh's confirmation fight by suggesting that Friday would be too soon for a key vote on him. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., has said he wants senators to receive an Federal Bureau of Investigation briefing on its findings at least 24 hours before the chamber takes its first procedural vote on Kavanaugh, but Republicans have given no sign of assenting to that.

Republicans outnumber Democrats in the Senate 51-49, and - in the event of a tie - Vice President Mike Pence would be the deciding vote.

Jeff Flake, one of three Republicans crucial to Kavanaugh's being approved for the court but seen as undecided, called Trump's ridicule of Christine Blasey Ford in a MS campaign speech "appalling".

Senator Susan Collins, another of the trio of senators yet to come out in support of the conservative jurist, said Trump's comments "were just plain wrong".

In a statement on Wednesday night, after Mr. McConnell set the vote in motion, Dr. Ford's counsel wrote: "An FBI supplemental background investigation that did not include an interview of Dr. Christine Blasey Ford nor the witnesses who corroborate her testimony can not be called an investigation".

Flake, the Judiciary Committee member who pushed to delay the vote on Kavanaugh so the FBI could investigate, later told The Washington Post that Trump's comments would not factor into his thinking on the nomination.

Ford's lawyers said it is "inconceivable" that the FBI could conclude its investigation, which could happen as early as Wednesday, without interviewing either her, Kavanaugh or all of the other witnesses whose names she has provided.

Feminist author Jessica Valenti tweeted: "I don't have it in me to say something outraged about Trump mocking Dr Blasey Ford".

Win McNamee  Getty Images
Win McNamee Getty Images

And Sen. Angus King, an independent from Maine who caucuses with Democrats, said on CNN's "New Day" that Trump's comments "made me feel sort of sick".

"I don't like what the president said last night". "Upstairs, downstairs, where was it?"

She said Mr Kavanaugh was drunk and had pinned her onto a bed, tried to remove her clothing and put his hand over her mouth when she screamed.

In a poll released Wednesday by NPR, Marist and PBS Newshour, 47 percent of respondents said they had a negative view of Kavanaugh versus 36 percent who said they view the judge positively. "I know this because I heard Brett and his friends using these terms on multiple occasions". They are determined to seat him and empower a right-wing majority, no matter what he may have done to Christine Blasey Ford or any other woman - and no matter how many falsehoods he uttered in his Senate testimony.

The senator said he was requesting the recordings because the committee has obtained a letter that "raises specific concerns" about the reliability of Ford's polygraph test.

The Senate Judiciary Committee expected to receive the report from the FBI Wednesday evening.

The group says Kavanaugh told "outright falsehoods". The goal: to shed light on Ford's accusation that Kavanaugh pinned her down and groped her in 1982.

There's more: Several people who reached out to investigators to offer information said they were also left hanging. That's the only thing I remember.

Trump Backs Court Nominee Kavanugh After Fiery Hearing
Judge has said he does not recall the incident and he reiterated that point in a letter to the committee released late Thursday. He evaded questions about calling for an FBI investigation and proclaimed that "you'll never get me to quit ".


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