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Key Republicans criticise Trump for 'appalling' mockery of Kavanaugh accuser
04 October 2018, 07:54 | Darnell Patrick
A demonstrator holds a sign during a protest and march against the U.S. Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh in New York City. Reuters
The report will review allegations from California professor Christine Blasey Ford, who says Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her when both were teenagers, and from Kavanaugh's Yale classmate Deborah Ramirez, who says he exposed himself to her at a party when both were freshmen.
"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. "That's the only thing I remember", Mr Trumpmocked.
The audience laughed as the president said: "Thirty-six years ago this happened: I had one beer!"
Asked if Trump was anxious that his comments would jeopardise votes from swing Republican senators, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said: "I don't think so".
The President said Tuesday night that Kavanaugh's "life is in tatters".
Mr Flake and senators Susan Collins of ME and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska were instrumental last week in holding up Mr Kavanaugh's confirmation vote.
Appearing on NBC's Today show, Flake said that "there's no time and no place for remarks like that, that discuss something this sensitive at a political rally". Flake added, "I wish he hadn't done it. I just say it's kind of appalling", Mr Flake said.
"His comments were just plain wrong", Maine's Susan Collins said Wednesday.
Washington has been awaiting completion of the investigation since last week, when Flake, Collins and Murkowski pressured a reluctant Trump and Republican leaders to order the FBI to renew its background check of the 53-year-old Kavanaugh.
Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., said he asked during a lunch meeting with other Republican senators if multiple copies could be made available, but it was unclear whether GOP leaders agreed to the request. Lisa Murkowski, Joe Manchin, and Heidi Heitkamp.
Trump was merely pointing out the "facts" of the ongoing saga, Sanders later said.
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A person familiar with the matter said the Federal Bureau of Investigation questioned Deborah Ramirez for more than two hours on Sunday and that she provided the Federal Bureau of Investigation with a list of more than 20 possible witnesses.
He explained the "Kavanaugh bump" is real, noting that Republican Senate challengers in red states have surged against Democratic incumbents amid the Kavanaugh debate.
Senate minority leader Chuck Schumer, Democrat of NY, fired back in remarks after McConnell, saying the weeklong delay to the let the FBI investigate came at the request of Republican senators who weren't prepared to vote for Kavanaugh's nomination.
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, a New York Democrat, said Trump's insults marked a "new low".
Republican Senator Chuck Grassley of Iowa, the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, said in a tweet that people can "decide who to believe" but everyone should stop the "personal attacks" against Ford, Kavanaugh and their families.
McConnell said on Tuesday that the report should not become public.
In a Twitterpost, Mr Trump did not back away from his rally comments, instead attacking Mr Kavanaugh's Democrat critics.
"She's been treated like a Faberge egg by all of us, beginning with me and the President", Senior Trump Advisor Kellyanne Conway told reporters at the White House.
Both Kavanaugh and Judge have denied the allegations made against them.
"A vicious, vile and soulless attack on Dr Christine Blasey Ford", tweeted Michael Bromwich, a former high-ranking Department of Justice official who is now representing the psychology professor.
Administrators at the prestigious college emailed students late Monday to say Kavanaugh "indicated that he can no longer commit to teaching his course in January Term 2019, so the course will not be offered". Garrett's lawyer, William Sullivan, said Garrett has voluntarily cooperated with the FBI's reopened background check, but he declined to comment further.
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