Three Republican senators who will be crucial to deciding whether Brett Kavanaugh reaches the Supreme Court hit out at President Donald Trump on Wednesday after he unleashed an attack on Christine Blasey Ford, who has accused the judge of sexual assault. 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.
Separately, Republican Senator Susan Collins of ME told reporters, "The president's comments were just plain wrong", and Republican Senator Lisa Murkowski of Alaska said they were "wholly inappropriate and in my view unacceptable".
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".
Ms Collins, a moderate Republican from ME, told reporters on Wednesday: "The president's comments were just plain wrong".
"This evening, the Senate will receive the results of the FBI's supplemental background investigation of Judge Brett Kavanaugh", Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said as he took the chamber floor just before 10 p.m. Wednesday.
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At a political rally in Mississippi Tuesday night, Trump mimicked Ford's responses at a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing last week at which she recounted Kavanaugh's alleged attack on her when both were in high school. While an interview was conducted with Deborah Ramirez, who said Kavanaugh exposed himself to her at Yale, investigators did not, as far as Ramirez's legal team knew, speak to any of the 20 people she said may be able to corroborate her story.
Agents spoke with Mark Judge, a friend of Kavanaugh's who Ford said was in the room when she was assaulted. She said Trump was merely "pointing out factual inconsistencies".
Disquiet about the President's intervention was not limited to those Republican senators who are undecided about Kavanaugh.
"I don't have all the answers, and I don't remember as much as I would like to", she said.
Blasey Ford's lawyers have criticised the limited scope of the re-opened investigation. 'Upstairs, downstairs, where was it?' I don't know.
Graham said he did not approve of Trump's comments on Tuesday, but that it could have been worse.
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The President's remarks also offered an opening to critics of the Kavanaugh nomination, including Democratic Sen. Among all voters, however, 48 percent said that the Senate should reject him, while 42 percent want him confirmed.
Christine Blasey Ford testifies to the Senate Judiciary Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington, on September 27, 2018.
Trump said Kavanaugh has been treated horribly. Kavanaugh denies the accusation.
"I just got this text does anyone know what it means?"
The FBI's report will be available at a sensitive compartmented information facility, or SCIF, in the Capitol Visitor Center, a secure room designed for senators to review sensitive or classified material, two Senate officials said. I don't know! But I had one beer.
Julie Swetnick, who implicated Kavanaugh in a pattern of sexual assaults, was also not interviewed.
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Senator Dianne Feinstein, the committee's top Democrat, called Mr Trump's comments "cruel", adding, "he sent a clear message to victims of sexual assault that they should not be believed".