McConnell sets Friday test vote on Kavanaugh nomination

McConnell sets Friday test vote on Kavanaugh nomination

McConnell sets Friday test vote on Kavanaugh nomination

White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders defended US President Donald Trump's decision to go after the woman who has claimed she was sexually assaulted by Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.

Senate Republicans now need a simple majority for a vote to end debate on the nomination, which is expected to take place on Friday.

Senators Jeff Flake, Susan Collins and Lisa Murkowski - three moderate Republicans who could be pivotal in determining whether the Senate confirms Mr Kavanaugh - slammed Mr Trump's mocking imitation of Dr Ford's testimony as "appalling".

Hours before Trump's speech, Ford's lawyers sent a letter to FBI Director Chris Wray saying they've received no response from anyone involved in the reopened background investigation Kavanaugh.

Raj Shah, deputy White House press secretary, said the report, which Democrats have denounced as hasty and incomplete, marked "the last addition to the most comprehensive review of a Supreme Court nominee in history, which includes extensive hearings, multiple committee interviews, over 1,200 questions for the record and over a half million pages of documents".

In separate interviews, Senators Jeff Flake of Arizona, Susan Collins of ME, and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska - all considered swing votes on Kavanaugh - took issue with comments the president made the night before at a political rally in MS that drew laughs from his supporters.

Collins told CNN's Manu Raju that the comments were "just plain wrong".

Judge Brett Kavanaugh testifies during the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on his nomination be an associate justice of the Supreme Court of the United States, focusing on allegations of sexual assault by Kavanaugh against Christine Blasey Ford in the early 1980s.

The FBI did interview Deborah Ramirez, another woman who accuses Kavanaugh of sexual assault.

Before the crowd Tuesday night in Southaven, Mississippi, President Trump imitated Ford during her testimony, mocking her for not knowing the answers to questions such as how she had gotten to the high school party where she says Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her.

Ford's attorneys have said she was not contacted for an interview. "'I don't remember,"' Trump said at the rally in Southaven.

As Republicans fight headwinds ahead of the November 6 midterm elections, Trump sought to rally his supporters behind Republican Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith, who was appointed to fill the seat of Thad Cochran, who retired in April. I'm the first person to say, 'I want to hear from Dr. Ford.' I thought she was handled respectfully. "Upstairs, downstairs, where was it?" In the statement, a man who says he is Ford's former boyfriend says he saw Ford, a psychology professor, coach a friend on how to be less nervous during a polygraph examination.

Trump spent much of the rally, however, lamenting the treatment of Kavanaugh by Democrats, whose attacks, he said, had taken their toll on the judge's family. After that, the Republican committee members will see it at 10:00 and the Democrats at 11:00. McConnell said on Tuesday that the report should not become public.

To accommodate the senators, and to guard the sensitive information, the FBI's report is expected to be held in a secure room normally reserved only for classified matters.

Grassley and Feinstein have agreed to giving members equal access to the report, he said.

Also interviewed was Tim Gaudette, a high school classmate of Kavanaugh. Background checks do not traditionally contain investigators' conclusions about who they believe is credible.

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