Trump's callous tweet about Kavanaugh accuser sparks Senate turmoil

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Just 9 percent of Democrats support Kavanaugh's confirmation, compared with 70 percent of Republicans.

President Donald Trump's Supreme Court nomination Brett Kavanaugh found himself at the focus of an increasing scandal this week as sexual allegations from his high school days have hit the headlines, adding what some will see as yet just another flaw to the history of the controversial nominee. He has staunchly denied her account. Apparently, this additional evidence has had the opposite effect on the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Late Thursday, the White House released a letter from Kavanaugh to Grassley in which he said he wants to tell his side in a Monday hearing.

The statement said Ford wishes for other witnesses to be involved in any future hearings, but did not name any such witnesses. In the call, she said Ford needs time to secure her family, prepare her testimony and travel to Washington.

Trump spent most of the week unusually restrained and heeding the tone set publicly by counselor Kellyanne Conway. Chris Coons (D., Del.) said he was "encouraged" by the hearing scheduled for Ford. The president launched a tweet attack on Dr. Christine Blasey Ford that's shocking - even for him.

Mr Trump said in a tweet that "if the attack on Dr Ford was as bad as she says", she would have pressed charges.

"I ask that she bring those filings forward so that we can learn date, time and place!"

He added: "The radical left lawyers want the Federal Bureau of Investigation to get involved NOW". The one being investigated uses vulgar language and suggests violence. Trump has refused to ask for that. "I mean, you could also say, when did this all happen?"

"We fear that rather than learning from the past, Senate Republicans and the Trump Administration are repeating this Committee's previous mistakes and making new ones".

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"We believe that Chrissy has acted bravely by voicing her experience from the past, and we know how hard this is for her. Chrissy is not someone who chooses to be in the spotlight", the letter said.

Image copyright Reuters Image caption Prof Ford says Brett Kavanaugh pinned her to a bed and tried to take off her clothes What are the other developments?

Ford told The Washington Post she told no one at the time what had happened to her, and was terrified of punishment from her parents if they realized she had been at a party where underage drinking was happening.

She says she was only saved from being raped after a friend intervened and pulled him off her.

-She does not want Kavanaugh in the room when she testifies.

Sen. Mazie Hirono (D., Hawaii) told NPR on Monday that she expected both Kavanaugh and Ford to testify in an "atmosphere of transparency".

-Ford would prefer that senators, and not an outside counsel hired by Republicans, question her.

Brett Kavanaugh is accused of sexual assault by Christine Blasey Ford.

The GOP is defending House and Senate majorities in the election, and though Trump is not on the ballot November 6, the contest is widely considered a referendum on his stewardship.

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Inside the Senate, split 51-49, only six Republicans are women.

The Senate Judiciary Committee delayed a vote on Kavanaugh.

In contrast, four Democrats are women - some with ambitions to challenge Trump in 2020. In bargaining that continued Friday, her attorneys conditionally offered an appearance for Thursday, saying Monday wasn't possible. Democrats were in charge, and the spectacle is widely regarded as a Senate embarrassment.

Ford supporters protest outside the office of Senator Chuck Grassley on Thursday, saying he's treating her unfairly.

"If you want to have a longtime impact on what kind of country we're going to have for the next generation the single most consequential thing we can do is these lifetime appointment of men and women to the court who believe that the job of a judge is to follow the law", McConnell said.

Those who work closely with the President say he has privately voiced suspicion about the #MeToo movement and complained that decades-old allegations could ruin men's lives in an instant.

Ford's lawyers had said on Tuesday she would testify only if the FBI first investigated her allegation.

"In the Anita Hill case, they didn't give it enough time", Senator Gillibrand said.

Miranda said staff from the Senate Judiciary Committee had reached out to her, something she was not expecting. Doing so would nearly certainly evoke the panel's handing of Hill and potentially alienate suburban women voters who could decide the elections and control of the House and Senate.

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Another person asking for leads from the alumnae page claimed to be in touch with the Washington Post and other newspapers, wanting to talk with individuals "who want to support Dr. Ford".