Brett Kavanaugh nomination: Trump challenges accuser

President Donald Trump's Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh is sworn in before the Senate Judiciary Commi

Trump spoke to Hannity directly before the Nevada campaign rally, where he continued to hold his tongue when speaking about Ford - who accused Kavanaugh of a high school-era sexual assault - while still firmly taking the judge's side.

Bush - a Republican who had nominated Thomas and wanted to confirm him - agreed.

"I would like to set up a call with you later today to discuss the conditions under which Dr. Christine Blasey Ford would be prepared to testify next week".

Committee chairman Chuck Grassley, a Republican, has scheduled a hearing for next Monday for both Ford and Kavanaugh to appear in public to tell their stories. Apparently, this additional evidence has had the opposite effect on the Senate Judiciary Committee.

On Wednesday, Republicans, who have rebuffed Ford's request for Federal Bureau of Investigation intervention, urged Ford to accept their invitation to testify and signaled they'd forge ahead with Kavanaugh's confirmation. The answers people in this case might give to FBI investigators could be suggestive in terms of what they say they remember, what they deny and what level of detail they are willing to volunteer - mindful about the potential penalty for lying.

Instead she has sought to have the FBI investigate the incident as part of its official background check on the nominee.

Democrats, already opposed to Kavanaugh even before Ford made her allegation, accused Republicans of trying to railroad the nomination through the Senate.

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

Blasey Ford has been reluctant to testify since she came forward on Sunday with her allegation, which threatened to derail the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh for the US Supreme Court.

McConnell continues to back Kavanaugh, saying that "President Trump has nominated a stunningly successful individual".

Presidential counselor Kellyanne Conway says the #MeToo movement against sexual misconduct should not be conflated with the assault allegation against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh and his denial.

But wait. If Mark Judge's letter to the Judiciary Committee is sufficient to make its Republican members accept the contents of the letter at face value, why don't they do the same for the letter Dr Ford sent to ranking Committee member Diane Feinstein?

Kavanaugh can not be confirmed for a lifetime appointment to the nation's highest court without approval from the Senate. Here's what I want to tell you: in the very near future Judge Kavanaugh will be on the United States Supreme Court.

White House officials remain confident Kavanaugh will be confirmed. In a letter to the committee, Ford's lawyers said that she would be open to appearing before the panel, but that an appearance Monday "was not possible".

Prof Ford, Mr Kavanaugh and the judge's wife have all been receiving threats, as the case becomes increasingly contentious.

Trump tweeted Friday that Kavanaugh has an "impeccable reputation" and that Democrats "don't want to know the answers, they just want to destroy and delay".

On Kavanaugh, McConnell gave kudos to President Trump for nominating a "stunningly successful individual".

Blasey Ford's lawyers have told the committee she can not appear at its hearing scheduled for Monday, calling the date Republicans set "arbitrary", according to The Washington Post and The New York Times.

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