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US President Donald Trump drew strong criticism from both Republicans and Democrats after mocking Christine Blasey Ford, who accused Supreme Court nominee, Brett Kavanaugh, of sexually assaulting her decades ago.

McConnell filed a petition for a cloture vote, which if successful would limit debate on the nomination and start the clock ticking on a final 30-hour waiting period before a Senate confirmation vote.

The Kentucky Republican announced the filing on Wednesday night, setting up for a procedural vote Friday that may lead to a vote on Kavanaugh's confirmation.

Graham doubled down on his recommendation that Trump renominate Kavanaugh if the Senate fails to confirm him, which the SC senator said would turn November's midterms into a referendum on the vacant Supreme Court seat.

Trump's mockery of Ford at a campaign rally on Tuesday night intensified political pressure on senators Jeff Flake of Arizona, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and Susan Collins of ME as they consider how they will vote on Kavanaugh.

In her emotional testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee last Thursday, watched live by 20 million Americans, Blasey Ford said she was "100 percent" sure Kavanaugh had attempted to rape her in the summer of 1982, when they were both high school students attending a party.

The letter says that in his hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee last week, Kavanaugh "displayed a lack of judicial temperament that would be disqualifying for any court, and certainly for election to the highest court of the land". 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.

The blowback to Trump's scoffing at Ford came as lawmakers awaited results of a revived Federal Bureau of Investigation background check, expected imminently, on accusations of sexual misconduct by Kavanaugh in high school and college.

That means if all the Democrats vote against Mr Kavanaugh, Mr Trump could not afford to have more than one Republican oppose his nominee, with Vice President Mike Pence casting a tie-breaking vote.

"The woman has been accommodated by all of us, including Senate Judiciary Committee", Conway told reporters.

When asked to explain why the President described her that way only to change his tune, Ms Huckabee Sanders replied: "the President believes that Judge Kavanaugh should be confirmed".

Mr Kavanaugh denies any wrongdoing. 'I don't know.' Where's the house?

It's unclear whether there will be a public summary of the information, or whether the White House would be allowed to release portions of the report.

The White House has found "no corroboration" of sexual misconduct allegations against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.

In a Twitter post on Wednesday, Trump did not back away from his rally comments, instead attacking Kavanaugh's Democratic critics.

The court's nine justices are appointed for life and have the final say on some of the most contentious issues in U.S. public life, from abortion to gun control and voting laws.

Democrats argue Republicans have been rushing to confirm him.

The president seemed to suggest she did not know on what floor of the property the alleged attack had occurred, but Prof Ford told senators she remembered being pushed into a bedroom on the upstairs level.

Kavanaugh has denied all the claims against him.

Two Democrats, Joe Manchin of West Virginia, and Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota, are also yet to declare their intentions.

Imitating Ford, he added, "But I had one beer - that's the only thing I remember".

She told reporters Dr Ford has "been treated like a Faberge egg by all of us, beginning with me and the president". I don't know. I don't know.


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