Sen. Collins 'appalled' by Trump's tweet criticizing Kavanaugh accuser

Senate Majority Leader Mitch Mc Connell speaks to the 2018 Values Voters Summit in Washington on Friday

Senate Majority Leader Mitch Mc Connell speaks to the 2018 Values Voters Summit in Washington on Friday

Christine Blasey Ford, who has accused Supreme Court nominee, Brett Kavanaugh, of sexual assault, will not testify in front of a Senate panel on Monday, but is willing to appear sometime next week if certain terms are met, her lawyer said, citing safety concerns. "So I thought that the president's tweet was completely inappropriate and wrong".

Ford has not accepted the Senate Judiciary Committee's invitation to testify about how she was allegedly assaulted by Kavanaugh in high school.

Calling on Dr Ford to "bring those filings forward so that we can learn date, time, and place!", he asked: "Why didn't someone call the Federal Bureau of Investigation 36 years ago?"

Kavanaugh's nomination has been thrown into doubt by Ford's allegations that he sexually assaulted her when they were teens.

"He said / she said" has become part of the lexicon of language used to discuss sexual assault cases for a reason.

Mr Trump hinted on Thursday that he was ready to fully back Mr Kavanaugh after he said the judge had been treated "very, very tough".

Ford has alleged that while she and Kavanaugh were at a house party in the early 1980s, when the two were in high school, Kavanaugh drunkenly pinned her to a bed, groped her and put his hand over her mouth to stifle her screams as he tried to take off her clothes. In the call, she said Ford needs time to secure her family, prepare her testimony and travel to Washington. "Neither one of those options is useful if she wants to stop Brett Kavanaugh's confirmation to the Supreme Court", Roberts writes in her new op-ed for ABC News.

An email her lawyers sent to the Senate Judiciary Committee said Ford "would be prepared to testify next week" if the senators offer her "terms that are fair and which ensure her safety".

Ford's legal representation is negotiating with the committee about her testifying next week about the allegation, which Kavanaugh has denied.

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".

The committee must approve the nomination of Judge Kavanaugh before it passes to the full Senate for a vote. "They have until this Friday at 10:00 let us know whether they are coming", he said. "He remains committed to providing a fair forum for both Dr. Ford and Judge Kavanaugh", said Taylor Foy, a spokesman for Grassley.

While President Trump had been unusually restrained in his comments on Ford's allegation, during an interview with Sean Hannity ahead of a rally in Las Vegas on Thursday night, he criticized Ford's call for an investigation, saying, "Why didn't somebody call the FBI 36 years ago?" The answer simple: Republican members of the Judiciary Committee want to believe Judge, not Dr Ford.

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.

If Ford agrees to appear, it would set the stage for a potentially explosive hearing just weeks before congressional elections that will decide the balance of power in Congress, against a backdrop of the #MeToo movement against sexual harassment and assault.

Republicans have resisted all Democratic efforts to slow and perhaps block Mr Kavanaugh's confirmation.

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