It has been a week since the first bombshell allegation was leveled against US supreme court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, a court of appeals judge whose nomination by Trump was panned by this news outlet when it was first announced back in July.
Kavanaugh said he wasn't questioning "that perhaps Dr. Ford at some point in her life was sexually assaulted by someone at some place, but what I know is I've never sexually assaulted anyone". He said that he'd never done anything like the episodes his accusers have described and that he didn't have sexual intercourse until "many years" after high school.
"I was focused on trying to be No. 1 in my class and being captain of the varsity basketball team and doing my service projects, going to church", said Kavanaugh, when MacCallum pressed him.
Kavanaugh also told MacCallum he's resolute about not letting "false accusations" force him to withdraw. Feinstein also demanded an FBI investigation of the claims, despite repeated explanations from Grassley that it is the Senate's constitutional duty to conduct the probe.
"I want a fair process where I can defend my integrity, and I know I'm telling the truth. I am with him all the way", Trump said, calling the allegations politically motivated.
The year-old #MeToo movement against sexual harassment also has politicians wary of angering women voters.
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The judiciary committee that needs to approve Kavanaugh's confirmation has a narrow 11-10 Republican majority, but Sen.
'When I first learned that Brett Kavanaugh was on the short-list of nominees to fill a Supreme Court vacancy, prior to the President's selection among a list of what seemed to me as similarly-qualified candidates, I contacted my Congressperson's office in an attempt to provide information that could be useful to you and the President when making the selection from among a list of candidates, ' she wrote.
Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, backed up here by his wife Ashley, sat for three straight days before the Senate Judiciary Committee in early September. Michael Avenatti, Stormy Daniels' lawyer, is representing the woman, who says Kavanaugh, Judge, and others purposely got women drunk at college parties to later assault them, with men taking turns one after the other to rape intoxicated women. He said they appear "more interested in a political takedown" than a bipartisan process.
Ford has agreed to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee, and has asked that the FBI investigate her claim, and yet, Republican Senators have casted doubt on her account, stating they will advance Kavanaugh's nomination proceedings regardless of her allegations.
The new accusation in a report from The New Yorker came just a few hours after negotiators had reached an agreement to hold an extraordinary public hearing on Thursday for Mr Kavanaugh and Christine Blasey Ford. "We're not going to let her determine how many people we call" and on outside counsel.
Hatch, asked by reporters if Ford's allegations were phony, said, "I think she's honest, at least I hope so".
The New Yorker says the claim dates back to the 1983-84 academic school year, when he exposed himself to a woman named Deborah Ramirez at a dorm room party. About 200 people gathered in front of the Supreme Court building, chanting "I believe Christine Ford".
Democratic Senators Jeff Merkley of OR and Ed Markey of MA, in messages on Twitter Sunday night, called on Kavanaugh to withdraw his nomination.