Trump says Brett Kavanaugh accusations 'totally political'

College classmate claims Kavanaugh exposed himself to her at party

President Donald Trump reaffirmed his support for Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh in a tweet late Monday and blamed Democrats for working to destroy a "wonderful man" by casting a series of "false acquisitions".

Lawyers for Ford said in a statement on Sunday that she has committed to testifying in an open hearing on Thursday about her allegation of sexual assault against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh. Kavanaugh has denied the claim, and since three other women have come out alleging misconduct.

Kavanaugh, a judicial conservative and Trump's second Supreme Court pick, was nominated to fill the vacancy created by Justice Anthony Kennedy's retirement.

Republicans have slammed the timing of the accusations as a political smear campaign aimed at derailing Kavanaugh's confirmation.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., retorted that if McConnell believed the allegations were a smear, "Why don't you call for an FBI investigation?"

Trump has made clear he won't order an Federal Bureau of Investigation probe.

After a dramatic week long standoff, Kavanaugh's accuser Ford finally committed Sunday to be questioned in a public hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee, which is weighing Kavanaugh's nomination.

There were no immediate indications that the emergence of a second accuser had fatally wounded Kavanaugh's prospects.

With pressure mounting to put Kavanaugh's nomination on hold for the FBI to investigate his past - a day after a second woman came forward with allegations against him - Trump stood firmly behind his embattled nominee, accusing Democrats of working hard to "destroy a wonderful man". Kavanaugh, 53, is now a judge on the District of Columbia Circuit Court of Appeals.

California professor Christine Blasey Ford claims Kavanaugh attempted to force himself on her at a party in high school when they were teenagers. "I've led a good life". He added, "I did not have sexual intercourse or anything close to sexual intercourse in high school or for many years thereafter".

Glancing at his wife, Kavanaugh replied: "We're looking at a fair process where I can be heard and defend my integrity and my lifelong record of promoting dignity and equality for women".

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"There's a chance that this could be one of the single most unfair, unjust things to happen to a candidate, but I am with Judge Kavanaugh", Trump said.

He repeated his vehement denial that he attempted to sexually assault a 15-year-old girl while at a party in high school, and also rejected new allegations reported in The New Yorker over the weekend that he exposed himself to a fellow Yale University student at an alcohol-filled party in college.

Dr Ford said she is absolutely certain Mr Kavanaugh was her attacker.

MacCallum eventually touched specifically on Kavanaugh's drinking: "Was there ever a time that you drank so much that you couldn't remember what happened the night before?" Meanwhile, Republicans were pressing for a swift hearing and a vote. A handful of senators in both parties remain undecided on his nomination.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who delivered a nationally televised speech on the Senate floor Monday defending Kavanaugh, vowed an up-or-down vote on the nominee after the planned hearing on Thursday.

Judge Kavanaugh said it's possible he may have met Ms. Ford at some time, but he said they were not friends and did not travel in the same social circles.

Pushing forward with Kavanaugh has its own risks, besides an embarrassing defeat for Trump and the GOP.

On Monday, protesters spilled into the Capitol, with 82 people arrested in the rotunda of a Senate office building, and another 46 arrested outside of Collins's office earlier in the day.

Trump later urged his supporters on Twitter to "REMEMBER THE MIDTERMS!"

With increasing intensity, Republicans have attacked the credibility of Ford's and now Ramirez' accounts. The magazine says she described the incident in an interview after being contacted by the magazine.

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