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Flake calls Trump's attack against Christine Blasey Ford 'appalling'

Media playback is unsupported on your device                  Media caption How US teens talk about sexual assault

White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders held a rare press briefing today to insist President Donald Trump did not mock Christine Blasey Ford, Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh's accuser, the previous night at a MS campaign rally.

GOP lawmakers emerging from a closed-door lunch said that if the report arrived later in the day, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell would trigger a process that could lead to a crucial initial vote Friday and a climactic confirmation roll call over the weekend.

On the Senate floor, McConnell, R-Ky., claimed the protesters were "part of the organized effort" to derail Kavanaugh's nomination and said, "There is no chance in the world that they're going to scare us out of doing our duty".

At a Tuesday night rally, Trump mocked Ford's Senate testimony and questioned her recollection of events, derisively saying, "How did you get home?" He mimicked her dramatic testimony last week, emphasizing some of the details she could not remember and suggesting she had more than the one beer she recalled having.

"What neighbourhood was it in?" I don't know. I don't remember. 'I don't know. Upstairs. "Well, do you think it was - nope, it was one beer", Trump said at a campaign rally in MS, questioning what Ford told the Senate Judiciary Committee during testimony last week. I don't remember. Where is the place?

"A man's life is shattered", he said of Kavanaugh after making fun of Ford's testimony.

Flake told NBC's "Today" show Wednesday that mocking "something this sensitive at a political rally is just not right". "I don't know", he added, to cheers from supporters.

Sen. Jeff Flake called the comments "appalling;" Maine Sen.

Democrats have denounced the president's comments as divisive and disrespectful the morning after Mr. Trump's rally. "I respect her position very much", Trump said to reporters on Monday. "Wholly inappropriate and entirely unacceptable" chimed in Murkowski.

But the three swing Senators were joined by other Republican Senators who are firmly supporting Kavanaugh in criticizing the remarks. That means if all the Democrats vote against Kavanaugh, Trump could not afford to have more than one Republican oppose his nominee, with Vice President Mike Pence casting a tie-breaking vote.

It's not now clear whether the Republican leadership has secured enough votes to ensure Judge Kavanaugh's confirmation.

At the Capitol, Schumer said questions surrounding Kavanaugh extend beyond sexual assault and now encompass his truthfulness and judicial temperament.

Flake was instrumental in initiating an FBI investigation into the allegations against Kavanaugh, a conservative federal appeals court judge nominated by Trump for a lifetime job on the top US court. Since then, two other women, Debrah Ramirez and Julie Swetnick have come forward with additional allegations, although Swetnick's does not involve Kavanaugh directly.

Another: When Trump complained on Twitter this summer about "many years of USA foolishness and stupidity, " Kilmeade made an issue of it on the show.

Democrats, meanwhile, demanded that the White House divulge its instructions to the FBI in ordering the investigation, that the FBI's report be made public, and that the bureau's lead investigators brief senators about their their findings.

A 21-year-old man accused Kavanaugh of throwing ice on him "for some unknown reason", according to the report obtained by the Times.