Trump says Brett Kavanaugh accusations 'totally political'


He and Ford are still scheduled to testify Thursday at this point.

In a defiant letter to leaders of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Kavanaugh said he would "not be intimidated into withdrawing from this process".

Ramirez was reluctant at first to speak publicly "partly because her memories contained gaps because she had been drinking at the time of the alleged incident", The New Yorker reported.

Sen. Michael Bennet, D-Colo., who is not a member of the Judiciary Committee has been in contact with Ramirez, according to a spokesperson.

He called the allegations "grotesque and obvious character assassination" and says they could dissuade others from entering public service. Cotton is not on the Judiciary panel.

US President Donald Trump on Monday branded sexual assault allegations that threaten to bring down his Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh "totally political", hardening his position ahead of an explosive Senate showdown. Speaking with his wife, Ashley, at his side, the nominee said, "I'm not going anywhere" and dismissed what he called "false accusations".

He spoke as Kavanaugh's nomination appeared in peril after The New Yorker published the account of a second woman who says he exposed himself to her while they were students at Yale. "They both laughed as Kavanaugh tried to disrobe me in their highly inebriated state".

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Kavanaugh has denied the claims against him and in a Fox News interview Monday, said that he was a virgin in high school and for "many years thereafter" as a defense against the accusations.

"We reached out to former Boulder District Attorney Stan Garnett who then met with Ms. Ramirez to work through how to analyze and present her allegations", the spokesperson added. A breakthrough came over the weekend as Ford agreed to testify. "The White House stands firmly behind Judge Kavanaugh".

"It's starting to feel like a vast left-wing conspiracy", said Kellyanne Conway on Monday.

Hatch, asked by reporters if Ford's allegations were phony, said, "I think she's honest, at least I hope so".

"What I know is the truth, and the truth is I've never sexually assaulted anyone", Kavanaugh said.

The second claim against Kavanaugh dates to the 1983-84 academic year, which was his first at Yale University. Colorado resident Deborah Ramirez tells The New Yorker Kavanaugh thrust his penis in her face at a party and caused her to touch it without her consent. "I am with him all the way", Trump said, calling the allegations politically motivated.

Trump cast doubt on the veracity and the timing of the piece, believing it was further proof of what he has been saying privately: that the Democrats and media were conspiring to undermine his Supreme Court pick. The person spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss the matter.

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That reflected a growing sentiment in the West Wing: that delays in the process have allowed more time to produce additional politically motivated decades-old allegations meant to sully Kavanaugh's reputation, the official said.

But the allegations have left some Republican senators - especially two women who have spoken out in the past about sexual abuse of women - under pressure to weigh the accusers' stories.

"These are smears, pure and simple", Kavanaugh said. She recalled another male student shouting about the incident.

Kavanaugh staunchly denies both accusations. On Monday, Senator Orrin Hatch of Utah called for a vote on Kavanaugh after Ford testifies and accused Democrats of engaging in a "coordinated effort to stop Judge Kavanaugh's confirmation by any means possible".

US Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh has said he will not step aside after a second woman accused him of sexual misconduct decades ago, with President Donald Trump and fellow Republicans showing no signs of relenting in their push for his Senate confirmation.

Online, women shared their messages of solidarity to Ford, Ramirez and the thousands who have been sexually assaulted in their lives.

The New Yorker published the claim from the second accuser, Deborah Ramirez, on September 23.

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