"I support Mrs. Ford's decision to share her story, and now that she has, it is in the hands of the FBI to conduct an investigation".
"This woman should not be ignored and should not be insulted; she should be heard", Kellyanne Conway, White House counselor to the president, said in an interview with Fox News. "And how it's handled for the next 48 to 72 hours, I think will be a really politically risky thing for both parties". Senate Republicans hold a 51-49 majority and can not afford two or more Republicans voting against Kavanaugh's nomination unless they pick up votes from Democrats.
"I thought he might inadvertently kill me", Ford told the Washington Post.
"When she tried to scream, she said, he put his hand over her mouth".
But a statement from Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, says that Sen.
Ms Ford told the Post that Mr Kavanaugh and a friend - both "stumbling drunk" - corralled her into a bedroom during a house party in Maryland in the early 1980s when she was about 15 and Mr Kavanaugh was about 17. But the president says Kavanaugh's nomination is "on track".
The testimonies "would be added to the very considerable mountain of evidence and considerations that folks will have when they weigh whether or not to vote for judge Kavanaugh to be on the Supreme Court". And he called a question about whether Kavanaugh should withdraw "ridiculous". It's not yet clear if allegations by Ford will lead to new hearings for Kavanaugh as Hill's did for Thomas almost 27 years ago. With a name and disturbing details, the accusation raised the prospect of congressional Republicans defending Trump's nominee ahead of midterm elections featuring an unprecedented number of female candidates and informed in part by the #MeToo movement.
However, Katz said no lawmakers had contacted Ford asking her to testify.
Feinstein issued a statement on Sunday afternoon in support of Ford and calling for the FBI to investigate the matter before the Senate advances Kavanaugh's nomination.
Ford's allegations come almost a year after the #MeToo movement was popularised following the numerous allegations of sexual misconduct by Hollywood Producer Harvey Weinstein, who has since been charged with rape and other sexual crimes. Moderates in both parties including pivotal Republican Senator Susan Collins and Democratic Senator Joe Manchin said Kavanaugh and Ford should be given the chance to testify before the committee, a move that could delay the confirmation process. It was expected that only staffers for Republican senators would be on the call, as Democrats have advocated that the FBI investigate Ford's claims in lieu of further action by the committee.
Democrats have been bitterly opposed to Trump's choice of Kavanaugh for the nation's highest court.
It is unclear if Trump Jr was aware at the time that Ford, a psychology professor at Palo Alto University in California, would make her identity known the next day in the Washington Post. The Judiciary Committee has not yet decided how to proceed. But Democrats say that staff calls ― normally routine for most Supreme Court nominees ― aren't the appropriate way to handle the matter.
Those looking to how the public received Hill's accusations against Thomas in hopes that Kavanaugh will still prevail may see a good sign in that the percentage of Americans supporting his nomination did not drop after Hill's allegations and testimony.