"The truth is I've never sexually assaulted anyone, in high school or otherwise", Kavanaugh insisted to The Story host Martha MacCallum. But he added, "What I know is I've never sexually assaulted anyone", a remarkable assertion for a nominee to the nation's highest court.
However, on Sunday The New Yorker magazine published a report of a second allegation in which Deborah Ramirez says Kavanaugh exposed himself to her during a 1980s college party at Yale University, forcing her to touch his genitals.
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. He later added that he was asking for "a fair process, where I can be heard and I can defend my integrity".
"I believe it could have happened", another classmate who knew both Kavanaugh and Ramirez said. "The same Mitch McConnell who would not give the person Obama wanted to be on his Supreme Court, Merrick Garland, a hearing, right?"
The New Yorker article, co-authored by Jane Mayer and Ronan Farrow, says "Senior Republican staffers also learned of the allegation last week" without specifying who the staffers worked for.
Kavanaugh said while he doesn't deny that Ford was sexually assaulted by someone in her past, it was not him. She claims Kavanaugh took down his trousers and thrust his penis in her face. But he also focused on the need to treat Kavanaugh fairly as Republicans continued their robust defense of the 53-year-old, now a judge on the District of Columbia circuit court of appeals. "Deborah said she is confident that she can recall Brett laughing as he pulled up his trousers, and said she then heard someone yell, "'Brett Cavanaugh just put his penis in Debbie's face!" from down the hall. "I am with him all the way", Trump said on September 24, after arriving in NY to attend the United Nations General Assembly.
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Fox News reports that at least four Senate Republicans, and reportedly as many as seven, are now on the fence about confirming Kavanaugh. Dianne Feinstein that the panel should postpone further action on the nomination - including a hearing Thursday at which Ford and Kavanaugh have agreed to answer questions - until there is an FBI investigation of Ford's allegation and a second accusation from his college years that emerged over the weekend.
President Donald Trump and most Senate Republicans have said an FBI investigation isn't needed. A nominee needs a simple majority of 51 votes to be confirmed. Lawyer Michael Avenatti said he was representing a woman with information about high school-era parties attended by Kavanaugh and urged the Senate to investigate.
Mr Kavanaugh denies both allegations which have surfaced since he was nominated for the body that has the ultimate say on issues such as abortion and same-sex marriage. Trump previously said that he feels "so badly" for Kavanaugh, and that he "is not a man who deserves this".
Grassley's counsel said in a note to Ford's lawyers that "the Chairman asked me to relay again that he will do everything in his power to provide a safe, comfortable and dignified forum for Dr. Ford to testify".
Now, it's up to Kavanaugh and Ford to make their case to the Senate and the country.
The potentially explosive hearing, against a backdrop of the #MeToo movement fighting sexual harassment and assault, comes just weeks before November 6 congressional elections in which Democrats are trying to take control of Congress from Trump's fellow Republicans.