Trump backs Supreme Court pick Brett Kavanaugh despite lurid sex claims

President Donald Trump speaks during a campaign rally Friday Sept. 21 2018 in Springfield Mo

President Donald Trump speaks during a campaign rally Friday Sept. 21 2018 in Springfield Mo

Photos of women in support of Ford, Ramirez, and anyone else who has suffered a sexual assault - as well as the resulting accusations, misunderstandings, and insults, as epitomized by Donald Trump's tweet last week noting that if Ford's accusation were "as bad as she says", then "charges would have been immediately filed..." - flooded social media, particularly Twitter, where #BelieveSurvivors was trending.

In an interview with Fox News, which aired Monday evening, Kavanaugh said he would not step aside, saying "the truth is I've never sexually assaulted anyone, in high school or otherwise".

The New Yorker magazine reported Sunday night that Senate Democrats were investigating a second woman's accusation of sexual misconduct by Kavanaugh dating to the 1983-84 academic year, Kavanaugh's first at Yale University.

In the letter, Ford explains her motive for coming forward, and the timing of her allegations - which, being just ahead of the Senate vote on Kavanaugh, Republicans including Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell have called into question.

Kavanaugh has denied Ford's claims and plans to use the calendars as part of his defense, according to the news outlet.

"Despite actual threats to her safety and her life, Dr. Ford believes it is important for Senators to hear directly from her about the sexual assault committed against her", the statement read.

"I am with him all the way", Trump said on September 24, after arriving in NY to attend the United Nations General Assembly.

Ford wrote the letter to Grassley on September 22, while she was still in ongoing negotiations with the Republican-led committee to testify against Kavanaugh.

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Mr Kavanaugh said: "If such a thing had happened, it would have been the talk of campus".

Even before the latest turns, the carefully negotiated hearing at the Senate Judiciary Committee with Kavanaugh and Ford carried echoes of the Anita Hill hearings in 1991. "I didn't see it; I never heard of it happening", said the woman, who was married to a male classmate who was alleged to have been involved. She said she remembers a student pointing a gag plastic penis in her direction, and later, that student and another standing nearby as she was on the floor, with a third student exposing himself to her. "This is another serious, credible, and disturbing allegation against Brett Kavanaugh". The similar tones and wording they used in defending him suggested a concerted effort to undermine the women's claims and portray an image of unity among GOP senators while pressing toward a confirmation vote. I am not questioning and have not questioned that perhaps Dr. Ford at some point in her life was sexually assaulted by someone in some place. "I don't think it was just 'Brett.' And I remember hearing and being mortified that this was out there".

"I will not be intimidated into withdrawing from this process", Kavanaugh wrote.

Also jumping into the fray was the attorney who represents porn actress Stormy Daniels in her legal fight with Trump.

"At the end of the day, we know our faith is strong and we know that we are on the right path", Ashley Estes Kavanaugh said at the top of the interview.

Still, the White House and Republicans have cast doubt on Ford's allegations. The New Yorker didn't confirm the allegation with eyewitnesses.

Ramirez, who told The New Yorker that she'd been drinking at the time, was initially reluctant to speak publicly "partly because her memories contained gaps", the magazine said. She made a decision to come forward after "assessing her memories" and consulting with her lawyer, the magazine said.

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