White House defends Trump after he mocks Kavanaugh sex assault accuser

Media playback is unsupported on your device                  Media captionTrump I'd be the world's worst drinker

FBI leaders are warily trying to navigate their way through the politically charged background-check investigation into Supreme Court nominee Brett M. Kavanaugh, as the bureau seeks to protect itself now - and after the midterm elections - from what could be fierce congressional criticism. However, if his nomination were to fall short, I would encourage President Trump to re-nominate Judge Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court. She would not say if they would affect her vote.

Appearing at the Forbes Under 30 Summit in Boston, Flake said on Monday that he wants the FBI to conduct a "real investigation" and not one that "just gives us more cover".

"I think both Dr. Ford and Judge Kavanaugh are victims at the hands of the Democrats", she said.

Democrats expressed concern on Sunday about reported efforts to stymie the probe, which comes after the Judiciary Committee approved Mr Kavanaugh's nomination on Friday before it goes to the full Senate for a final vote.

The White House - through press secretary Sarah Sanders and others - has dismissed all the allegations against him as old news that had been litigated during the campaign. Mitchell also noted that Ford did not identify Kavanaugh by name as her attacker in key pieces of evidence, including notes from sessions with her therapist - records that Ford's lawyers declined to provide to the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Senators Jeff Flake and Susan Collins were among the lawmakers who took issue with comments Trump made regarding Christine Blasey Ford, a university professor from California who detailed her sexual assault allegation against Kavanaugh at an extraordinary Senate Judiciary Committee hearing last week. "That's all I know".

The father-son attack on women who come forward with charges of sexual misconduct despite the trauma and the public opprobrium it involves enraged liberals who say the remarks showed just exactly why women are reluctant to come forward - rampant mansplaining and misogyny amid misrepresentation of facts. 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.

"A vicious, vile and soulless attack on Dr. Christine Blasey Ford", tweeted Michael Bromwich, a former high-ranking Department of Justice official who is now representing the professor. "I don't know", he added, to cheers from supporters.

And she criticized the media and Democratic lawmakers for picking apart every word Kavanaugh has said without giving ample scrutiny to what the White House increasingly characterizes as Ford's inconsistent comments about the night in question.

The FBI has interviewed several people, including three who Ford has said were at a 1982 high school gathering in suburban Maryland where she says Kavanaugh sexually molested her in a locked bedroom.

"We need to be briefed by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, by the agent in charge", Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, a New York Democrat, said.

Trump's fellow Republicans control the Senate by a 51-49 margin.

Keyser's attorney, Howard Walsh, has confirmed that she was interviewed by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.