Two moderate Republicans who could be pivotal in determining whether the Senate confirms U.S. Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh criticized President Donald Trump on Wednesday for mocking a woman who has accused the judge of sexual assault.
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.
At a political rally in Mississippi on Tuesday night, Trump mocked Ford’s testimony about the alleged assault in Maryland in 1982 when she was 15 and Kavanaugh was 17.
Ford testified that she could not remember the precise date or location of the alleged assault, but offered a detailed account of the incident itself in which she said a drunken Kavanaugh pinned her down, tried to remove her clothing and covered her mouth when she screamed.
“What neighborhood was it in? I don’t know. Where’s the house? I don’t know. Upstairs, downstairs, where was it? I don’t know. But I had one beer. That’s the only thing I remember,” Trump said in his imitation of Ford’s testimony.
“And a man’s life is in tatters,” Trump added.
Appearing on NBC’s “Today” show, Flake said that “there’s no time and no place for remarks like that, that discuss something this sensitive at a political rally.”
“It’s just not right. I wish he hadn’t … done it. I just say it’s kind of appalling,” Flake said of Trump’s comments.
Speaking briefly to reporters, Collins said, “The president’s comments were just plain wrong.” She did not respond when asked if his comments would affect her vote on Kavanaugh’s confirmation.
Trump’s fellow Republicans control the Senate by a 51-49 margin. 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.
So far, no Republicans have said they would vote against Kavanaugh.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has said the Senate will vote on Kavanaugh’s confirmation this week after each senator is given a report on the ongoing FBI investigation into allegations of sexual misconduct against Trump’s nominee for a lifetime job on the top U.S. court.
The fight over Kavanaugh’s nomination to a lifetime job on the top U.S. court comes against the backdrop of the #MeToo movement fighting sexual harassment and assault that has toppled a succession of powerful men.
Speaking on the Senate floor on Wednesday, McConnell again took aim at Kavanaugh opponents.
McConnell said that there is “no chance in the world they’re going to scare us out of doing our duty. We will not be intimidated by these people. This is all part of the organized effort to delay, obstruct and intimidate, including those of us who will be voting this week.”
The fight over Kavanaugh’s nomination has unfolded just weeks ahead of Nov. 6 elections in which Democrats are trying to seize control of Congress from Republicans.
Time Magazine Names Jamal Khashoggi, Other Journalists As “Person Of The Year”
This year’s time magazine “Person Of The Year” has been bestowed on a group of journalists that includes murdered Saudi writer, Jamal Khashoggi and two Reuters reporters imprisoned by Myanmar’s government. The magazine says it named the group of journalists as “person of the year” because the idea of truth as critical to democracy is under assault.
Also honored is the founder of a Philippines news website that has been vocal in criticizing that country’s authoritarian government. A Maryland, USA, newspaper is also among the honored.
This is the first time in its ninety-five year history that time magazine has honored people in its own profession.
The annual distinction is intended to recognize the person, group or idea that had the greatest influence on world events that year. It has been given to a wide range of influencers, from u.s. Civil rights activist Martin Luther King Jr. And Queen Elizabeth to Adolf Hitler, the leader of Nazi Germany, who was honored before the start of world war two.
Syrian Government Using Anti-terrorism Law To Seize Properties From Dissidents
Rights groups and some of the affected Syrian people say the government has been using a little-known anti-terrorism law to seize property from dissidents and their families as it takes back control of areas that were held by rebel groups.
Now that Syria’s conflict has stabilized, and president Bashar al-Assad again controls the biggest cities, it is left to be seen how he will handle the areas where the 2011 uprising against him flared.
International attention has focused on policies, such as legislation known as law 10, that could eventually enable the government to dispossess people in the opposition strongholds worst damaged in the war.
But human rights groups say, while law 10 has not yet been put into effect, the separate anti-terrorism law has already been used to seize property, including from people who had no hand in violence.
Theresa May Faces Confidence Vote
British prime minister, Theresa May faces a confidence vote in her leadership by MPs in her own conservative party, after chaos began to roil her European union exit deal.
So much now plagues the deal that has opened up the prospect of a messy no-deal Brexit or a referendum that could reverse Brexit. Britain is due to exit on March the twenty-ninth next year.
Graham Brady, the chairman of the party’s so-called 1922 committee, said the threshold of 15 percent of the parliamentary conservative party seeking a confidence vote had been reached. A vote will be taken at the house of Commons later this evening.
May could lose her position as prime minister if a hundred fifty-eight of her three hundred fifteen MPs vote against her, but a mutiny could also help sustain her through the crisis.
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- Time Magazine Names Jamal Khashoggi, Other Journalists As “Person Of The Year” December 12, 2018
- Syrian Government Using Anti-terrorism Law To Seize Properties From Dissidents December 12, 2018
- Theresa May Faces Confidence Vote December 12, 2018
- Huawei CFO, Meng Wanzhou Released On Bail December 12, 2018
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