Donald Trump has demanded that a woman who has accused his Supreme Court nominee of sexual assault provides evidence.
The US President has questioned why law enforcement were not informed at the time of the alleged 1982 assault if it was “as bad as she says”.
Mr Trump’s nomination of Brett Kavanaugh has been held up while 51-year-old California psychology professor Christine Blasey Ford’s allegations against him are assessed. Both have agreed to testify before a Senate committee.
Abandoning his previous restraint, Mr Trump declared that if the alleged attack was so terrible she would have reported it to law enforcement.
I have no doubt that, if the attack on Dr. Ford was as bad as she says, charges would have been immediately filed with local Law Enforcement Authorities by either her or her loving parents. I ask that she bring those filings forward so that we can learn date, time, and place!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 21, 2018
His remarks came as Dr Ford's lawyers negotiated with the Senate Judiciary Committee on the terms for her possible testimony next week over her accusation that threatens Judge Kavanaugh's confirmation.
Mr Trump tweeted: "I have no doubt that, if the attack on Dr. Ford was as bad as she says, charges would have been immediately filed with local Law Enforcement Authorities by either her or her loving parents. I ask that she bring those filings forward so that we can learn date, time, and place!"
The president previously had avoided naming Dr Ford or plainly casting doubt on her account. Dr Ford alleges that at a party when they were teenagers 30 years ago a drunken Mr Kavanaugh held her down on a bed, tried to remove her clothing and clapped his hand over her mouth when she tried to scream before she managed to escape. Mr Kavanaugh has denied all parts of the allegation.
Shortly after Mr Trump's tweet, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell expressed his determination to get Mr Kavanaugh confirmed. He told evangelical activists at the annual Values Voter conference the Senate will "plough right through."
The accusation has jarred the 53-year-old conservative's prospects for winning confirmation, which until Dr Ford spoke out last week had seemed all but certain.
With his comment, Mr Trump went against the advice of advisers who had counselled him to stay out of it. He has previously defended friends and other men against the claims of women.
Dr Ford has said she did not tell anyone at the time about the incident.
In another tweet, Mr Trump, who was in Las Vegas for various events, wrote: "Judge Brett Kavanaugh is a fine man, with an impeccable reputation, who is under assault by radical left wing politicians who don't want to know the answers, they just want to destroy and delay. Facts don't matter. I go through this with them every single day in D.C."
Judge Brett Kavanaugh is a fine man, with an impeccable reputation, who is under assault by radical left wing politicians who don’t want to know the answers, they just want to destroy and delay. Facts don’t matter. I go through this with them every single day in D.C.— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 21, 2018
Dr Ford is willing to tell her story but only if agreement can be reached on "terms that are fair and which ensure her safety," her lawyer said Thursday. She said Dr Ford needs time to make sure her family is secure, prepare her testimony and travel to Washington.
Attorney Debra Katz said that Dr Ford has received death threats and for safety reasons has relocated her family.
Her preference is to testify to the Senate committee next Thursday, and she does not want Mr Kavanaugh in the same room, her attorney told the panel's staff in a 30-minute call that also touched on security concerns and others issues, according to a Senate aide.
In addition to security, expected to be provided by Capitol Police, Dr Ford has asked for press coverage of her testimony to be the same as for Mr Kavanaugh. Reporters had assigned seating and were kept separated from the nominee, who was whisked to and from the room.
Dr Ford has expressed a wish to testify first, but that might be complicated because Mr Kavanaugh has already agreed to Monday's scheduled hearing.
She has told the panel she would prefer the committee not use outside counsel to question her because that would make it seem too much like a trial, the attorney told the panel. All of the Republicans on the panel are men.
Senate Republicans are likely to propose moving the committee hearing to Wednesday, CNN reported on Friday afternoon quoting sources.
The sources were quoted as saying that Dr Ford would testify first, then Kavanaugh. Republicans are not willing to subpoena any outside witnesses, as Dr Ford requested.
She had attempted to have a man, who she claimed was in the room with them at the time of the alleged assault, subpoenaed.