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>> I can only say this. He is such an outstanding man, very hard for me to imagine that anything happened.>> President Trump on Wednesday stepped up his defense of Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh. Voicing doubt that he committed the sexual assault alleged by Christine Blasey Ford and brushing aside her call for an FBI probe before she's willing to testify in front of the Senate.
>> Well, it would seem that the FBI really doesn't do that.>> Supreme Court reporter Lawrence Hurley says Ford's request for an FBI probe has divided lawmakers along party lines.>> The Democrats point to the fact that in 1991, when Justice Clarence Thomas faced similar allegations, there was an additional FBI inquiry.
But it wasn't a criminal investigation or anything like that. Whereas the Republicans are sort of suggesting that it would be some kind of a criminal investigation that Ford is asking for, which is not really what she says. So it's hard in this to separate the politics from the seriousness of the allegations and the need for the truth to come out.
>> Blasey Ford accuses Kavanaugh of assaulting her at a social gathering in 1982 when they were in high school. Her lawyers insist a full investigation into her allegations has to take place before any hearing. In a letter to Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley, Ford's attorneys also said the investigation would ensure facts and witnesses are assessed in a non-partisan manner.
With the political stakes elevated, Republicans have been at pains to be deferential to Blasey Ford, wary of dismissing an alleged victim of sexual assault in the #MeToo era.>> Well, where I'm focused right now is doing everything that we can to make Dr. Ford comfortable with coming before our committee.
>> But with Grassley late Wednesday turning down Ford's request for a FBI probe, the high stakes showdown that had been shaping up for next Monday on Capital Hill is looking less likely.