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GOP responses to Kavanaugh's second accuser come up far short

The Senate Republicans' response to Kavanaugh's second accuser was a problem. Donald Trump's response was worse.
Image: Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh confirmation hearing
epaselect epa06997422 Circuit judge Brett Kavanaugh is sworn in during his Senate confirmation hearing to be an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the...

As Judge Brett Kavanaugh's Supreme Court nomination moves closer to a vote, Dr. Christine Blasey Ford is prepared to testify tomorrow about an alleged sexual assault from the early 1980s. The California professor is not, however, the conservative jurist's only accuser.

We learned a few days ago about another alleged incident involving Kavanaugh and Deborah Ramirez, who was a classmate of Kavanaugh's at Yale. Ramirez, who is now a board member at a non-profit group that helps victims of domestic violence, was initially reluctant to share her story, but she's now prepared to face FBI scrutiny and share information with senators.

If you saw Rachel's interview last night with John Clune, Ramirez's attorney, you know that Republicans don't seem too eager to explore this second controversy.

The committee's Republican majority "refused" to have a phone conversation about the possible testimony of Deborah Ramirez, and it has demanded she show all her cards before even negotiating an appearance, lawyer John Clune said Tuesday on MSNBC's "The Rachel Maddow Show.""Here's the problem, Rachel: They won't talk to us," Clune said. "The demand that they keep making to us is, 'Give us every piece of information that you have now and then we can talk about scheduling a phone call.' And that's just not the kind of partisan game playing that our client deserves."

And while this makes it sound as if Republicans are taking a rather passive posture toward this second accusation, the response from Donald Trump was even more striking.

In a brief Q&A with reporters, the president gave a long, meandering answer about Ramirez's claim, dismissing her allegation as part of a Democratic "con game."

"And now a new charge comes up, and she says it may not be him and there are gaps. And she was totally inebriated and all messed up, and she doesn't know. 'It might have been him, or it might have been him.' 'Gee, let's not make him a Supreme Court judge.' This is a con game being played by the Democrats. [...]"The second accuser doesn't even know -- she thinks maybe it could have been him, maybe not. Admits she was drunk. She admits time lapses."

White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said yesterday that the Senate Judiciary Committee could possibly examine Ramirez's allegation tomorrow as part of the hearing with Ford. Evidently, Trump doesn't see the point.

The president added, in reference to Kavanaugh, "He said when he was focused on being No. 1 in his class at Yale, to me, that was so believable. I understand college very well, being No. 1 in your class. I understand a lot of things. When he said that, I understood exactly."

Even in the midst of a heated debate over a controversial Supreme Court nominee, Trump wants to focus attention on how impressed he remains with his own academic background -- something he's exaggerated about for years.