Schumer: McConnell owes Kavanaugh accuser an apology

Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerTrump defends 'crime buster' Giuliani amid reported probe Louisiana voters head to the polls in governor's race as Trump urges GOP support Trump urges Louisiana voters to back GOP in governor's race then 'enjoy the game' MORE (D-N.Y.) on Tuesday demanded that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellFurious Republicans prepare to rebuke Trump on Syria Republicans wrestle with impeachment strategy Mattis warns 'ISIS will resurge' without U.S. pressure on Syria MORE (R-Ky.) apologize to a woman who has accused Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh of sexual assault, saying the GOP leader had labeled the allegations a "smear job."

"Leader McConnell owes an apology to [Christine Blasey Ford] for labeling her allegations a 'smear job.' Let me repeat that ... Leader McConnell owes an apology to Dr. Ford for labeling her allegations a 'smear job.' And he should apologize to her immediately," Schumer said from the Senate floor. 

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Schumer added that comments McConnell made during a Monday speech were "galling" and that the Senate GOP leader has "done more than maybe anyone to politicize the Supreme Court nomination process." 

Schumer's demand is the latest in an escalating rhetorical battle in the Senate as sexual misconduct allegations have placed Kavanaugh's nomination on tenuous footing. 

McConnell is pledging that he will bring Kavanaugh's nomination to the Senate floor for a vote even though President TrumpDonald John TrumpWHCA calls on Trump to denounce video depicting him shooting media outlets Video of fake Trump shooting members of media shown at his Miami resort: report Trump hits Fox News's Chris Wallace over Ukraine coverage MORE's nominee may currently be short of the simple majority needed to be confirmed.

During a Senate floor speech on Monday, McConnell said Democrats were using Ford's allegation to “smear”  Kavanaugh and called their tactics “despicable.”

Ford alleges that during a high school party in the early 1980s Kavanaugh pinned her to a bed and tried to remove her clothing. Kavanaugh has denied wrongdoing.

"This is an allegation of misconduct which all four supposed witnesses either flatly contradict or are unable to back up. In addition to Judge Kavanaugh, the other three supposed witnesses have said they have — quote — ‘no knowledge,’ ‘no recollection,’ and ‘no memory’ of the alleged incident," McConnell said on Monday.

spokeswoman for McConnell, noting Schumer's comments, responded on Twitter.

"Given Sen. Schumer's remarks, here's what ... McConnell said yesterday 'does it sound like a choreographed smear campaign that ignored Dr. Ford's request for confidentiality in order to inflict maximum damage at the last minute on Judge Kavanaugh & his family."

Schumer also knocked McConnell over his pledge, made on Friday, that Republicans would “plow right through” on Kavanaugh’s nomination and urged McConnell to back an FBI investigation into the allegations. 

“If Leader McConnell we’re truly concerned about these allegations being swept up in partisanship, he would join us in calling for an FBI background investigation which can be performed quietly, soberly, quickly, effectively without fuss, without muss,” he said.