Schumer: McConnell owes Kavanaugh accuser an apology

Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerHillicon Valley: House Dems subpoena full Mueller report | DOJ pushes back at 'premature' subpoena | Dems reject offer to view report with fewer redactions | Trump camp runs Facebook ads about Mueller report | Uber gets B for self-driving cars Dem legal analyst says media 'overplayed' hand in Mueller coverage Former FBI official praises Barr for 'professional' press conference MORE (D-N.Y.) on Tuesday demanded that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellThe Mueller report is a deterrent to government service Senate Republicans tested on Trump support after Mueller Anti-smoking advocates question industry motives for backing higher purchasing age 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 TrumpTrump calls Sri Lankan prime minister following church bombings Ex-Trump lawyer: Mueller knew Trump had to call investigation a 'witch hunt' for 'political reasons' The biggest challenge from the Mueller Report depends on the vigilance of everyone 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.