Murkowski: Trump mockery of Ford 'unacceptable'

GOP Sen. Lisa MurkowskiLisa Ann MurkowskiOvernight Defense: Highlights from Defense pick's confirmation hearing | Esper spars with Warren over ethics | Sidesteps questions on Mattis vs. Trump | Trump says he won't sell F-35s to Turkey Epstein charges show Congress must act to protect children from abuse PBS premieres first nationally distributed kids' show with Native American lead MORE (Alaska) said on Wednesday that President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump averages highest approval rating of his presidency in second quarter: Gallup GOP House campaign chair condemns 'send her back' chants: 'There's no place for that kind of talk' GOP lawmaker decries 'send her back' chants: 'This ugliness must end' MORE's comments on Christine Blasey Ford were "wholly inappropriate," becoming the latest swing-vote senator to distance herself from his mockery of the first woman to accuse Brett Kavanaugh of sexual misconduct.

“I am taking everything into account. I think the president’s comments yesterday mocking Dr. Ford were wholly inappropriate and in my view unacceptable," Murkowski told reporters, asked how Trump's comments would impact her vote. 

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Trump had knocked Ford and defended Kavanaugh, his Supreme Court nominee, during a rally in Mississippi on Tuesday night.

" 'How did you get home?' " Trump said, imitating Ford. " 'I don't remember.' 'How'd you get there?' 'I don't remember.' 'Where is the place?' 'I don't remember.' 'How many years ago was it?' 'I don't know.' "

Murkowski is the third GOP senator viewed as a potential swing vote to break with the president after the rally. The comments come as Republican leadership hopes to vote on Kavanaugh's nomination by the end of the week. 

GOP Sen. Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsTrump angry more Republicans haven't defended his tweets: report Republicans scramble to contain Trump fallout The Hill's 12:30 Report: Trump digs in ahead of House vote to condemn tweet MORE (Maine) called Trump’s comments "plain wrong,” and Republican Sen. Jeff FlakeJeffrey (Jeff) Lane FlakeFlake urges Republicans to condemn 'vile and offensive' Trump tweets Flake responds to Trump, Jimmy Carter barbs: 'We need to stop trying to disqualify each other' Jeff Flake responds to Trump's 'greener pastures' dig on former GOP lawmakers MORE (Ariz.) told NBC’s “Today” that the president's comments were “kind of appalling.”

The three GOP senators have the power to decide if Kavanaugh gets confirmed. Republicans hold 51 seats in the Senate, and he remains short of the simple majority needed to be seated on the Supreme Court. 

Republicans can only afford to lose one GOP senator before they need to lean on Democrats to help confirm Kavanaugh. 

Flake has said that, absent new information the FBI, he expects to vote "yes." Collins and Murkowski have not tilted their hand on how they will vote but are under extreme pressure from both sides. 

No Democrats have said they will support Kavanaugh, though Sens. Joe ManchinJoseph (Joe) ManchinDems open to killing filibuster in next Congress Trump nominees meet fiercest opposition from Warren, Sanders, Gillibrand Kentucky Democrat says primary challenge to McGrath 'might be helpful' MORE (D-W.Va.) and Heidi HeitkampMary (Heidi) Kathryn HeitkampTrump nominees meet fiercest opposition from Warren, Sanders, Gillibrand McConnell's Democratic challenger McGrath backtracks on Kavanaugh comments McConnell's Democratic challenger says she likely would have voted for Kavanaugh MORE (D-N.D.) remain undecided.