Murkowski: Trump mockery of Ford 'unacceptable'

GOP Sen. Lisa MurkowskiLisa Ann MurkowskiThe Hill's Campaign Report: Trump juggles three crises ahead of November election Retired Navy admiral behind bin Laden raid: Forcefully clearing DC protesters was not 'morally right' The Hill's 12:30 Report: Trump takes victory lap in morning news conference MORE (Alaska) said on Wednesday that President TrumpDonald John TrumpTwitter CEO: 'Not true' that removing Trump campaign video was illegal, as president has claimed Biden formally clinches Democratic presidential nomination Barr says he didn't give 'tactical' command to clear Lafayette protesters 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 CollinsOVERNIGHT DEFENSE: Murkowski, Mattis criticism ratchets up pressure on GOP over Trump| Esper orders hundreds of active-duty troops outside DC sent home day after reversal | Iran releases US Navy veteran Michael White Murkowski, Mattis criticism ratchets up pressure on GOP over Trump GOP Sen. Murkowski 'struggling' with whether to vote for Trump MORE (Maine) called Trump’s comments "plain wrong,” and Republican Sen. Jeff FlakeJeffrey (Jeff) Lane FlakeKelly holds double-digit lead over McSally in Arizona: poll Trump asserts his power over Republicans 'Never Trump' Republicans: Fringe, or force to be reckoned with? 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) ManchinDemocratic unity starts to crack in coronavirus liability reform fight Stakes high for Collins in coronavirus relief standoff The Hill's Coronavirus Report: Surgeon General stresses need to invest much more in public health infrastructure, during and after COVID-19; Fauci hopeful vaccine could be deployed in December MORE (D-W.Va.) and Heidi HeitkampMary (Heidi) Kathryn Heitkamp70 former senators propose bipartisan caucus for incumbents Susan Collins set to play pivotal role in impeachment drama Pro-trade group launches media buy as Trump and Democrats near deal on new NAFTA MORE (D-N.D.) remain undecided.