Murkowski: Trump mockery of Ford 'unacceptable'

GOP Sen. Lisa MurkowskiLisa Ann MurkowskiOvernight Energy: Murkowski, Manchin unveil major energy bill | Lawmakers grill EPA chief over push to slash agency's budget | GOP lawmaker accuses Trump officials of 'playing politics' over Yucca Mountain Murkowski, Manchin introduce major energy legislation The Hill's Morning Report - Sanders takes incoming during intense SC debate MORE (Alaska) said on Wednesday that President TrumpDonald John TrumpThe Memo: Biden seeks revival in South Carolina Congress eyes billion to billion to combat coronavirus Sanders makes the case against Biden ahead of SC primary 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 CollinsThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Trump on US coronavirus risks: 'We're very, very ready for this' GOP, Democrats hash out 2020 strategy at dueling retreats Chamber looks to support Democratic allies in 2020 MORE (Maine) called Trump’s comments "plain wrong,” and Republican Sen. Jeff FlakeJeffrey (Jeff) Lane FlakeAppeals court refuses to throw out Joe Arpaio's guilty verdict after Trump pardon 70 former senators propose bipartisan caucus for incumbents McSally ties Democratic rival Kelly to Sanders in new ad 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) ManchinOvernight Energy: Murkowski, Manchin unveil major energy bill | Lawmakers grill EPA chief over push to slash agency's budget | GOP lawmaker accuses Trump officials of 'playing politics' over Yucca Mountain Murkowski, Manchin introduce major energy legislation The Hill's Morning Report - Sanders takes incoming during intense SC debate 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.