Trump mocks Ford's claims against Kavanaugh

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The FBI is expected wrap up its investigation in the sexual assault allegations against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh as soon as today. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon and Saul Loeb/Pool Image via AP)

President Donald Trump ignited a crowd at a campaign rally in Mississippi on Tuesday by mocking a woman who has claimed she was sexually assaulted by Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh decades ago.

The audience laughed as Trump ran through a list of what he described as holes in Christine Blasey Ford's testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee. She testified that Kavanaugh pinned her on a bed, tried to take off her clothes and covered her mouth in the early 1980s, when the two were teenagers. Kavanaugh has denied Ford's allegations.

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"How did you get home? 'I don't remember,'" Trump said at the rally in Southaven. "How did 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. I don't know. I don't know.'"

Imitating Ford, he added, "But I had one beer -- that's the only thing I remember."

It marked the sharpest criticism by Trump of Ford since she came forward publicly with the allegation last month. He had previously called Ford a "very credible witness."

Ford's lawyer Michael Bromwich called Trump's attack "vicious, vile and soulless."

"Is it any wonder that she was terrified to come forward, and that other sexual assault survivors are as well?" Bromwich tweeted. "She is a remarkable profile in courage. He is a profile in cowardice."

The president was in Mississippi on Tuesday looking to use his influence to sway the outcome of a low-profile election that could tip the balance of the Senate.

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As Republicans fight headwinds ahead of the Nov. 6 midterm election, Trump sought to rally his supporters behind GOP Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith, who was appointed to fill the seat of Republican Thad Cochran, who retired in April. She faces three candidates - Republican Chris McDaniel and Democrats Mike Espy and Tobey Bernard Bartee - in next month's special election for the remainder of the two-year term.

"She's always had my back," Trump said. "She's always had your back. And a vote for Cindy is a vote for me."

But Trump spent much of the rally lamenting the treatment of Kavanaugh by Democrats, whose attacks, he said, had taken their toll on the judge's family.

"A man's life is in tatters," he said. Of Democrats, he added, "These are really evil people."

He even raised questions about the drinking habits of Vermont Sen. Patrick Leahy in an attempt to turn the tables on Democrats who have gone after Kavanaugh's beer drinking. Trump told the crowd they should do an online search for "Patrick Leahy slash drink." Leahy's office didn't immediately return a message seeking comment Tuesday.

WATCH: Key moments from the Kavanaugh-Ford hearing

Some Republicans and White House allies have suggested the allegations against Kavanaugh can be potent political fodder in the run-up to Nov. 6, animating GOP voters who have so far lacked the same motivation to head to the polls as their Democratic counterparts.

Republican officials and the White House expect Hyde-Smith's race to go to a runoff under the state's jungle election rules that force a showdown between the top two finishers if no candidate wins at least 50 percent of the vote on Election Day. With Republicans defending majorities in the House and Senate next month, officials cast Trump's visit as an attempt to get ahead of a potentially perilous situation.

Officials said Trump is seeking to boost Hyde-Smith as close as possible to the 50 percent threshold and lend momentum for a possible runoff. Depending on how Republicans perform on Nov. 6, the eyes of the nation could fall on a Nov. 27 Mississippi runoff in what could become an expensive and high-profile race to determine control of the Senate.

For more stories and videos related to the Kavanaugh hearings, visit this page.
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politicsu.s. & worldPresident Donald Trumpbrett kavanaughsupreme courtelection 2018vote 2018christine blasey fordMississippi
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