WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on the Supreme Court nomination of Judge Brett Kavanaugh (all times local):

10:27 a.m.

Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, walks past members of the media as she arrives at her office on Capitol Hill in Washington, Monday, Sept. 17, 2018. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is defending Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh. McConnell says a woman's claim that Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her decades ago is "completely at variance" with everything else known about his past. The Kentucky Republican says the Senate's push to confirm Kavanaugh will move forward.

McConnell accused Democrats of "blatant malpractice" by waiting weeks to disclose the letter Christine Blasey Ford had sent lawmakers describing the alleged incident. Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California, who had the letter, said she didn't reveal it to protect Ford's confidentiality.

President Donald Trump speaks during a meeting of the President’s National Council of the American Worker in the Roosevelt Room of the White House, Monday, Sept. 17, 2018, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

McConnell says Ford's allegation "stands at odds with every other piece of the overwhelmingly positive testimony we've received" about Kavanaugh.

Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, speaks to members of the media outside her office on Capitol Hill in Washington, Monday, Sept. 17, 2018. Collins says if Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh has lied about the sexual assault allegation against him from high school, it would be “disqualifying.” (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

Ford says Kavanaugh forced her into a room and tried undressing her during a party when both were in high school. Kavanaugh denies those allegations.

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President Donald Trump defended his Supreme Court nominee in the face of allegations of sexual misconduct, calling him “an outstanding intellect.” Trump said Kavanaugh’s confirmation is still on track, though a “little delay” is possible. (Sept. 17)

1:14 a.m.

Republican Sen. Susan Collins says if Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh has lied about the sexual assault allegation against him from high school, it would be “disqualifying.” She says Kavanaugh is “emphatic” that the accusation is false. (Sept. 17)

Republicans are forging ahead with plans for a Senate hearing they had wanted to avoid on a woman's claims that Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her when both were high schoolers.

They're hoping their new strategy will salvage Kavanaugh's endangered nomination with a risky, nationally televised showdown between the appeals court judge and his accuser.

Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell says Republicans will review Kavanaugh accusation ‘by the book’ and seek interviews. (Sept. 17)

Republicans reversed course and agreed to the hearing in the face of growing demands by GOP senators to hear directly from the 53-year-old Kavanaugh and Christine Blasey Ford, now a psychology professor in California.

Their sworn testimony, certain to be conflicting and emotive, will offer a campaign-season test of the political potency of a #MeToo movement that has already toppled prominent men from entertainment, government and journalism.

Source: The Associated Press

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