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Ford refuses to be coached, praises Pelosi as ‘my teacher, my mentor, my friend’

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With President Trump threatening to dump her if she doesn’t endorse him, Christine Blasey Ford vowed to remain independent and praised Nancy Pelosi as “my teacher, my mentor, my friend.”

Ms. Ford, a psychology professor at Palo Alto University in California, would not respond to a list of more than 20 other names submitted by Mr. Trump about who he would consider as senators to consider questioning her accuser.

But pressed by reporters later Friday to respond to Mr. Trump’s threatening tweets, Ms. Ford, a 1972 graduate of Palo Alto High School in California, said she would not respond.

“I’m not going to do any talking about that,” she said. “I’ve given a very careful, deliberative, careful statement.”

If elected to the Senate, Ms. Ford said she would not personally “hand down a litmus test” as to whether others should be questioned about sexual harassment.

When asked what Ms. Ford’s age made her a good choice for the hearing, Ms. Pelosi said she was a lot wiser than she had been earlier. “I believe her,” she said.

To make the nomination to the Judiciary Committee, Mr. Trump would need the agreement of all the Democratic senators, who have made clear that they are not considering women with views that would make them more likely to vote against their own party’s nominee.

Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer of New York said on the morning of Oct. 13 that there had been no discussions with other senators about the Senate Republicans’ plans for Ms. Ford, suggesting that the GOP would need his Democratic support if she was to be reconsidered for a hearing, but that Ms. Ford should be given her due.

Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California, the top Democrat on the Judiciary Committee, also criticized the decision to seek women for Mr. Trump’s panel in what she called “unwarranted trial by media.”

In an attempt to push back against Mr. Trump’s threats to dump her, Ms. Ford’s lawyers sent a letter on Thursday to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky and ranking Judiciary Committee Democrat Dianne Feinstein of California declaring that she would testify voluntarily, with her lawyer’s firm involved.

But by the weekend, with a request by Mr. Trump on Thursday to Mr. McConnell to postpone the hearing scheduled for Tuesday, the White House sought to push the clock by saying it was undecided on whether to hold the hearing. On Friday, White House officials would not say when or if they would take up the issue of whether to continue with the hearing.

To accommodate her requests for a judge to be named by Mr. Trump before any question-and-answer session, Mr. McConnell said he had given the Judiciary Committee permission to extend the hearing by four days.

The witnesses were asked to submit to polygraph tests on Friday, Friday evening and into Saturday.

No hearings had been scheduled at the time Ms. Ford and her lawyers publicly announced their demands on Thursday.

Mr. McConnell, in an interview with CNN on Friday, rejected suggestions that he had not taken the sexual-assault accusations against Mr. Kavanaugh as seriously as others might. “They’re serious allegations, and they’re going to be thoroughly investigated,” he said.

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