Photo: Sean Rayford/Getty Images

Tuesday night at a rally in Mississippi, President Trump mocked Christine Blasey Ford's testimony about her alleged assault in her hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee, to the laughter of the audience.

The big picture: For Republicans and red-state Democrats on the fence about Kavanaugh, Trump's comments aren't going over very well. While it isn't likely to derail Kavanaugh's confirmation, it's another instance of Trump bringing more drama into an already-dramatic decision for senators.

President Trump
"How did you get home? '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. I don't know. I don't know. I don't know.' What neighborhood was it in? 'I don't know.' Where's the house? Upstairs, downstairs, where was it? 'I don't know, but I had one beer, that's the only thing I remember.' And a man's life is in tatters. A man's life is shattered."
— President Trump at his Mississippi rally
Republican senators
  • Sen. Jeff Flake: "Well, there is no time and no place for remarks like that, but to discuss something this sensitive at a political rally is just not right. … I wish he hadn't of done it and I just say it's kind of appalling."
  • Sen. Susan Collins: "The president's comments were just plain wrong."
  • Sen. Lindsay Graham told Atlantic editor-in-chief Jeff Goldberg on Wednesday: "President Trump went through a factual rendition that I didn't particularly like, and I would tell him, 'Knock it off. You're not helping.'"
  • Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), who has been undecided on Kavanaugh, said she thought Trump's comments "were wholly inappropriate and in my view unacceptable," per The Hill.

One more thing: Ford's attorney called Trump's comments, "A vicious, vile and soulless attack. ... She is a remarkable profile in courage. He is a profile in cowardice."

Editor's note: This story has been updated to include Sen. Murkowski's comment.

Go deeper

Finally, a real debate

Photo: Morry Gash/AP

A more disciplined President Trump held back from the rowdy interruptions at tonight's debate in Nashville, while making some assertions so outlandish that Joe Biden chuckled and even closed his eyes.

  • A Trump campaign adviser told Axios: "He finally listened." 

The result: A real debate.

  • With a firm moderator, NBC News' Kristen Welker — along with threats of mic cutoffs and advisers' pleas for Trump to cool it — voters finally heard clear contrasts.
  • Trump swung several times, but never quite landed a punch as he tried to connect Biden to a nebulous cloud of allegations about business dealings by his son Hunter.

Between the lines: Trump didn't focus on assuring women voters or seniors. But his economic argument could reassure some men in swing states.

  • Trump went back to 2016 mode — the outsider, chiding career politicians. But he's one of them now.

During an exchange about race in America, Trump said: "Nobody has done more for the black community than Donald Trump, with the exception of Abraham Lincoln — possible exception. ... I'm the least racist person in this room."

  • Biden retorted sarcastically, referring to Trump: "Abraham Lincoln here is one of the most racist presidents we’ve had in modern history."

Videos:

Reporting was contributed by Stef Kight, Alexi McCammond, David Nather and Hans Nichols.

Biden to Trump: "I have not taken a penny from any foreign source ever in my life"

Former VP Joe Biden pushed back Thursday against allegations from President Trump, saying he had never profited from foreign sources. "Nothing was unethical," Biden told debate moderator Kristen Welker about his son Hunter's work in Ukraine while he was vice president.

Why it matters: Earlier on Thursday, Hunter Biden's former business partner, Tony Bobulinski, released a statement saying Joe Biden's claims that he never discussed overseas business dealings with his son were "false."

Trump claims COVID "will go away," Biden calls his response disqualifying

President Trump repeated baseless claims at the final presidential debate that the coronavirus "will go away" and that the U.S. is "rounding the turn," while Joe Biden argued that any president that has allowed 220,000 Americans to die on his watch should not be re-elected.

Why it matters: The U.S. is now averaging about 59,000 new coronavirus infections a day, and added another 73,000 cases on Thursday, according to the Covid Tracking Project. The country recorded 1,038 deaths due to the virus Thursday, the highest since late September.