That response seemed a setback to Ford supporters' efforts to corroborate her claim.
As things presently stand in the protracted negotiations between Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Charles Grassley (R-Iowa) and Ford regarding her testifying before the panel, she could appear Thursday.
Sunday's call was bipartisan and lasted about an hour, said a person familiar with the conversation who wasn't authorized to speak publicly. Three of those people, PJ Smyth, Mark Judge, and Kavanaugh, have already denied any recollection of attending such a party.
Kavanaugh has strongly denied the accusation as a "completely false allegation". Trump broke his silence to cast doubt on Ford's story Friday in ways Republicans had been carefully trying to avoid.
As the Saturday deadline approached, NBC news reported that Garrett Ventry, a communications aide on the Senate Judiciary Committee who had been helping lead the response to Ford's claim against Kavanaugh, was stepping down after evidence surfaced he was sacked from a previous job partly due to sexual harassment allegations against him. But they want to set up a time later Saturday to keep discussing the terms of her appearance.
Kavanaugh's confirmation hangs in the balance.
He passed on multiple questions, labelling them "too personal", but a senior White House official claimed he had struck the right note, suggesting his appearance will be carefully orchestrated to present a likable, clean version of himself. Ford has also not provided a date, time, or specific house, making any criminal investigation unlikely.
He said Ford's team is still contesting the committee's insistence that only Ford and Kavanaugh testify, and that outside counsel be brought in to question them.
The Senate Judiciary Committee released a letter it sent to Ford's attorneys earlier on Friday in which it accepted some of their demands, including that Kavanaugh not be in the room when she testifies.
President Donald Trump's outburst demanding to know why a university academic accusing his Supreme Court nominee of sexual assault in the 1980s failed to come forward sooner, saw a new #MeToo era hashtag storm the Internet on Friday (Sept 21).
"You watched the fight, you watched the tactics, but here is what I want to tell you - in the very near future, Judge Kavanaugh will be on the United States Supreme Court", McConnell told the Value Voters Summit, drawing a standing ovation.
Republicans viewed Ford's requests as a way to delay voting on President Donald Trump's nominee. Sens. Lisa Murkowski and Susan Collins, both moderate Republicans, are waiting for the outcome of the hearing before deciding how to vote on Kavanaugh's confirmation.
Saturday at 2:30 p.m.
The judiciary committee has struggled with how to proceed with Kavanaugh's nomination.
He shrugged off responsibility for the extension onto the Senate's Democratic leader, Chuck Schumer.
"So Republicans, no matter what happens in the midterms, can push a Supreme Court nominee through until the end of the year". To the contrary, Keyser's attorney admitted to CNN that his client was Ford's life-long friend.
Ford and the Senate Judiciary Committee have reached agreement for a public hearing Thursday, but critical details are still unresolved.
Graham, speaking on "Fox News Sunday", promised a fair hearing in which both Ford and Kavanaugh "will be challenged" but said "unless there's something more" to back up her accusation, he indicated he will vote to confirm Kavanaugh.