After multiple arrests and hours of chanting, protesters kept up their fight even after the newly sworn justice, Brett Kavanaugh, left the Supreme Court.
While praising Senate Republicans for confirming Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court, President Trump said Saturday he believes his speech this week attacking the credibility of accuser Christine Blasey Ford helped generate support for the embattled nominee.
“I think that the Mississippi speech had a great impact, yes – I think it was a very important thing,” Trump told reporters aboard Air Force One en route to a political rally in Topeka, Kansas.
Hours after the narrow Senate vote, Trump also said he is “100 percent certain” that Kavanaugh did not commit sexual assault, and that Democrats used Ford’s story to mount a “horrible, horrible attack” on the nominee.
During a political rally in Mississippi on Tuesday night, Trump mockingly mimicked Ford, claiming her allegations against Kavanaugh lacked sufficient detail.
Numerous lawmakers, including undecided Republican senators like Susan Collins and Jeff Flake, said they were appalled by Trump’s behavior, but wound up voting for Kavanaugh anyway.
With the Kavanaugh dispute likely to become a major election issue next month, Trump also said many women voters are “extremely happy” with the confirmation because they are concerned men may be falsely accused.
“They’re thinking of their sons, they’re thinking of their husbands, their brothers, their uncles, and others and women are, I think, extremely happy,” Trump told reporters.
After speaking with Kavanaugh and signing the commission to make him a member of the Supreme Court, Trump also took the time to mock anti-Kavanaugh protesters who swarmed the steps of the Supreme Court. The 200 or so demonstrators “wouldn’t even fill the first couple of rows of our Kansas Rally, or any of our Rallies for that matter!” Trump tweeted.
The president echoed that line during the rally in Topeka. Speaking to an enthusiastic crowd also revved by Kavanaugh’s confirmation, Trump hailed “a truly historic night” that underscored the “profound stakes” of congressional elections to be held on Nov. 6.
Comparing opponents to “arsonists” and an “angry mob” that tried to bring down his Supreme Court nominee, Trump urged supporters to “stop the radical Democrats” and said that “we need more Republicans” in Congress.
During the debate over Kavanaugh, Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer of New York said Trump and the GOP “conducted one of the least transparent, least fair, most biased processes” in history, and he predicted that it would drive more Democrats to the polls.
In recent weeks, Trump campaigned hard for Kavanaugh as Republicans try to keep control of Congress after the Nov. 6 elections.
Earlier in the day, right after the confirmation vote, Trump tweeted that “I applaud and congratulate the U.S. Senate for confirming our GREAT NOMINEE” on what was nearly a totally partisan vote.
While the process was “unattractive,” Trump also said Saturday that the extra week of investigation “was really a good thing” and said he believed the FBI report, which has not been made public, exonerated Kavanaugh.
In his first tweet after the vote, Trump said he told Republican Senator Steve Daines it was alright to miss the vote for his daughter’s wedding back home in Montana. “Steve was ready to do whatever he had to, but we had the necessary number,” Trump tweeted. “To the Daines Family, congratulations-have a wonderful day!”
In addition to Ford’s accusation of sexual assault, Kavanaugh also faced claims of excessive drinking and other inappropriate conduct during his high school and college years, as well as allegations that he lied about these events during his Senate testimony.
Trump has long said one of his top goals is to re-make the Supreme Court, and he has now installed two new justices on the nine-member panel. Kavanaugh joins Neil Gorsuch, who was confirmed last year after a much less contentious process. In Topeka, Trump said he may have the opportunity to name more justices to the high court, and needs a Republican Senate to confirm them.
Trump stood behind Kavanaugh throughout his the accusations, for the most part. The president made clear he would abandon his nominee if evidence of wrongdoing surfaced, but he also voiced increasing enthusiasm and said his political enemies were railroading the federal appeals judge.
Soon, voters will get to weigh in on the Kavanaugh confirmation.
Republicans said they believe the former Bush administration official was treated unfairly and will seek to punish Democrats for attacking him. Trump and other Republicans said their base is more motivated than it was earlier in the year, and that will help them keep the House and Senate.
Democrats said their base of voters, particularly young women, are the ones who are fired up and will turn away Republican candidates. During the debate, Schumer said that anyone angry at the handling of the case can respond “at the ballot box” and help flip control of Congress to Democrats.
“There’s one answer,” Schumer said. “Vote.”
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