President Donald Trump tweeted praise for the Senate and hope for the future Saturday after senators voted to confirm Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh to the high court.
Kavanaugh was sworn in later Saturday.
“I applaud and congratulate the U.S. Senate for confirming our GREAT NOMINEE, Judge Brett Kavanaugh, to the United States Supreme Court. Later today, I will sign his Commission of Appointment, and he will be officially sworn in. Very exciting!” Trump tweeted.
I applaud and congratulate the U.S. Senate for confirming our GREAT NOMINEE, Judge Brett Kavanaugh, to the United States Supreme Court. Later today, I will sign his Commission of Appointment, and he will be officially sworn in. Very exciting!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 6, 2018
The president also tweeted his condemnation of the decision by Democrats to use an allegation of a sexual assault more than 35 years ago as a last-ditch effort to derail Kavanaugh’s elevation to the court.
“You don’t hand matches to an arsonist, and you don’t give power to an angry left-wing mob. Democrats have become too EXTREME and TOO DANGEROUS to govern. Republicans believe in the rule of law – not the rule of the mob. VOTE REPUBLICAN!” Trump tweeted.
You don’t hand matches to an arsonist, and you don’t give power to an angry left-wing mob. Democrats have become too EXTREME and TOO DANGEROUS to govern. Republicans believe in the rule of law – not the rule of the mob. VOTE REPUBLICAN!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 7, 2018
Trump later also took a swing at some of those who tossed around claims about Kavanaugh’s actions during his high school days during a telephone interview on the Fox News program “Justice with Judge Jeanine.”
Congratulations not only to Justice Kavanaugh and his family but to Lady Justice who won again.
— Jeanine Pirro (@JudgeJeanine) October 6, 2018
Trump reserved some of his harshest comments for claims made by a woman named Julie Swetnick, represented by anti-Trump lawyer Michael Avenatti, who claimed Kavanaugh attended parties where young women were served spiked drinks and gang-raped in the early 1980s.
Pirro asked Trump if there should be redress for those who are victimized by false allegations.
“Totally false statement,” Trump said of Swetnick’s claims. “You look at what happened and yes, I think they should be held liable. I would say they should be held to the highest standard. You can’t go around and whether it’s making up stories, or making false statements about such an important position, you can’t do that.”
Trump said if Kavanaugh had not been confirmed, his career would have been torpedoed by lies.
“You destroy somebody’s life. And there were many, many false things that were said about a very fine man, and would have destroyed his family if (confirmation) didn’t happen. And it all came together at the end, and people realized it was false accusations, false statements,” the president said.
Due to Kavanaugh’s qualifications, Trump said he had expected the nomination to be “an easy one.”
“And they fabricated stories about him to make him look as bad as possible. They’re fabrications, had no bearing in truth, and it was really very difficult,” he said.
Democrats “overplayed their hand” in attacks that were “right out of the Democrat playbook,” Trump said, noting that many lawyers involved in claims against Kavanaugh “represented others that are Democrats.”
“That’s what they do. How did they end up with all these lawyers that are always the same ones?” he said. “And I won’t even go into names.”
Trump praised Kavanaugh for enduring the ordeal that his confirmation became.
“And I’m really happy that we all stuck it out. You know, you could say I stuck it out, but he stuck it out also, and that took courage. What they did to him and his family, Jeanine, was horrible,” he said.
At a campaign rally in Topeka, Kansas, on Saturday, Trump delivered a similar message in a spirited speech.
“What he and his wonderful family endured at the hands of Democrats is unthinkable, unthinkable,” Trump told the Kansas crowd.
Kavanaugh was sworn into office on Saturday. There will be another, ceremonial swearing-in at the White House on Monday, Trump noted.
In the “Justice with Judge Jeanine” interview, Pirro asked Trump if, at the time Kavanaugh’s confirmation seemed to be blunted by a wave of accusations against him, the president thought about changing horses.
“Well, for one thing it would have been very unfair to him. If you think about it, he’s a highly respected man. What the Democrats did was disgraceful. These things happened that just came out of the wind. There was no corroboration. There was no anything, Jeanine. This is a high-quality, brilliant man. He’ll be a phenomenal Supreme Court justice,” Trump said.
“And it was my honor to stick — and I know that, a lot of people told me that. They said, well, we’ll switch. You’ll never get anybody like this. This is a very, very outstanding person, an individual, with an incredible family, and it would have been very unfair to him. What (Democrats) did was disgraceful,” he said.
Trump singled out three ringleaders for scorn: Connecticut Sen. Richard Blumenthal, New Jersey Sen. Corey Booker and Sen. Dianne Feinstein, the ranking Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee.
Feinstein originally received a letter from Kavanaugh accuser Christine Blasey Ford in July, but kept it out of the public eye until Kavanaugh’s confirmation was all but completed.
“What the Democrats did, and you saw that group, with Blumenthal who falsified his service in Vietnam, and a terrible mayor of Newark, New Jersey, Cory Booker. And you know, the whole group. Dianne Feinstein, who in my opinion leaked the papers. It was terrible what was happening, and what was happening to him. Very unfair. So I did stick, Jeanine. And I’m very happy I did,” Trump said.
On Friday, Susan Collins, a moderate Maine Republican senator who does not often see eye-to-eye with Trump, delivered a floor speech Friday criticizing the tactics of those who used the issue of sexual assault for political gain. When Collins announced she would vote for Kavanaugh, his confirmation was all but assured.
During his interview with Pirro, Trump applauded Collins for her courage.
“Susan Collins was a star. What she did was incredible. I spoke to her yesterday. What she said and the way she said it was brilliant. And it really covered it,” Trump said.
“She has, from the beginning, really liked Brett Kavanaugh. She had respect for his incredible genius, him as a scholar, him as a great person of the law. Nobody knows that better, and she respected that — I know — and she respected it from the beginning, and she wanted to make sure that she was right on every other subject, including outside influence that came in.
“And in the end she went through, probably as carefully as anybody, she went through every paper, every document, and I thought her statement yesterday was absolutely brilliant.”
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