Washington, Sep 30 (AP) President Donald Trump turned his embattled Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh into a rallying cry for Republicans to vote in November, saying they can help reject the “ruthless and outrageous tactics” he says Democrats used against the judge. Also Read - CARES Act: Trump Signs $2.2 Trillion Bill, Single Biggest Economic Relief Package
“We see this horrible, horrible, radical group of Democrats. You see what’s happening right now,” Trump said at a rally on Saturday with thousands of supporters in West Virginia. Trump won the state in 2016 by 42 percentage points and remains popular there. Also Read - ‘Cure Can’t be Worse Than Problem’: Trump Says Coronavirus Restrictions Could Ease Soon
“And they’re determined to take back power by any means necessary. You see the meanness, the nastiness. They don’t care who they hurt, who they have to run over to get power,” he said. Also Read - 'Upset With China, They Should Have Told us About Coronavirus', Says Trump
“We’re not going to give it to them,” Trump said.
Kavanaugh, the federal appeals judge Trump nominated to the nation’s highest court, appeared headed for confirmation until California professor Christine Blasey Ford accused him of sexually assaulting her when they were teenagers in Maryland in the 1980s. Kavanaugh denied her accusations and those of two other women since have accused him of sexual misconduct.
Ford initially made her claims in a confidential letter to Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., the ranking member of the Senate Judiciary Committee. But the letter was leaked after Kavanaugh’s initial confirmation hearing before the committee and Ford then told her explosive story to The Washington Post.
Feinstein denied being the source, but Trump blamed her for the leak and mocked her at the rally, telling supporters to remember her answer when she was asked about the leak.
“The entire nation has witnessed the shameless conduct of the Democrat Party,” Trump said.
He issued a fresh defense of Kavanaugh, calling him “one of the most accomplished legal minds of our time” and saying he had suffered “the meanness, the anger” of Democrats.
The president urged his supporters to go to the polls on Nov. 6, when control of Congress is at stake, and vote Republican and “reject the ruthless and outrageous tactics of the Democrat Party.” Trump appeared in Wheeling a day after he reversed course and ordered a new FBI investigation of Kavanaugh. Democrats and some Republicans had been asking for the new investigation, which will delay by at least a week a Senate vote on his confirmation.
In a dramatic appearance Thursday before the Judiciary Committee, Ford publicly accused Kavanaugh of groping her and trying to remove her clothing after he pinned her to a bed at a house party when she was 15 and he was 17. Following her, Kavanaugh denied the allegations and angrily defended himself.
The panel followed up Friday by voting 11-10, along strict party lines, to recommend that the full Senate confirm Kavanaugh for the Supreme Court. But one committee member, Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., balked at voting for confirmation without the investigation. Republican leaders want Kavanaugh seated on the court before the Nov. 6 election and could do little but agree to Flake’s demand.
Flake asked for the investigation to be limited in scope and last no more than a week.
Trump agreed to an investigation after he had vigorously resisted asking the FBI an agency he has repeatedly criticized to look into the sexual assault and misconduct allegations. In defending Kavanaugh, Trump and other supporters noted that the allegations had never surfaced in six previous background checks during Kavanaugh’s long career in the executive and judicial branches of the US government.
Trump sounded familiar themes during the hour-plus rally, including talking about the economy’s performance, his 2016 opponent Hillary Clinton, the escalating trade war with China and his relationship with North Korean leader Kim Jon Un. (AP) ABH ABH
This is published unedited from the PTI feed.