Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell frequently reassured President Donald Trump that the Senate would vote on his nominee to the Supreme Court, The New York Times reported Saturday.
Trump asked McConnell at one point if Senate Republicans were committed to seeing Justice Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation through to the end, the report notes, citing interviews with senators and White House officials. McConnell replied: “I’m stronger than mule piss” on Kavanaugh, who consistently denied accusations that he assaulted three women the 1980s.
The Senate confirmed Kavanaugh to the U.S. Supreme Court Saturday afternoon, concluding an agonizing nomination process, which included fierce discussion about identity, violence and the spirit of the presumption of innocence.
But there were times when Kavanaugh’s confirmation was in doubt, the report notes. (Confirmed: Brett Kavanaugh Is Now A Supreme Court Justice)
The final vote was 50 to 48, with Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska as the lone Republican to oppose Kavanaugh. Trump was wary about Kavanaugh’s chances after Christine Blasey Ford finished testifying on Sept. 28 that he once tried to force himself on her as a teenager.
Nearly everyone in the White House and in Congress found her story credible, sincere and sympathetic, the report notes. Trump immediately called McConnell, a Republican from Kentucky, and they agreed she was impressive. “We’re only at halftime,” he told the president.
McConnell, the Senate Majority Leader, also said that the issue of pulling Kavanaugh was discussed but he was not concerned that Trump would take that route. “No, we talked about it,” said McConnell. “These issues are very controversial. We had numerous conversations about it through the course of time, but he hung in there.”
Senators cast their vote inside the Capitol as demonstrators wailed outside.
Protests roiled Washington throughout the day, though they were less intense than the demonstrations that unsettled the nation’s capital. A handful of demonstrators screamed at senators in the gallery as lawmakers cast their votes, before they were removed by Capitol Police.
Several thousand protesters circulated in Senate office buildings on Thursday and Friday. The demonstrators were browbeating senators and chanting anti-Kavanaugh slogans, as lawmakers scurried between secure rooms under armed escorts. There were several hundred arrests.