At a White House swearing-in ceremony, Trump stood next to Justice Brett Kavanaugh and said he'd been "proven innocent" of the sexual assault allegations that threatened to derail him in a Senate confirmation process revealing the depth of the left-right split tearing through USA politics.
The comments come after McConnell gave interviews over the weekend where he left open the possibility of confirming a Supreme Court nominee in 2020 if Republicans still control the chamber and there's a vacancy on the court, marking a shift over how he treated then-President Barack Obama's nominee in 2016.
On a positive note for his party, he said he expects the Kavanaugh confirmation fight and approval to provide an "adrenaline shot" of GOP enthusiasm at the polls.
Kavanaugh's predecessor, Justice Anthony Kennedy, who retired in June, was a more moderate conservative and sometimes sided with the court's four liberal justices. The President had at one point previously been conciliatory toward Christine Blasey Ford, who testified before Congress alleging that Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her. Trump, at the time of the testimony, called Ford a "good witness" and said he respected her position very much.
"Although the Senate confirmation process tested me, as it has tested others, it did not change me", the justice said, affirming that he's committed to fairness and impartiality on the bench.
MSNBC anchor Nicolle Wallace vouched for frequent guest and Democratic attorney Michael Avenatti on September 26 when his client Julie Swetnick came forward with claims-which she later changed-that Kavanaugh was involved with parties where gang rapes routinely occurred and he spiked girls' drinks.
He said, "I'm just reminding you what the history has been".More news: Netanyahu's wife goes on trial for fraud
The cases challenge the types of crimes that qualify as violent felonies under that law and can lead to 15-year mandatory minimum sentences for a defendant. That's how Republicans can hold broadly unpopular positions or support very generally abhorrent people like Brett Kavanaugh without worrying about being held accountable.
Roberts prompted laughter when he described asking his law clerks to try to grab a dollar bill from his hand to determine if that constituted a violent act.
But after being sworn in, Kavanaugh struck a markedly more conciliatory tone. Two other women also accused him of sexual misconduct.
The accusation by Ford delayed the vote on Kavanaugh's confirmation, putting it in doubt as the psychology professor testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee, followed by the judge's emphatic denial and impassioned rebuttal. There will also be those looking for any lingering signs of Kavanaugh's heated, partisan confirmation fight. Among those to receive backlash over their Kavanaugh vote was Sen.
"What happened to the Kavanaugh family violates every notion of fairness, decency and due process", the President continued.
After an extra Federal Bureau of Investigation probe - which media reports say was drastically curtailed by the White House - also found nothing new, Kavanaugh was finally voted into the coveted post. Lisa Murkowski from Alaska, who became the only Republican to vote against him.