“Judge Kavanaugh showed America exactly why I nominated him,” President Donald Trump crowed via twitter, literally as his Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh was leaving the room after Senate Judiciary Committee testimony Thursday.
“His testimony was powerful, honest, and riveting. Democrats’ search and destroy strategy is disgraceful and this process has been a total sham and effort to delay, obstruct, and resist. The Senate must vote!”
Trump had canceled today’s planned meeting with Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein so as to free up his time to watch the hearing at which one of Kavanaugh’s accusers, Christine Blasey Ford, testified.
Trump put Kavanaugh on notice, calling a rare press conference the afternoon before today’s hearing to say he would watch and left open the option of being convinced by Ford, while continuing to call allegations against Kavanaugh “a big fat lie.”
Trump reportedly advised Kavanaugh to jettison the school choirboy persona he’d taken on during his pre-buttal on Fox News Channel, and go after his accusers more aggressively. Which Kavanaugh did emphatically, calling today’s hearing and the two weeks leading up to it “a calculated and orchestrated political hit, fueled with apparent pent-up anger about President Trump and the 2016 election,” and “revenge on behalf of the Clintons.”
After the hearing, and Trump’s tweet, Democratic committee member Sen. Patrick Leahy, out in the hallway, told reporters of his Republican committee colleagues, “They’re going to do whatever the White House and Mitch McConnell tells them to do.”
Asked his thoughts on Kavanaugh’s testimony, Leahy responded: “I found it well rehearsed. It brought me back to memories of Clarence Thomas.”
Trump’s victory-lap tweet: