At a rally in Topeka, Kansas, after Brett Kavanaugh was sworn into the Supreme Court, President Trump praised Kavanaugh as a “a man of great character and intellect” while slamming Democrats as trying to “plunge our country into gridlock and chaos.” Mr. Trump singled out Senators Richard Blumenthal, Elizabeth Warren and Cory Booker among the Democrats to criticize for “the horror” they put Kavanaugh and his family through.
Mr. Trump again pushed claims that Warren lied about her Native American ancestry, calling her “Pocahontas,” and saying “I have more Indian blood than her and I have none.”
Mr. Trump called Blumenthal “Da Nang Dick,” a reference to Da Nang, Vietnam, where Americans first landed in the Vietnam War. Blumenthal served in the Marine Corps in the 1970s but did not serve in Vietnam. Blumenthal previously indicated on some occasions that he served in Vietnam. After the discrepency in his record was revealed in 2010, he said he “misspoken about my service, and I regret that.”
Mr. Trump accused Blumenthal of saying there were “men dying. Being struck by bullets. I went back and I got them,” although Blumenthal never said that.
On the other hand, Mr. Trump praised Republican Sen. Susan Collins, one of the crucial swing votes for Kavanaugh, as being a “star.” He did not mention Sen. Lisa Murkowski, although earlier in the day he said Alaska voters would “never forgive” her.
Mr. Trump blasted Democrats and protesters who delayed or interrupted Kavanaugh’s confirmation, touting his second confirmed nominee to the court in less than two years. Mr. Trump made the case that Democrats are the party of “crime,” while Republicans are the party of “law and order,” and that’s why more Republicans are needed in next month’s midterms.
“You don’t hand matches to an arsonist, and you don’t give power to an angry left-wing mob,” Mr. Trump said.
Mr. Trump claimed Democrats have created a bill called the “Open Borders Bill,” although no bill exists. He praised Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) as “great Americans” and “tough on MS-13.”
The president allowed Kris Kobach, the state’s far-right secretary of state who is campaigning for governor, to take the stage for a chunk of the rally. Kobach led the administration’s scuttled inquiry into voter fraud in the 2016 election.
Ahead of the rally, hundreds lined up outside hours beforehand, despite rain.
The president watched the Senate vote on Kavanaugh while he was traveling on Air Force One to Kansas. He told reporters, “I very much appreciate those 50 votes, and I think [Kavanaugh is] going to go down as a totally brilliant Supreme Court Justice for many years, many years.”
Mr. Trump also said of Dr. Christine Blasey Ford, the woman who accused Kavanaugh of sexual assault when they were both teenagers, that he was certain that she had misidentified Kavanaugh as the perpetrator. “I’m a hundred percent. I’m a 100%. I have no doubt,” Mr. Trump said.
Kavanaugh and Ford, who accused Kavanaugh of sexually assaulting her when they were both teenagers, appeared before the Senate Judiciary Committee last week. The confirmation vote was delayed by an FBI investigation into the allegations, which concluded in under a week. Kavanaugh was confirmed by a 50-48 vote.
Kavanaugh’s confirmation is even more of a triumph for the administration considering the obstacles he overcame to be confirmed. The confirmation process for Kavanaugh was complicated by allegations of sexual misconduct against him by multiple women.
Kathryn Watson and Caroline Linton contributed to this report.
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