Trump does victory lap after bitter Supreme Court battle

Donald Trump's controversial nominee Brett Kavanaugh sworn in as SC Judge amid protests

Donald Trump's controversial nominee Brett Kavanaugh sworn in as SC Judge amid protests

President Donald Trump apologized on national TV to Brett Kavanaugh for the "pain and suffering" to which he was subjected during his Supreme Court confirmation hearing, declaring on national TV that Kavanaugh had been "found innocent".

"On behalf of our nation, I want to apologize to Brett and the entire Kavanaugh family for the awful pain and suffering you have been forced to endure", Trump said, addressing the bitter partisan fight over Kavanaugh's nomination that became a firestorm after the emergence of sexual misconduct allegations, which Kavanaugh emphatically denied.

"Those who step forward to serve our country deserve a fair and dignified evaluation, not a campaign of political and personal destruction based on lies and deception", Trump said. Although the Senate confirmation process tested me, as it has tested others, it did not change me. 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.

His confirmation on Saturday in one of the closest such Senate votes in history highlighted deep American polarisation ahead of 6 November congressional midterm elections where Democrats hope to end Republican dominance. Protesters, a lot of them women, flooded the U.S. Capitol on Saturday ahead of the Senate's confirmation vote. What happened to Kavanaugh was "very, very unfair", the president lamented.

And he said that "under historic scrutiny", Kavanaugh was "proven innocent".

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During a ceremonial swearing-in at the White House this evening, Kavanaugh described the confirmation process as "contentious and emotional" but said he has "no bitterness". "That process is over".

"I've always been told it's the biggest thing a president can do and I can understand that", he said.

Kavanaugh also singled out several lawmakers for their work, including Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine), Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.), Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) and Rob Portman (R-Ohio) for their strong support and guidance throughout the nomination process. "A good judge must be an umpire, a neutral and impartial decider who favors no litigant or policy". Every sitting member of the Supreme Court was present at the ceremony. "It is not a partisan or political institution", he said. "The justices do not sit on opposite sides of an aisle".

A special education teacher in Minnesota has been placed on paid administrative leave following a tweet over the weekend that appeared to encourage followers to kill new U.S. Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh.

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