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America owes Kavanaugh apology, says Trump
President Donald Trump said Monday he was apologizing on behalf of the whole country to his new conservative Supreme Court justice after one of the most contentious confirmation processes in US history, reports AFP.
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 American politics.
On behalf of our nation, I want to apologize to Brett and the entire Kavanaugh family for the terrible pain and suffering you have been forced to endure, he said at the ceremony in the ornate White House East Room.
Trump showed he still considers the nomination row a political battle. Before the ceremony, he’d described opposition Democrats as evil and the sexual assault claims as a hoax.
But after being sworn in, Kavanaugh struck a markedly more conciliatory tone.
He told an audience that included the entire Supreme Court and a Who’s Who of Republican movers and shakers that he had no bitterness and would never bring politics into the top court.
The Supreme Court is a team of nine. And I will always be a team player on the team of nine.... The Senate confirmation process was contentious and emotional. That process is over, he said.
Trump sees his success in getting Kavanaugh onto the court—tilting the crucial body to the right for potentially years to come—as one of the major successes of his turbulent two-year administration.
It also comes in the final run-up to midterm elections on November 6.
The president—whose Republicans fear losing at least the lower chamber of Congress—predicted that Democrats would pay for their attempts to block the confirmation, especially during the lurid debate over decades-old sexual assault allegations.
I think a lot of Democrats are going to vote Republican, he said in his earlier comments outside the White House. I think you’re going to see a lot of things happening on November 6.
Democrats had fought tooth and nail to stop Cavanaugh’s candidacy, claiming that the accomplished, conservative-minded judge was not suited to the Supreme Court.