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WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump took a victory lap at a Kansas campaign rally Saturday night in celebration of embattled Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh’s narrow confirmation hours earlier.
“I stand before you today on the heels of a tremendous victory for our nation, our people, and our beloved Constitution,” Trump said, pumping two fists in the air.
As he spoke, the president was flanked by banners bearing his campaign refrain of “Promises Made” and “Promises Kept.”
Just minutes before Trump took the stage in Topeka, Kavanaugh was sworn in as an associate justice of the U.S. Supreme Court following a 50-48 Senate confirmation vote earlier in the day. He was confirmed by the narrowest margin since Justice Clarence Thomas’ confirmation in 1991 by 52-48.
Trump praised Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, the last Republican to publicly declare her vote, whose nearly 45 minute speech on the Senate floor announcing her support for Kavanaugh essentially ensured his confirmation.
“How good was Senator Susan Collins yesterday, by the way?” Trump said.
On his way to Kansas on Air Force One, the president told reporters he was “a hundred percent certain” that Brett Kavanaugh did not sexually assault accuser Christine Blasey Ford. He added that women are “extremely happy” about Kavanaugh’s confirmation because “they're thinking of their sons, they're thinking of their husbands, their brothers, their uncles.”
Protestors flooded Washington Saturday both before and after Kavanaugh's confirmation, disrupting the Senate vote and storming the Supreme Court steps. Over 150 people were arrested.
Following a day of turbulent anti-Kavanaugh protests on Capitol Hill, Trump — who was in Topeka to campaign for gubernatorial candidate Kris Kobach and congressional candidate Steve Watkins — also said it was critical to keep Republicans in power because “you don't hand matches to an arsonist, and you don't give power to an angry, left-wing mob.”
“...The Democrats are willing to cause such destruction in the pursuit of power, just imagine the devastation they would cause if they ever obtained the power they so desperately want and crave,” he said.
“You're going to have other Supreme Court justices, places to be filled,” he added. “And if you allow the wrong people to get into office, things could change, they could change and they could change fast.”
Although Trump was in Kansas to stump for candidates on the ballot, he once again quickly pivoted to his own reelection in 2020, launching familiar attacks against potential Democratic candidates: He went after Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., stating “I’ve got more Indian blood in me than Pocahontas, and I have none.” Trump also joked about challenging former Vice President Joe Biden to a fight, and said Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J., had been a “disaster” as the former mayor of Newark.
In a phone interview with Fox News following the rally, Trump expressed disappointment in Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, the only GOP senator present who did not vote in favor of Kavanaugh's confirmation. “I thought it was a sad vote, and disgraceful,” he said.
Trump also praised Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., who is up for reelection in a red state this year, for being the only Democrat to support Kavanaugh's confirmation. “I appreciate that a Democrat, Joe Manchin, voted in favor of Justice Kavanaugh. And that was a good thing.”
The Trump campaign blasted out an email minutes after the rally ended Saturday night fundraising off the Kavanaugh vote. “But although today is a big victory, we can NEVER forget what the Democrats did to this good man and his family. Because if they did it to Judge Kavanaugh They could one day do it to YOU,” it read.
Trump plans to headline four more campaign rallies in the next week for Republican candidates in Indiana, Pennsylvania, Ohio and Kentucky.