McConnell says Kavanaugh fight will help Republicans in November

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President Trump said during a press conference on board Air Force One on Saturday that he is "100%" certain that Ford named the wrong person.

Senator Susan Collins of ME, a Republican who wavered before voting to confirm Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court, told "60 Minutes" that she thinks Christine Blasey Ford was "mistaken" about the identity of Kavanaugh as the person who sexually assaulted her.

"We'd been trying to figure out how to get the base excited about this election, and nothing unifies Republicans like a court fight", Mr McConnell said in a phone interview before the Senate confirmed Mr Kavanaugh in a 50-48 vote. Lindsey Graham, R-Seneca, who became one of Kavanaugh's staunchest defenders during the confirmation process.

The two-vote margin of victory made it the closest Supreme Court confirmation vote since 1881 - and by far the most contentious since Clarence Thomas in 1991.

As Chief Justice John Roberts swore in Kavanaugh during a private Supreme Court ceremony, protesters demonstrated loudly outside, at one point rushing the steps of the court and banging on its ornate bronze doors while some sat on a Contemplation of Justice statue.

Hours prior to a ceremonial swearing-in of the newest U.S. Supreme Court justice, President Donald Trump accused opposition Democrats of already plotting to remove Brett Kavanaugh from the bench.

"It unleashed something inside me". "I don't want it to dissipate over the next four weeks, I can tell you".

During an evening rally in Topeka, Kansas, Trump was greeted by prolonged cheers on what he called a "truly historic night".

"I stand before you today on the heels of a tremendous victory for our nation", he said, thanking Republican senators for refusing to back down "in the face of the Democrats' shameless campaign of political and personal destruction".

The three-week dissection of the shock allegations by Christine Blasey Ford, who told a Senate panel that Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her 36 years ago, and his ferocious denial did little to change minds. Kavanaugh has denied all the allegations.

In the Senate chamber, the vote was disrupted on several occasions by angry protests from the gallery. The leader said that while Democrats have been "anxious to send the president a message", the confirmation process provided the "kind of adrenaline shot we had not been able to figure out how achieve in any other way".

President Donald Trump speaks to reporters on the South Lawn
President Donald Trump speaks to reporters on the South Lawn

After police cleared the plaza, demonstrators moved across the street to the front of the Supreme Court.

Trump said election of strong GOP majorities in Congress would thwart consideration of reckless ideas embraced by Democrats.

This was a sentiment echoed by Democrats, who noted that the Federal Bureau of Investigation did not interview Ford, Kavanaugh, many of Kavanaugh's classmates, and other women who accused Kavanaugh of sexual misconduct.

"It is a sad day, but the recourse will have to be on election day", Democratic Senator Amy Klobuchar told reporters.

Susan Collins is not up for re-election until 20-20.

Kavanaugh's nomination as a replacement for retiring justice Anthony Kennedy was controversial from the start - but the initial focus was exclusively on the conservative views held by the married father of two.

Banks said Ford "knows" who assaulted her, disputing the idea popular among some Republicans that Ford was assaulted but had mistaken her assaulter's identity.

Protesters occupy the Hart Senate Office Building during a rally against Kavanaugh in Washington.

The leader of an anti-abortion group that supported Kavanaugh foreshadowed the fight to come in a statement issued just after the confirmation vote.

Trump has repeatedly said that putting conservatives on the court - Kavanaugh is his second appointment - was among the top goals of his presidency.

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Mr Varadkar is also due to meet the chair of the European Parliament's Brexit Steering Group, Guy Verhofstadt. Much further-reaching on trade, on internal security and on foreign policy cooperation.