The Kavanaugh confirmation has turned out 180 degrees from the way it was expected to, going from slam dunk to problematic, to nightmare. Trump said it was “ridiculous” when asked recently if he would withdraw his nomination, but maybe that’s how it will in fact go down. Gabriel Sherman, Vanity Fair:
Two sources told me the White House has heard rumors that Ford’s account will be verified by women who say she told it to them contemporaneously. People worry, without apparent evidence, of another Ronan Farrow bomb dropping. One source says Ivanka Trump has told her father to “cut bait” and drop Kavanaugh.
Another reason Trump hasn’t gone to the mat for Kavanaugh is that he’s said to be suspicious of Kavanaugh’s establishment pedigree. “‘He’s a Bush guy, why would I put myself out there defending him?’” Trump told people, according to a former White House official briefed on the conversations. Trump also has expressed frustration with White House counsel Don McGahn, who aggressively lobbied for him to choose Kavanaugh, a source said. “Trump wants this guy on the court, but Trump knows there are five other people he could put on the court if this falls apart,” a former official said.
Even before the Kavanaugh crisis, Trump has been worried about Republicans’ declining fortunes, and he’s been finding ways to shift the blame. Trump told a friend in the Oval Office last week that it would be Mitch McConnell and Paul Ryan’s fault if Republicans lost the House and the Senate, according to a person familiar with the conversation. “This is the election about Ryan and McConnell—it’s about those guys,” Trump said. Trump referred to his 2020 campaign as “the real election.” “It’s pure Trump. He has to come up with a way he’s not responsible if Republicans lose,” a former West Wing staffer said.
Maybe he’s worried about impeachment as well. If the Democrats take the Senate, what was once an impossibility, 67 votes, might become doable.
The only thing that is sure of, is that as usual, just when you think you have a handle on things, the narrative is going to change.
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