Trump flashes “thumbs up” on Air Force One.

Trump re­mains sure ac­cuser at­tacked by some other per­son

Houston Chronicle Sunday - - FRONT PAGE - By Alyza Sebe­nius and Laura Cur­tis

Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump watched Brett Ka­vanaugh’s con­fir­ma­tion as he flew on Air Force One to Kan­sas and told re­porters he was “100 per­cent” cer­tain that Chris­tine Blasey Ford, who ac­cused the Supreme Court nom­i­nee of sex­ual as­sault, “named the wrong per­son.”

Re­porters were in­vited into Trump’s pri­vate, wood-pan­eled cabin on the pres­i­den­tial jet, where Trump mon­i­tored the Se­nate vote on a big-screen tele­vi­sion tuned to Fox News.

The pres­i­dent flashed two “thumbs up” when the vote was called 50 to 48 in fa­vor of Trump’s sec­ond Supreme Court pick.

“I ap­pre­ci­ate those 50 great votes,” he said.

Three se­nior aides in the cabin ap­plauded.

Trump said Ka­vanaugh is “go­ing to go down as a to­tally bril­liant Supreme Court jus­tice for many years” and praised the nom­i­nee’s tem­per­a­ment and past ju­di­cial ser­vice. He is, Trump said, “a bril­liant scholar.”

“We’re hon­ored that he was able to with­stand these hor­ri­ble, hor­ri­ble at­tacks by the Democrats,” Trump said. “A hor­ri­ble at­tack that no­body should have to go through.”

Upon land­ing, the pres­i­dent said he spoke to Ka­vanaugh dur­ing the flight.

Trump ral­lies this evening in Topeka, Kan., hours af­ter the Se­nate nar­rowly con­firmed Ka­vanaugh, 53, af­ter a his­tor­i­cally bit­ter and par­ti­san bat­tle. Ka­vanaugh over­came al­le­ga­tions of school-age sex­ual as­sault and claims by Democrats he was dis­hon­est in Se­nate hear­ings. He was sworn in later Sat­ur­day in a pri­vate cer­e­mony.

In re­sponse to a re­porter’s ques­tion, Trump said it was a “to­tal mis­nomer” that women were an­gry about Ka­vanaugh’s con­fir­ma­tion.

“Women, I feel, were in many ways stronger in his fa­vor,” Trump said, then made sim­i­lar com­ments to those he’s tweeted in the past two days: that women demon­strat­ing against Ka­vanaugh had been paid to do so, po­ten­tially by bil­lion­aire phi­lan­thropist Ge­orge Soros.

“You see how or­ches­trated it is, how phony it is, they prac­tice it to­gether and they do it with the Democrats. It’s all the Democrats. It’s so bad,” Trump said.

The pres­i­dent said on Twit­ter that the crowd in front of the Supreme Court “wouldn’t even fill the first cou­ple of rows of our Kan­sas Rally.”

The pres­i­dent said he had no doubt that Ford, a Cal­i­for­nia pro­fes­sor, had named the wrong per­son as her as­sailant in an at­tack she said took place while she and Ka­vanaugh were in high school.

“There’s no­body with a squeaky clean past like Brett Ka­vanaugh,” Trump said. “I’m very hon­ored to have cho­sen him.”

Ear­lier, out­side the White House, Trump said he feels “very strongly that, in the end, maybe the process was re­ally unattrac­tive, but the ex­tra week was some­thing that I think was re­ally good.” That was in ref­er­ence to the ad­di­tional FBI in­ves­ti­ga­tion taken be­fore the Se­nate pressed ahead on the nom­i­nee. “A lot of very pos­i­tive things hap­pened in the last week. It didn’t look that way, but in the end that’s what hap­pened.”

Trump, who cam­paigned on the prom­ise of ap­point­ing con­ser­va­tive judges, can cel­e­brate help­ing to cre­ate a de­ci­sive con­ser­va­tive ma­jor­ity on the top court in decades as Ka­vanaugh joins the pres­i­dent’s first pick, As­so­ciate Jus­tice Neil Gor­such. The pres­i­dent also had kind words for Sen. Su­san Collins, the Maine Re­pub­li­can whose vote hung in the bal­ance un­til Fri­day, when she an­nounced she would back the nom­i­nee dur­ing a 44-minute speech on the Se­nate floor.

“I thought that Su­san was in­cred­i­ble yes­ter­day,” Trump said at the White House, ap­plaud­ing her for be­ing a hard worker. “She didn’t stop, and I know for a fact, be­cause I spoke with her. She didn’t stop.”

Trump ral­lied in Kan­sas in sup­port of two Re­pub­li­can can­di­dates: Kris Kobach, who’s run­ning for gov­er­nor, and Steve Watkins, the nom­i­nee for the state’s 2nd Con­gres­sional Dis­trict.

Kan­sas hasn’t elected a Demo­crat to Congress in over a decade. In what some fore­cast to be a Demo­cratic wave elec­tion in Novem­ber, the non­par­ti­san Cook Po­lit­i­cal Re­port rates one of the state’s four House seats a tossup and an­other as lean­ing Demo­cratic.

Pablo Martinez Monsivais / As­so­ci­ated Press

Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump, aboard Air Force One on Sat­ur­day, gives a pair of thumbs up dur­ing a live broad­cast of the Se­nate con­fir­ma­tion vote of Supreme Court nom­i­nee Brett Ka­vanaugh.

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