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Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

Sen. Lindsay Graham explained his support for Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh at The Atlantic Festival on Wednesday, saying the Republican Party has never been more unified than it is now because of Democrats' actions.

"Whether you’re a Trump Republican, a Bush Republican, a McCain Republican, a libertarian or a vegetarian — you’re pissed. I’ve never seen the Republican Party so unified as I do right now. The defining issue in 2018 has changed. It’s about this."

The big picture: Red-state Senate Democrats up for re-election could face voters' wrath over the Kavanaugh issue next month as Republicans gamble that Dems' opposition to Kavanaugh will hurt them more than it helps.

More from Graham:

  • Referencing Merrick Garland, he said if a Supreme Court vacancy should occur at the end of Trump's term, things will play out the same: "If an opening comes in the last year of President Trump’s term, and the primary process has started, we’ll wait until the next election."
  • On Trump's mockery of Christine Blaey Ford at his Mississippi rally: "President Trump went through a factual rendition that I didn’t particularly like, and I would tell him, 'Knock it off, you’re not helping.'"
  • On North Korea: "I’m worried that North Korea is dividing us from South Korea. I’m worried that we’re being played here. I’m telling President Trump, enough with 'I love you.’ This is not a guy to love.”

Go deeper

Trump's coronavirus adviser Scott Atlas resigns

Photo: Nicholas Kamm/AFP via Getty

Scott Atlas, a controversial member of the White House coronavirus task force, handed in his resignation on Monday, according to three administration officials who discussed Atlas' resignation with Axios.

Why it matters: President Trump brought in Atlas as a counterpoint to NIAID director Anthony Fauci, whose warnings about the pandemic were dismissed by the Trump administration. With Trump now fixated on election fraud conspiracy theories, Atlas' detail comes to a natural end.

Dave Lawler, author of World
1 hour ago - World

Assassination in Iran sets stage for tense final 50 days of Trump

The funeral ceremony in Tehran. Photo: Iranian Defense Ministry via Getty

Iranian leaders are weighing their response to the assassination of Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, known as the father of Iran’s military nuclear program, who was given a state funeral Monday in Tehran.

The big picture: Iran has accused Israel of carrying out Friday’s attack, but senior leaders have suggested that they’ll choose patience over an immediate escalation that could play into the hands of the Israelis and the outgoing Trump administration.

Updated 3 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Health: Hospital crisis deepens as holiday season nears.
  2. Vaccine: Moderna to file for FDA emergency use authorizationVaccinating rural America won't be easy — Being last in the vaccine queue is young people's next big COVID test.
  3. Politics: Bipartisan group of senators seeks stimulus dealChuck Grassley returns to Senate after recovering from COVID-19.
  4. States: Cuomo orders emergency hospital protocols as COVID capacity dwindles.
  5. Economy: Wall Street wonders how bad economy has to get for Congress to act.
  6. 🎧 Podcast: The state of play of the top vaccines.