Photos: Michael Reynolds-Pool, Saul Loeb-Pool/Getty Images

Ford and Kavanaugh both fought back tears as they told the committee about the toll the past few weeks have taken on their families. The similarities ended there.

Why it matters: It was a scene students will study long after we are gone. A cool, credible Christine Blasey Ford methodically outlined how the Republican nominee to the Supreme Court allegedly sought to rape her in high school. An angry and tearful Brett Kavanaugh accused the Democrats of a devious plot to destroy his life, his family, his nomination.

The scene: Ford was quiet, and sometimes hard to hear inside the committee room. She told the committee she wished she could “be more helpful,” that she had never wanted to enter the political fray, but that she could never forget certain details of her alleged assault.

  • Kavanaugh strode across the committee room not just to deny those accusations, but to tear into Senate Democrats. He accused them of “laying in wait” to destroy him and making a “national disgrace” of the Supreme Court confirmation process.
  • Emotions ran high all day. The entire hearing room sat rapt as Ford tearfully recounted the episode she says occurred at a high-school party in 1982, and in stunned silence as Kavanaugh excoriated Democrats and broke down over his daughter saying a bedtime prayer for Ford.

A tale of two quotes:

  • Kavanaugh to Senate Democrats: “My family and my name have been totally and permanently destroyed... This confirmation process has become a national disgrace … you have replaced advice and consent with search and destroy.”
  • Ford describing what she remembers from the alleged attack: "Indelible, in the hippocampus is the laughter. The uproarious laughter between the two [Kavanaugh and Judge] ... and they're having fun at my expense."

What's next: The Senate Judiciary, which Republicans control with 11 male members, is scheduled to vote tomorrow. It then goes to the full Senate.

The big question: Do senators believe Ford, or Kavanaugh? And if they believe Ford, should that disqualify Kavanaugh?

Republicans we're watching:

  • Ben Sasse (on Judiciary)
  • Jeff Flake (on Judiciary)
  • Shelley Moore Capito
  • Lisa Murkowski
  • Susan Collins

Go deeper:

Go deeper

7 mins ago - World

U.S. threatens UN peacekeeping veto for Lebanon over Hezbollah concerns

Peacekeepers with Lebanese troops in southern Lebanon. Photo: Jalaa Marey/AFP via Getty

The Trump administration is threatening to veto a resolution to extend the UN's long-standing peacekeeping mission in southern Lebanon if its mandate isn't changed, Israeli and U.S. officials tell me.

Why it matters: The U.S. is the main funder of the UN Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL), which has an annual budget of $250 million. The veto threat is a tactical move, and part of a broader effort to put pressure on Iran and its proxy in Lebanon, Hezbollah.

Updated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 10:30 a.m. ET: 20,388,408 — Total deaths: 743,599— Total recoveries: 12,616,973Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 10:30 a.m. ET: 5,150,590 — Total deaths: 164,681 — Total recoveries: 1,714,960 — Total tests: 63,252,257Map.
  3. Business: U.S. already feeling effects of ending unemployment benefits — U.S. producer prices rose last month by the most since October 2018.
  4. Public health: America is flying blind on its coronavirus response.

Trump congratulates QAnon conspiracy theorist on GOP runoff win

Photo: Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty Images

President Trump on Wednesday tweeted congratulations to Marjorie Taylor Greene, a vocal QAnon conspiracy theorist who won the Republican nomination in Georgia's deep-red 14th Congressional District runoff.

Why it matters: The president's approval illustrates how the once-fringe conspiracy theory has gained ground within the GOP. Greene is among the at least 11 GOP candidates for Congress who have openly supported or defended the QAnon movement or some of its tenets, per Axios' Jacob Knutson.