Sen. Susan Collins told CNN's State of the Union Sunday that she initially thought Brett Kavanaugh would have to withdraw after hearing Dr. Christine Blasey Ford's "compelling and painful testimony," but she changed her mind when Kavanaugh came back with a "forceful" denial.

The big picture: Collins reiterated that she believed Ford was assaulted by someone and that it upended her life, but she said doesn't believe the assailant was Brett Kavanaugh. Collins said her decision to vote for Kavanaugh was driven by her belief in the American legal system of "presumption of innocence and fairness."

Other highlights:

  • Collins said Kavanaugh "should not have taken a shot at the Clintons" during his testimony, a move that many critics have decried as too partisan for a Supreme Court justice.
  • She said she has "full confidence" that Kavanaugh will not overturn Roe v. Wade. Responding to criticism from Planned Parenthood, she noted that the organization has opposed three pro-choice justices just because they were nominated by Republican presidents.
  • When asked if she was worried about losing her seat in 2020 because of her vote, Collins said "the people of Maine have trusted me to exercise my best judgment. That's what I did in this case."

Go deeper

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 9 p.m. ET: 20,755,406 — Total deaths: 752,225— Total recoveries: 12,917,934Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 9 p.m. ET: 5,246,760 — Total deaths: 167,052 — Total recoveries: 1,774,648 — Total tests: 64,831,306Map.
  3. Politics: House Democrats to investigate scientist leading "Operation Warp Speed" vaccine projectMcConnell announces Senate will not hold votes until Sept. 8 unless stimulus deal is reached.
  4. 2020: Biden calls for 3-month national mask mandateBiden and Harris to receive coronavirus briefings 4 times a week.
  5. States: Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp to drop lawsuit over Atlanta's mask mandate.
  6. Business: Why the CARES Act makes 2020 the best year for companies to lose money.
  7. Public health: Fauci's guidance on pre-vaccine coronavirus treatments Cases are falling, but don't get too comfortable.

Trump says he intends to give RNC speech on White House lawn

President Trump speaking to reporters on South Lawn in July. Photo: Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post via Getty Images

President Trump told the New York Post on Thursday that he plans to deliver his Republican National Convention speech from the White House lawn, despite bipartisan criticism of the optics and legality of the location.

Why it matters: Previous presidents avoided blurring staged campaign-style events — like party conventions — with official business of governing on the White House premises, per Politico.

Fauci's guidance on pre-vaccine coronavirus treatments

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Antibody drugs and various medicine cocktails against the coronavirus are progressing and may provide some relief before vaccines.

The big picture: Everyone wants to know how and when they can return to "normal" life, as vaccines are not expected to be ready for most Americans for at least a year. Two therapies are known to be helpful, and more could be announced by late September, NIAID Director Anthony Fauci tells Axios.