Sep 18, 2018

Trump claims Kavanaugh isn't "a man that deserves this"

Photo: Jim Watson/AFP/Getty Images

President Trump says he feels "so badly" that his Supreme Court nominee, Brett Kavanaugh, is facing sexual assault allegations.

"I feel so badly for him. This is not a man that deserves this ... I feel terribly for him, for his wife, who is an incredibly lovely woman, and for his beautiful young daughters."
— Trump, speaking at a press conference with the president of Poland

The context: Trump placed blame on the Democrats for bringing up the allegations so close to the scheduled vote on his nomination. "It should have been brought to the fore …long ago," Trump said. Democrats, he said, "just resist and they just obstruct. Frankly, I think they’re lousy on policy and they’re lousy politicians."

John Decker: "On Judge Kavanaugh, yesterday you said, 'We want to go through a full process.' You said, 'We want to make sure everything is perfect, everything is just right.' To that end, what would be the problem with the FBI reopening their background investigation into Judge Kavanaugh?"

President Trump: "I feel so badly for him that he's going through this, to be honest with you. I feel so badly for him. This is not a man that deserves this. This should have been brought to the fore it should have been brought up long ago and that's what you have hearings for. You don't wait till the hearing is over then all of a sudden bring it up. When Senator Feinstein sat with judge Kavanaugh for a long period of time, a long long meeting. She had this letter, why didn't she bring it up? ... With all of that, I feel that the Republicans, and I can speak for myself, we should go through a process because there shouldn't even be a little doubt, there shouldn't be a doubt. ... And honestly I feel terribly for him, for his wife, who is an incredible lovely woman, and for his beautiful young daughters. I feel terribly for them."

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Top Trump ally sounds 2020 election alarm over coronavirus response

Photo: Jim Watson/AFP via Getty Images

There is growing concern among top conservative leaders that the Trump administration isn't addressing the long-term economic impact of the coronavirus, several sources tell Axios. One top adviser said if the recovery is bungled it could cost President Trump the election.

What we're hearing: "The next 4-8 weeks is really going to decide whether Trump gets reelected," Stephen Moore, Trump's former nominee for the Federal Reserve board, told Axios. If the administration mishandles its economic recovery efforts, he said, Trump is "in big trouble."

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 10 p.m. ET: 1,600,427 — Total deaths: 95,506 — Total recoveries: 354,006Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 10 p.m. ET: 465,329 — Total deaths: 16,513 — Total recoveries: 25,410Map.
  3. Public health latest: U.S. has expelled thousands of migrants under a CDC public health orderDr. Anthony Fauci said social distancing could reduce the U.S. death toll to 60,000.
  4. Business latest: The Fed will lend up to $2.3 trillion for businesses, state and city governments — After another 6.6 million jobless claims, here's how to understand the scale of American job decimation.
  5. 2020 latest: Top conservative leaders are concerned the Trump administration isn't addressing the virus' long-term economic impact.
  6. States latest: FEMA has asked governors to decide if they want testing sites to be under state or federal control.
  7. World latest: Lockdowns have led to a decline in murders in some of the world's most violent countries — Boris Johnson is moved out of the ICU but remains in hospital with coronavirus.
  8. In Congress: Senate in stalemate over additional funding for small business relief program.
  9. 1 SNL thing: "Saturday Night Live" will return this weekend in a remotely produced episode.
  10. What should I do? Hydroxychloroquine questions answeredPets, moving and personal healthAnswers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingQ&A: Minimizing your coronavirus risk.
  11. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it.

Subscribe to Mike Allen's Axios AM to follow our coronavirus coverage each morning from your inbox.

Federal court temporarily blocks coronavirus order against some abortions

Gov. Greg Abbott. Photo: Tom Fox-Pool/Getty Images

A federal judge ruled Thursday that clinics in Texas can immediately offer medication abortions — a pregnancy termination method administered by pill — and can also provide the procedure to patients nearing the state's time limits for abortions.

Driving the news: The decision comes after federal appeals court ruled 2-1 on Tuesday in favor of an executive order by Republican Gov. Greg Abbott that prohibits abortions during the coronavirus outbreak.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 8 hours ago - Politics & Policy