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Tipsheet

Why Sasse Says He Warned Trump Not to Nominate Kavanaugh

Sen. Ben Sasse, R-Neb., said Wednesday night he urged President Trump to choose a Supreme Court nominee other than Judge Brett Kavanaugh, in part because of the #MeToo movement.

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"Although I've said many complimentary things about Judge Brett Kavanaugh and his distinguished record … I will say that I urged the president back in June and early July to make a different choice before he announced this nomination," Sasse said in a speech on the Senate floor about sexual assault.

While he didn’t say whether he advocated for a specific person, he said Wednesday he “urged the president to nominate a woman.”

There were two women on President Trump’s short list of candidates to replace retiring Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy—circuit judges Amy Coney Barrett and Joan Larsen.

Sasse said his advice was based in part on the rise of the #MeToo movement.

"Part of my argument then was that the very important 'Me Too' movement was also very new and that this Senate is not at all well prepared to handle potential allegations of sexual harassment and assault," he said.

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Though in his speech he said he believed most sexual assault allegations, he said that in politics, that could be a different story. “In this city … that situation might have well been different, I argued in June."

"In the interest of cautious prudence I urged a different path than the one that was chosen," he said. 

Sasse gives these remarks around the 1:08 mark in the video below:  

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell filed cloture to end debate over Kavanaugh late Thursday, meaning a final vote is coming.

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