President Trump said Saturday that he was “absolutely shocked” by Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski’s “disgraceful” refusal to support the confirmation of newly sworn-in Supreme Court Justice Brett M. Kavanaugh.
“I’ve done so much for Alaska, I was shocked to see her vote. Absolutely shocked,” Mr. Trump told Fox’s “Justice with Judge Jeanine.” “And frankly so were other Republicans.”
Ms. Murkowski was the only Republican who did not vote in favor of the nomination. One Democrat, Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia, voted in favor of confirmation.
Mr. Trump added, “I thought it was very frankly disgraceful, and I appreciate that a Democrat, Joe Manchin, came and he voted in favor of Justice Kavanaugh.”
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The president cited his support for oil drilling in the Alaska National Wildlife Refuge — the Bureau of Land Management began scoping the region in April after Congress opened it up for leasing — saying it meant “trillions of dollars.”
“I’m not equating one thing with the other at all,” Mr. Trump added.
Ms. Murkowski voted “present” at Saturday’s Senate vote, saying she “could not conclude that he was right person for the court at this time.” Justice Kavanaugh’s nomination was approved by a vote of 50-48.
“It was a very sad day I think for her,” Mr. Trump said. “And I think it will go down as a sad day for her because he’s going to become a great Supreme Court justice.”
At the same time, Mr. Trump praised Sen. Susan Collins, Maine Republican, who voted in favor of the nomination despite enormous pressure from left-wing pressure groups.
“Susan Collins was a star,” he said, adding “What she said and the way she said it was brilliant.”