Hillary Clinton chided President Trump on Tuesday, accusing him of turning the ceremonial swearing in of new Supreme Court Justice Brett M. Kavanaugh into a “political rally” in the White House.
“What was done last night in the White House was a political rally,” the 2016 Democratic presidential nominee said in an interview with CNN’s Christiane Amanpour. “It further undermined the image and the integrity of the court, and that troubles me greatly. It saddens me because our judicial system has been viewed as one of the main pillars of our constitutional government.”
Clinton’s comments referred to a boisterous event in the East Room on Monday night that began with Trump apologizing to Kavanaugh “for the terrible pain and suffering” he said the Kavanaugh family was forced to endure during a chaotic confirmation process.
Trump later praised Kavanaugh’s fortitude while facing allegations of decades-old sexual misconduct and profusely thanked Republican senators who advocated for him, culminating in a 50-to-48 confirmation vote largely along party lines Saturday.
Among those Trump recognized was Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), who received resounding applause after the president asked him to stand up.
“I think that’s the biggest hand he’s ever received,” Trump said.
Asked Tuesday by a reporter in the Oval Office about Clinton’s characterization of the event, Trump said: “I guess that’s why she lost. She doesn’t get it.”
The president characterized Monday’s event far differently than Clinton in a Tuesday morning tweet.
“Great evening last night at the White House honoring Justice Kavanaugh and family,” Trump wrote. “Our country is very proud of them!
In a separate tweet, Trump continued to insist, without evidence, that many who turned out to protest Kavanaugh’s confirmation Saturday did so because they were told they would be paid.
“The paid D.C. protesters are now ready to REALLY protest because they haven’t gotten their checks — in other words, they weren’t paid!” Trump wrote. “Screamers in Congress, and outside, were far too obvious — less professional than anticipated by those paying (or not paying) the bills!”
In her television interview, which was conducted in Oxford, England, Clinton suggested that the Kavanaugh confirmation process was a continuation of a pattern by Trump of hostility toward women.
“He has insulted, attacked, demeaned women throughout the campaign, really for many years leading up to the campaign, and he’s continued to do that inside the White House,” she said.