Kavanaugh seeks new tone after Supreme Court fight; Trump apologises for process

Protesters against US Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh demonstrate at the high court in Washington ahead of his confirmation

Kavanaugh went through a bruising confirmation process in the US Senate, where questions were raised over his partisan rhetoric and allegations of sexual misconduct as a young man.

Two other accusers stepped forward in the closing weeks of Kavanaugh's confirmation process to allege that he had behaved inappropriately with them while in high school and college.

Mr Trump said Democrats had "tortured" Mr Kavanaugh and his family. "I thought it was a disgrace".

He angrily predicted that would backfire on Democrats in midterm Congressional elections in November.

"I think a lot of Democrats are going to vote Republican", he said. "I've always been told it's the biggest thing a president can do and I can understand that".

He was referring to the acrimonious debate over Mr Kavanaugh's nomination, after sexual assault allegations were made against him.

No concrete evidence was produced to back up the searing accusations, which Republicans described as a dirty tricks campaign.

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Standing in front of his wife and two daughters, Mr Kavanaugh noted how the confirmation process was a contentious and emotional ordeal, but added: "I take this office with gratitude and no bitterness".

Kavanaugh officially took the oath in a more hurried, private procedure Saturday, but the White House version late Monday gave the Trump administration to perform the equivalent of a victory lap on live television. McConnell also stood aside while Russians interfered in the 2016 presidential election on behalf of Donald Trump.

Mr Trump did not blame opposition Democrats by name.

Trump signed Kavanaugh's commission later Saturday, with Chief Justice John Roberts swearing in the new justice Saturday night.

The initial focus of opposition was exclusively on the conservative views held by the married father of two. The President had at one point previously been conciliatory toward Christine Blasey Ford, who testified before Congress alleging that Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her. Trump, at the time of the testimony, called Ford a "good witness" and said he respected her position very much.

"The first lady regrets that she will not be able to celebrate with the Kavanaugh family on such a special evening, but she has a longstanding prior commitment she was unable to change at the last minute", the first lady's spokesperson, Stephanie Grisham, said in a statement first obtained by CNN. Outside groups are culling an unusually long paper trail from his previous government and political work, with the National Archives and Records Administration expected to release a cache of millions of documents this month.

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