At McGahn, McConnell’s Urging, Trump Shows Restraint On Kavanaugh Allegations

US President Donald Trump arrives on September 11, 2018, to speak at the site of a new memorial in Shanksville, Pennsylvania where Flight 93 crashed during the September 11 attacks, as somber ceremonies take place at... US President Donald Trump arrives on September 11, 2018, to speak at the site of a new memorial in Shanksville, Pennsylvania where Flight 93 crashed during the September 11 attacks, as somber ceremonies take place at Ground Zero in New York and at the Pentagon. (Photo by Nicholas Kamm / AFP) (Photo credit should read NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images) MORE LESS
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September 18, 2018 7:38 a.m.

In an unprecedented move for the Twitter president, President Donald Trump did not tweet once about the claims of sexual assault against his Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh on Monday.

That move, coupled with nearly-scripted comments during a pool spray Monday afternoon, raised eyebrows as the president exhibited a curious amount of restraint in response to allegations against a close ally; prudence he has not demonstrated in the past.

According to a Republican close to the White House who spoke to Politico, Trump’s initially wanted to fight back when the identity of a woman who accused Kavanaugh of assault when they were in high school was revealed on Sunday. But Trump followed the advice of White House lawyer Don McGahn and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who told him to distance himself from the scandal, Politico reported.

Instead, the White House crafted a plan to send counselor Kellyanne Conway onto the airwaves to express a semblance of sympathy for the accuser, as well as propel a talking point that blamed Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) for sitting on the anonymous letter she had received from the accuser in July.

According to six officials familiar with the process, the White House does not plan to withdraw Kavanaugh’s nomination unless new evidence against the Supreme Court nominee is revealed during public testimony on Monday or a new witness is able to corroborate the allegations.

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