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White House ‘hopeful,’ ‘confident’ it can get Senate votes for Kavanaugh

(AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

PHOENIX — Several key Republican senators have still not announced whether they would vote to nominate Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court, but the White House is not worried.

“I think we are hopeful, we are confident that we can get the votes,” White House spokeswoman Mercedes Schlapp told KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Arizona’s Morning News.

“At this point, we’ve seen Sen. Jeff Flake, in addition to Sen. (Susan) Collins — they’ve read the FBI report, they’ve read it thoroughly — and at this point, we’ll see this morning,” she added, referring to the Senate’s cloture vote. The Senate would advance Kavanaugh in a narrow 51-49 vote.

“I think were feeling hopeful, I think we’re feeling confident that this is moving forward.”

Friday’s vote was a procedural one to end the debate.

Some fence-sitting Republican senators — Collins of Maine, Flake of Arizona and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska — could conceivably vote to advance Kavanaugh’s nomination but still hold out their support ahead of a final confirmation roll call over the weekend.

A final vote is expected Saturday.

Kavanaugh’s confirmation has been rattled with several allegations of sexual misconduct against the 53-year-old judge.

Christine Blasey Ford, the California professor who first came forward with her claim, testified in front of a Senate committee that, one night in the summer of 1982, a drunken Kavanaugh forced her down on a bed, “groped me and tried to take off my clothes,” then clamped his hand over her mouth when she tried to scream before she was able to escape.

Kavanaugh had denied the allegation.

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

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