Dem senator ties Kavanaugh confirmation vote to Trump-Putin controversy

Sen. Chris MurphyChristopher (Chris) Scott MurphyThe Hill's Morning Report — Signs of trouble for Republicans in House special election Dem senator defends social media platforms deleting content: 'Not the same as government censorship' Right ramps up battle with Facebook after Jones, Infowars pages are struck down MORE (D-Conn.) drew a connection between President TrumpDonald John TrumpAl Gore: Trump has had 'less of an impact on environment so far than I feared' Trump claims tapes of him saying the 'n-word' don't exist Trump wanted to require staffers to get permission before writing books: report MORE's controversial summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin and the Senate's vote on his Supreme Court nominee during a Thursday interview.

Murphy said there is more reason to worry about Trump because of his remarks at a post-summit press conference, and that means the decision on nominee Brett Kavanaugh should be given more scrutiny.

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"I think we have more reason to believe, not less reason to believe, that this president is corrupted in some way by what Russia knows about him," Murphy told Hill.TV's Krystal Ball on "Rising."

"We'll have to wait until we get that evidence from Mueller, but we seem more likely to be on the verge of a constitutional crisis than we were a week ago, and I think that means we've got tougher questions for Judge Kavanaugh as he comes before the court," he said. 

Lawmakers have questioned whether a constitutional crisis surrounding Trump and special counsel Robert MuellerRobert Swan MuellerSasse: US should applaud choice of Mueller to lead Russia probe MORE's investigation could end up in the Supreme Court. Kavanaugh, who worked on independent council Ken Starr's investigations of Bill ClintonWilliam (Bill) Jefferson ClintonMcAuliffe: We should look at impeaching Trump over Putin summit What ISIS is up to during your summer vacation Kavanaugh once said president would likely have to testify before grand jury if subpoenaed: report MORE, has written extensively about presidential powers, questioning whether a sitting president could be indicted.

Kavanaugh wrote in a 2009 Minnesota Law Review article that a president should be allowed to focus with as "few distractions as possible" and that an indictment would "cripple" the federal government. 

Trump on Monday slammed Mueller's probe into Russian election interference at a joint press conference with Putin. 

Trump also did not condemn Russia for interfering in the 2016 presidential election and questioned why more attention has not been given to former Secretary of State Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonHillicon Valley: FBI fires Strzok after anti-Trump tweets | Trump signs defense bill with cyber war policy | Google under scrutiny over location data | Sinclair's troubles may just be beginning | Tech to ease health data access | Netflix CFO to step down Signs grow that Mueller is zeroing in on Roger Stone Omarosa claims president called Trump Jr. a 'f--- up' for releasing Trump Tower emails MORE's emails. 

The president backtracked on his statements on Wednesday, saying that he does hold Putin responsible for election interference. 

— Julia Manchester