GOP Sen. Ben SasseBen SasseOVERNIGHT ENERGY: Key vote for Haaland's confirmation | Update on oil and gas leasing | SEC update on climate-related risk disclosure requirements Josh Hawley is a conservative without a clue Republican Party going off the rails? MORE (Neb.) said Wednesday night that he urged President TrumpDonald TrumpSenators given no timeline on removal of National Guard, Capitol fence Democratic fury with GOP explodes in House Georgia secretary of state withholds support for 'reactionary' GOP voting bills MORE to nominate someone other than Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court earlier this year.

"Although I've said many complimentary things about Judge Brett Kavanaugh and his distinguished record … I will say that I urged the president back in June and early July to make a different choice before he announced this nomination," Sasse said during an emotional speech from the Senate floor centering on sexual assault.


Sasse did not say whom he urged Trump to nominate, but that he "urged the president to nominate a woman." Circuit judges Joan Larsen and Amy Coney Barrett were considered to be on the White House's shortlist for the Supreme Court vacancy left by Anthony Kennedy's retirement.

Sasse said he had concerns about the Senate's ability to handle any potential sexual harassment or sexual assault allegations prior to learning of Kavanaugh's nomination.

"Part of my argument then was that the very important 'Me Too' movement was also very new and that this Senate is not at all well prepared to handle potential allegations of sexual harassment and assault," he said.

Kavanaugh is facing several allegations of sexual misconduct dating back to his days in high school and college. He has denied any wrongdoing.

Sasse added that he believes most sexual assault allegations are true, but warned that "in this city … that situation might have well been different, I argued in June."

"In the interest of cautious prudence I urged a different path than the one that was chosen," he said.

Sasse is the latest GOP senator who is known to have urged the White House to select someone other than Kavanaugh.

Kavanaugh came under fire from social conservatives before officially being tapped by Trump.

GOP Sens. Rand Paul (Ky.) and Tom Cotton (Ark.) were among a bloc of conservatives who privately expressed concerns to the White House about nominating Kavanaugh, a person familiar with the discussions told The Hill at the time.

A spokeswoman for Cotton contested that on Thursday, saying the GOP senator gave Trump “a frank assessment of each nominee, but he did not express concern over his potential nomination.”

-- Updated Thursday at 11:16 a.m.