McConnell slams anti-Kavanaugh protests, 'intimidation tactics'
© Anna Moneymaker

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellNegotiators remain far apart on coronavirus deal as deadline looms States begin removing Capitol's Confederate statues on their own Skepticism grows over Friday deadline for coronavirus deal MORE (R-Ky.) on Wednesday slammed protesters who are increasingly confronting GOP senators over Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, warning it won't prevent the Senate from voting.

"If facts and evidence couldn't get the job done, then intimidation tactics and bullying would have to do. ... The far left tried to bully and intimidate members of this body, Republican United States senators," McConnell said from the Senate floor.

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McConnell noted in an apparent reference to GOP Sen. Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzThe Hill's Campaign Report: COVID-19 puts conventions in flux  Ted Cruz bashes Oprah for 'lecture' on race: 'What utter, racist BS' Senate Democrats prepare seven-figure spending spree in Texas MORE (Texas) that one senator and their family "were effectively run out of a restaurant in recent days by these people."

"Another reported having protesters physically block his car door. And some have seen organized far-left protestors camp out at their homes," McConnell continued.

Cruz and his wife, Heidi Cruz, were confronted by anti-Kavanaugh protesters at a D.C. restaurant. They later returned to finish their meal. Protesters on Capitol Hill have also tailed senators coming in and out of unrelated committee hearings in public Senate office buildings this week.

McConnell himself and Sen. Bob CorkerRobert (Bob) Phillips CorkerCheney clashes with Trump Sessions-Tuberville Senate runoff heats up in Alabama GOP lawmakers stick to Trump amid new criticism MORE (R-Tenn.) were both confronted by women who identified themselves as survivors of sexual assault associated with an advocacy group opposed to Kavanaugh's nomination at Reagan National Airport near Washington, D.C., on Monday.

"I'm not suggesting we're the victims here ... but I want to make it clear to these people who are chasing my members around the hall here or harassing them at the airports or going to their homes we're not going to be intimidated by these people," McConnell said.

McConnell's comments come as the Senate is preparing to vote on Kavanaugh's nomination this week. The vote has been delayed to give the FBI time to investigate sexual misconduct allegations against the nominee, which Kavanaugh has denied. The exact timing of the vote is unclear because McConnell has not yet filed cloture on the nomination, which would set in motion an initial vote on ending debate.

Kavanaugh remains short of the simple majority needed to be confirmed.

Republicans hold a 51-49 majority and can only lose one GOP senator before they need help to confirm Kavanaugh.

Sens. Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsAnalysis finds record high number of woman versus woman congressional races Group of GOP senators back more money for airlines to pay workers Republicans uncomfortably playing defense MORE (R-Maine), Jeff FlakeJeffrey (Jeff) Lane FlakeCheney clashes with Trump Sessions-Tuberville Senate runoff heats up in Alabama GOP lawmakers stick to Trump amid new criticism MORE (Ariz.) and Lisa MurkowskiLisa Ann MurkowskiHillicon Valley: Facebook removes Trump post | TikTok gets competitor | Lawmakers raise grid safety concerns OVERNIGHT ENERGY: Court cancels shutdown of Dakota Access Pipeline | US could avoid 4.5M early deaths by fighting climate change, study finds | Officials warn of increasing cyber threats to critical infrastructure during pandemic Officials warn of increasing cyber threats to critical infrastructure during pandemic MORE (Alaska) remain undecided.

Most Democrats are expected to oppose Kavanaugh. Sens. Heidi HeitkampMary (Heidi) Kathryn Heitkamp70 former senators propose bipartisan caucus for incumbents Susan Collins set to play pivotal role in impeachment drama Pro-trade group launches media buy as Trump and Democrats near deal on new NAFTA MORE (D-N.D.) and Joe ManchinJoseph (Joe) ManchinHillicon Valley: Facebook removes Trump post | TikTok gets competitor | Lawmakers raise grid safety concerns OVERNIGHT ENERGY: Court cancels shutdown of Dakota Access Pipeline | US could avoid 4.5M early deaths by fighting climate change, study finds | Officials warn of increasing cyber threats to critical infrastructure during pandemic Officials warn of increasing cyber threats to critical infrastructure during pandemic MORE (D-W.Va.) remain undecided.