Dem senator ties Kavanaugh confirmation vote to Trump-Putin controversy

Sen. Chris MurphyChristopher (Chris) Scott MurphySaudi mystery drives wedge between Trump, GOP Overnight Defense: Trump worries Saudi Arabia treated as 'guilty until proven innocent' | McConnell opens door to sanctions | Joint Chiefs chair to meet Saudi counterpart | Mattis says Trump backs him '100 percent' Pompeo: Saudis committed to 'accountability' over journalist's disappearance MORE (D-Conn.) drew a connection between President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump renews attacks against Tester over VA nominee on eve of Montana rally Trump submits 2017 federal income tax returns Corker: Trump administration 'clamped down' on Saudi intel, canceled briefing 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.


"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 ClintonPresident Trump’s job approval rating continues to hold steady in latest Hill.TV poll Cybersecurity for national defense: How many 'wake-up calls' does it take? Who's in control alters our opinion of how things are 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 ClintonMueller's team asking Manafort about Roger Stone: report O'Rourke targets Cruz with several attack ads a day after debate GOP pollster says polls didn't pick up on movement in week before 2016 election MORE's emails. 

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

— Julia Manchester