Rising

Dem senator ties Kavanaugh confirmation vote to Trump-Putin controversy

Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) drew a connection between President Trump'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 Mueller's investigation could end up in the Supreme Court. Kavanaugh, who worked on independent council Ken Starr's investigations of Bill Clinton, 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 Clinton's emails. 

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

- Julia Manchester