Trump says he asked senator to go to his daughter's wedding during Kavanaugh vote

Trump says he asked senator to go to his daughter's wedding during Kavanaugh vote
© Greg Nash

President TrumpDonald John TrumpDavid Axelrod after Ginsburg cancer treatment: Supreme Court vacancy could 'tear this country apart' EU says it will 'respond in kind' if US slaps tariffs on France Ginsburg again leaves Supreme Court with an uncertain future MORE said Saturday that he had asked Sen. Steve DainesSteven (Steve) David DainesThe 23 Republicans who opposed Trump-backed budget deal 5 takeaways from combative Democratic debate GOP senator introduces resolution to formally condemn socialism MORE (R-Mont.) to attend his daughter's wedding in Montana this weekend after Republicans secured enough votes to allow him to miss the vote to confirm Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.

The president tweeted Saturday afternoon following Kavanaugh's successful confirmation that he advised Daines to skip the vote once Republicans learned that they had the necessary number of votes to prevail.

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"I have asked Steve Daines, our great Republican Senator from Montana, to attend his daughter Annie’s wedding rather than coming to today’s vote," Trump wrote on Twitter shortly after the vote took place.

"Steve was ready to do whatever he had to, but we had the necessary number. To the Daines Family, congratulations-have a wonderful day!" he added.

Kavanaugh's nomination passed the full Senate on Saturday by a vote of 50-48, with the lone Republican in opposition, Alaska Sen. Lisa MurkowskiLisa Ann MurkowskiOvernight Energy: Green groups sue Trump over Endangered Species Act changes | Bureau of Land Management retirees fight plan to relocate agency | Wildfires in Amazon rainforest burn at record rate Bureau of Land Management retirees fight plan to relocate agency out west The Hill's Morning Report - Progressives, centrists clash in lively Democratic debate MORE (R), voting "present" to honor her colleague Daines's support of the nominee.

"I do this because a friend, a colleague of ours is in Montana this evening and ... he's going to be walking his daughter down the aisle and he won't be present to vote," Murkowski said Friday night in explaining how she would vote.

"I have extended this as a courtesy to my friend. It will not change the outcome of the vote." 

Daines was the only senator to skip the final vote on Kavanaugh's nomination, which followed months of bitter partisan fighting in the Senate and weeks of controversy over allegations of sexual assault against the nominee.

The judge's confirmation process was fraught with controversy after three women came forward last month to accuse Kavanaugh of sexual misconduct shortly after his hearings before the Senate Judiciary Committee concluded.

After a weeklong FBI investigation into the claims, Democrats were unable to convince key swing-vote senators such as Maine's Sen. Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsSusan Collins challenger hit with ethics complaints over reimbursements Overnight Health Care: Insurance lobby chief calls Biden, Sanders health plans 'similarly bad' | Trump officials appeal drug price disclosure ruling | Study finds 1 in 7 people ration diabetes medicine due to cost Collins downplays 2020 threat: 'Confident' reelection would go well if she runs MORE (R) to oppose the nomination.

Trump maintained support for his embattled nominee amid the accusations and subsequent FBI investigation, which Democrats criticized for being too narrow in scope.

"I applaud and congratulate the U.S. Senate for confirming our GREAT NOMINEE, Judge Brett Kavanaugh, to the United States Supreme Court. Later today, I will sign his Commission of Appointment, and he will be officially sworn in. Very exciting!" the president tweeted Saturday after the vote passed.