Hillary Clinton accused President Donald Trump’s ceremonial swearing-in of Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh of being a “political rally” that “further undermined the image and the integrity of the court.”
“What was done last night in the White House was a political rally,” Clinton told CNN’s Christiane Amanpour Tuesday. “And that troubles me greatly. It saddens me. Because our judicial system has been viewed as one of the main pillars of our constitutional government.”
Trump hosted a celebratory swearing-in for Kavanaugh Monday night in the White House East Room, where he thanked the Republican senators who supported the confirmation and apologized to Kavanaugh and his family for the emotional process.
“On behalf of our nation, I want to apologize to Brett and the entire Kavanaugh family for the terrible pain and suffering you have been forced to endure,” Trump said at the live-broadcasted event, NBC News reports.
Kavanaugh’s confirmation hearings were wrought with political divide and emotional accusations, as three women came forward with allegations of sexual misconduct from Kavanaugh’s youth. The FBI’s supplemental background investigation found no corroboration for their stories, however, and Kavanaugh was narrowly approved by the Senate on Saturday.
Trump has since claimed without evidence that the masses of Americans who protested Kavanaugh’s confirmation were merely paid to be there, saying Monday that the entire confirmation process was based on “lies and deception.”
To Clinton, this reaction was no surprise.
“The president’s been true to form,” she told CNN. “He has insulted, attacked, demeaned women throughout the campaign—really for many years leading up to the campaign. And he’s continued to do that inside the White House.”
Clinton added that her husband, former President Bill Clinton, thinks Democrats need to be “tougher” moving forward.
“You cannot be civil with a political party that wants to destroy what you stand for, what you care about,” she added. “That’s why I believe, if we are fortunate enough to win back the House and or the Senate, that’s when civility can start again. But until then, the only thing Republicans seem to recognize is strength.”