Even if President Donald Trump wanted to drop Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, he is unlikely to do so because it would severely depress his base’s turnout in the upcoming midterm elections.
The Daily Beast reports that Trump allies are advising the president to stick by his nominee, despite the fact that he’s now been publicly accused of attempted rape by Palo Alto University professor Christine Blasey Ford.
“A withdrawal would be disastrous for Trump,” said one operative who worked on the president’s 2016 campaign. “You take away the whole ‘We’re sick of winning’ message. That’s a huge, marquee, top-line loss.”
Another White House official was even more blunt about what would happen if Trump dropped Kavanaugh, going so far as to describe it as a “death warrant” for his presidency.
Another longtime Trump ally told the Daily Beast that Trump’s surprising restraint — and his unwillingness so far to publicly attack Ford — shows he knows the potential peril he faces if this nomination blows up.
“I don’t think the president ever gets scared, but it shows us the seriousness of what we’re heading into this week,” the Trump ally explained. “I thought for sure he’d come out swinging. The fact that he didn’t means he knows how serious this is. We very rarely hear that tone from him.”