The Associated Press
Sen. Hyde-Smith: Accusations against Kavanaugh 'unproven'
By Emily Wagster Pettus
JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — Republican U.S. Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith of Mississippi said Wednesday that Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh "quickly and convincingly" refuted accusations that he sexually assaulted women when he was young.
"My heart breaks for victims of assault and abuse," Hyde-Smith said in a speech on the Senate floor in Washington. "It's an issue that must never be taken lightly. That is why unproven accusations are so very unjust. Faced with these disturbing accusations, Judge Kavanaugh quickly and convincingly refuted them without mincing any words."
Republican Sen. Roger Wicker of Mississippi also supports Kavanaugh and sat behind Hyde-Smith as she gave what she said was her first speech on the Senate floor. Republican Gov. Phil Bryant appointed her to serve temporarily when longtime GOP Sen. Thad Cochran retired in April.
Both of the Mississippi senators face challengers in the November election. Wicker is seeking another six-year term. Hyde-Smith is running to serve the final two years of a term Cochran started.
President Donald Trump nominated Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court. Trump also has endorsed Hyde-Smith and is set to appear Tuesday at a rally in Southaven, Mississippi, to campaign for her and for his own 2020 re-election bid.
After her speech Wednesday, Hyde-Smith said on her campaign account on Twitter: "Today, I was compelled by my duty to our country, the people of Mississippi, and as the first woman to represent our great state in Congress to speak in strong support of Judge Brett Kavanaugh. The confirmation process should NOT be wielded as a political weapon!"