Senator Jon Tester says he hasn’t yet decided on whether he’ll vote to confirm U.S. Supreme Court Nominee Brett Kavanaugh.
"Before I make a final decision on Judge Kavanaugh, however, I’ll need to look at him face to face, read his body language, ask him tough questions on behalf of Montana," Tester says.
Republican Matt Rosendale is making an issue of Tester’s meeting with Kavanaugh after last Friday Tester told media outlets in Billings that a scheduled meeting with the nominee had been cancelled by the White House.
Later Friday, Tester said he “misspoke,” and that his office and the White House had been working on a scheduling meeting with Kavanaugh earlier in the month, which the White House pushed back – not cancelled. Tester’s office provided emails from the White House to back up his correction.
A White House spokesman told Lee Montana Newspapers that despite several attempts to schedule a visit, Tester and the White House never agreed on a date.
Rosendale is calling Tester a liar about the meeting in press releases and on Twitter.
In a press call Thursday, Tester said he doesn’t fault the White House for the scheduling confusion.
"I’m not going to raise any red flags on that, because, truth is, Kavanaugh has to meet with 100 senators, and that’s a fact," Tester said. "And anybody he doesn’t meet with, I think that’s a tactical error. So, I anticipate that there was no mischief involved here, and that he will come around and meet with me."
Judge Kavanaugh’s hearings before the Senate Judiciary Committee continue this week. An exact date for when the full Senate will vote on his confirmation has not yet been set. Montana’s Republican Senator Steve Daines has met with Kavanaugh and enthusiastically endorses his confirmation. Daines says some Democrats have spread a misinformation campaign about him.