The president, however, has asked aides about Kavanaugh’s opinions on health care that have frustrated some conservatives, according to two people close to the president who were not authorized to speak publicly. They added that Trump has pored over news articles spotlighting Kavanaugh’s history with Bush — part of a powerful political family that has vocally opposed Trump — but did not see it as a fatal strike against him.
Trump has also spoken by phone with Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) this week, according to three people briefed on the call who were not authorized to discuss it publicly. Paul and his advisers had conveyed their concerns about Kavanaugh to the White House in recent days, citing his decisions on health care. Since the Republican majority in the Senate is 51 to 49, losing just one GOP vote could jeopardize a nominee.
MSNBC’s Nicolle Wallace, a former Bush adviser, noted on her afternoon program Tuesday that former Bush officials were being careful to not be too effusive about Kavanaugh, or otherwise risk hurting their former colleague’s chances.