“A withdrawal would be disastrous for Trump,” one pro-Trump political operative who worked on the president’s 2016 campaign said. “You take away the whole ‘We’re sick of winning’ message. That’s a huge, marquee, top-line loss.”…

And within Trump’s West Wing, there was a strong sense that backing down would be a major humiliation for Trump, who has made two distinct promises to conservative voters: that he revels engaging in political fights and that he will stack the judiciary with nominees they love. One senior administration official said that pulling Kavanaugh at this moment would be akin to Team Trump signing its own political “death warrant.”

“Here is the calculus,” said a former top administration official. “The Supreme Court was one of the top reasons why many Republicans supported President Trump during the 2016. If they were to pull Kavanaugh, there is a real chance of depressing the base.”