Republicans say bitter Kavanaugh fight energizing base as Collins defends vote

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Republican senator Susan Collins denies betraying women, while Mitch McConnell boasts that the fight has given the Republican party an advantage in the upcoming midterm elections

Susan Collins, the moderate US senator from Maine whose vote to put Brett Kavanaugh on the supreme court was decisive, despite sexual assault allegations, defended herself on Sunday against charges of betraying women and the #MeToo movement – as the Republican leader, Mitch McConnell, boasted that the bitter fight on Capitol Hill has given his party a late advantage in the forthcoming midterm elections.

Related: Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation to US supreme court gives Trump a major victory

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