Brett Kavanaugh: Is Mitch McConnell falling out of favour with Trump?

Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Mitch McConnell was elected as majority leader of the US Senate in 2011

Has Mitch McConnell fallen out of favour with Donald Trump?

The Republican leader has faced pressure from the president to hold the Senate to a vote on Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation to the Supreme Court.

But Mr McConnell says he will not proceed without an FBI inquiry into allegations of sexual assault against the nominee.

His stance has led to accusations that he is deliberately breaking with Mr Trump.

The president has also called for an FBI investigation.

Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Senate minority leader Chuck Schumer has called Mr McConnell’s position “completely irresponsible”

What is his relationship with Mr Trump?

Mr McConnell was first elected as an office bearer for the Republican Party in 1984 and has served in both the House of Representatives and the Senate since then.

He is known for trying to pass the spending and tax bills that allow the US to pay for its government.

‘Stick to your job’

Earlier this month, Mr McConnell pledged to stand firm on the Brett Kavanaugh nomination because it was in the “national interest” and not to yield to outside pressure.

“The Senate is still holding on to the document that we have been holding since Sunday afternoon,” he said at a news conference in the Capitol.

“If we don’t release the documents, we won’t have a vote.

“There’s no reason for us to act on that nomination. When President Trump nominated Brett Kavanaugh, he was rejected unanimously by the Judiciary Committee; it was rejected unanimously by the full Senate; he was then confirmed by a 53-47 vote.”

Image copyright Getty Images Image caption President Trump has said that he expected Mr McConnell to stick to his guns

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer had criticised Mr McConnell for not being willing to stand up to “political pressure”.

At another news conference on Monday, he said Mr McConnell’s refusal to schedule a vote on the nomination would be “an unconscionable crime”.

“A more irresponsible statement could not have been made,” Mr Schumer said.

“Stick to your job, not to your partisan party,” he added.

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