McConnell defends Kavanaugh's views on presidential power

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Senate's top Republican is defending Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh against Democrats' warnings that he might thwart the special counsel's Russia probe because he believes investigations of a sitting president are a distraction.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said on the Senate floor Thursday that Democrats are reading too much into Kavanaugh's earlier writings.

He called the claims "outlandish" and a "conspiracy theory." He says Democrats are throwing "catnip for their far-left base."

Kavanaugh wrote a decade ago that such investigations can be a distraction from governing. He had first-hand experience, having served on the Kenneth Starr team investigating President Bill Clinton.

Democrats warn Kavanaugh's views could impede the Robert Mueller's investigation into Russian election interference.