Trump
Brett Kavanaugh. AFP

US President Donald Trump has apologised to his new Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh for what he described as a “campaign of lies” during the confirmation hearings.

He was referring to the acrimonious debate over Kavanaugh’s nomination, after sexual assault allegations were made against him.

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Kavanaugh said he was not bitter despite the “contentious” confirmation.

He has denied the claims made by several women.

The judge was confirmed by the Senate on Saturday, in a 50-48 vote that largely followed party lines.

It is seen as a major victory for President Trump, tilting the balance in the nation’s highest court in favour of conservatives for years to come.

One of the women accusing the judge, Prof Christine Blasey Ford, said Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her at a house party in 1982 when they were high school students.

She provided testimony to the Senate Judiciary Committee and Trump initially called her a “compelling” witness – but he later questioned her credibility and mocked her at a rally.