"Of the various 1,200 appointments who come to us for confirmation, obviously the most important are the lifetime appointments to the courts and we prioritize handling President Trump's outstanding nominees for the Supreme Court".
Collins told Bash that while she found Ford's testimony "heart-wrenching", the fact that both Ford and Kavanaugh said they were "100 percent certain" of their statements meant that she had to look to the Federal Bureau of Investigation for additional corroborating evidence.
Inside the Senate chambers Saturday, protesters interrupted the final vote numerous times.
But on Sunday, McConnell offered a revised version of his initial reasoning and refused to say he wouldn't confirm a potential Supreme Court nominee from President Donald Trump in 2020. Chief Justice John Roberts administered the Constitutional oath, and retired Justice Anthony Kennedy administered the judicial oath, according to a Supreme Court statement, "so that [Kavanaugh] can begin to participate in the work of the court immediately".
But when asked whether she believed Ford, the first lady would not answer directly.
"It unleashed something inside me".
With just over four weeks until Election Day, there is still time for the dynamics to shift again.
The confirmation means Trump has succeeded in having his two picks seated on the court - tilting it decidedly to the right in a major coup for the Republican leader less than halfway through his term.
"I think that the MS speech had a great impact, yes - I think it was a very important thing", Trump told reporters aboard Air Force One en route to a political rally in Topeka, Kansas.
The vote came after Kavanaugh had been forced to fend off allegations of sexual assault.
A public swearing-in ceremony will take place on Monday in the White House's East Room.
The United States Senate has confirmed Judge Brett Kavanaugh for the Supreme Court in a 50-48 vote.
Republicans hold only a 51-49 Senate majority and therefore had little support to spare.
Hirono pushed back on Collins' stance, arguing that there was corroboration on Ford's side but no corroboration of Kavanaugh's innocence.
Earlier in the day, a large crowd gathered on Capitol Hill shouting "Vote them out!"
But the bitter fight over Kavanaugh's confirmation appears to have deepened the fissures separating Congress as lawmakers and their supporters prepare to head out on the campaign trail.
Later, the protesters moved to the Supreme Court, at one point rushing the steps and banging on the building's ornate bronze doors.
He later telephoned his congratulations to the new justice, then at the rally returned to his own attack on the Democrats as "an angry left-wing mob". That's what they have become.
"Very, very good", Trump said.
Republicans said they believe the former Bush administration official was treated unfairly and will seek to punish Democrats for attacking him.
But Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, a Republican, dismissed the prospect of lingering bitterness among senators.
Shortly before the vote, Trump said Kavanaugh "will be a great justice of the Supreme Court".
Despite the widespread anger, Collins reiterated during the interview with CNN's Dana Bash that she supported the nomination of Kavanaugh because there was no corroborating evidence to go with Christine Blasey Ford's allegations.
Senators debated the decision before casting their vote, watched on by many in the public gallery.
At a political rally in MS on Tuesday, Trump mocked Ford's account of what she says was a drunken attack on her byKavanaugh when they were teenagers.
Hundreds of protesters against Kavanaugh gathered on the grounds of the Capitol and at the Supreme Court.
Kavanaugh staunchly denied the allegations, but almost all Senate Democrats voted against his confirmation.
Kavanaugh was sworn in as a justice on Saturday evening, in Washington, DC, after an extraordinarily fraught nomination that sparked angry protests, nailbiting votes, and a national reckoning about sexual assault allegations and who should be believed.