People watched in bars, public transportation and parked cars. Donald Trump tuned in on board Air Force One.
America stood transfixed Thursday as the dramatic standoff between the president's Supreme Court nominee and the professor accusing him of sexual assault played out on live television.
Christine Blasey Ford accused Brett Kavanaugh of pinning her down and assaulting her at a party when they were teenagers in the 1980s as he and a friend laughed uproariously. Kavanaugh angrily denied the allegations, terming the confirmation process a "disgrace."
The president reportedly watched almost every minute of the hearing -- which stretched over nine hours -- starting aboard the presidential aircraft, where all TVs were tuned to the Senate proceedings, and continuing in Washington.
He was far from alone.
At Shaw's Tavern in central Washington, the hearing was shown on five televisions as some 20 patrons watched.
The hearing was "bad for Kavanaugh," said Jamar Guy, a 35-year-old banker.
"I see her as a very credible victim. Her story is very well put-together. That comment about remembering the laughter, that sat with me, and I don't see the reason for making this up," he said of Blasey Ford.
"I don't see how he gets confirmed. And I don't understand why they wouldn't just swap him" out, he said.
Pharmacist Anthea Francis said the hearing reflected poorly on both Republicans and Democrats.
"I don't feel as if the Republicans have a genuine interest in the search for the truth," she said, while adding that: "My feeling about the Democrats is that they have played into the politics of it as well."
And Scott Hammond, a 65-year-old retired speech pathologist, said he tried to put politics aside during the hearing.
"I've really tried to put aside what I thought and to come and listen," Hammond said.
Elsewhere, 34-year-old Brendan Bergerson told the Chicago Tribune he still didn't know what to think.
"It's not cut and dry either way. At the end of the day, it's one person's word against the other's."
At the University of Southern California's journalism school, students sat around tables watching the hearing on a large TV.
"I think he should be behind bars. Four different women have come forward and it's not by accident," Cameron Keel, a 19-year-old student said.
Dynasty Raines, another student, also criticized Kavanaugh.
"I don't feel like he should be in there or be elected, nominated, because sexual assault should be a zero tolerance policy," she said.
Police at the UN General Assembly appeared distracted by the hearing, and journalists waiting for a briefing watched it at a New York hotel.
Passengers listened on the subway in New York, while people in Washington tuned in while riding the bus.
But in the end, one viewer's opinion trumped all the others: the president, who tweeted support for his nominee almost immediately after the end of the hearing.
"Judge Kavanaugh showed America exactly why I nominated him. His testimony was powerful, honest, and riveting," Trump wrote, while also giving his verdict on the proceedings.
"Democrats' search and destroy strategy is disgraceful and this process has been a total sham," he said. "The Senate must vote!"
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