Wolff Claims Trump Had A Totally Unconventional Choice For The Supreme Court

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Kevin Daley Supreme Court correspondent
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President Donald Trump considered rescinding Justice Neil Gorsuch’s nomination to the Supreme Court in favor of a campaign loyalist, according to Michael Wolff’s explosive new book about the Trump administration.

“The one unlikely, peculiar, and nonstarter choice that he kept returning to was Rudy Giuliani,” the book, “Fire and Fury” reads.

The White House has previously denied that Gorsuch’s nomination was ever in jeopardy.

“The president’s nomination of Neil M. Gorsuch was among his first and most important accomplishments during his first year in office, and delivered on a major campaign promise,” White House spokesman Raj Shah said when a similar report appeared in The Washington Post. “At no point did the president consider withdrawing Justice Gorsuch’s nomination. He is very proud of the accomplishment.”

Wolff’s book and the Post report indicate that the president was deeply displeased with comments Gorsuch made privately to Democratic Sen. Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut during the confirmation process. Gorsuch told Blumenthal during a closed-door meeting in February that he found the president’s denunciation of judges blocking implementation of his travel ban “disheartening” and “demoralizing.”

“Trump, in a moment of pique, decided to pull his nomination and, during conversations with his after-dinner callers, went back to discussing how he should have given the nod to Rudy,” Wolff writes. “He was the only loyal guy.”

Wolff’s loosely-sourced account is the first indication that Giuliani was ever under consideration for the nomination. The former U.S. attorney turned New York City mayor presents an unusual choice in several respects. In the first place, Giuliani is 73, meaning he could reasonably expect to serve for little more than a decade.

Second, his name did not appear on the list of possible nominees the Trump campaign assembled during the campaign, and he is unlikely to have a champion in the conservative legal firmament advising the president on judicial nominations.

Third, his jurisprudential views are largely unknown, and his positions on inflammatory social issues do not correspond to Trump’s conservative base. Giuliani is pro-choice, and has previously endorsed certain gun control measures. Accordingly, the prospect of a successful confirmation was dubious indeed.

The book does not reconcile its claim with these facts.


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