NBC Capitol Hill reporter Leigh Ann Caldwell alleged on Twitter Tuesday morning that the decision to nominate Judge Brett Kavanaugh for the seat vacated by retiring Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy was basically a setup.
Later Tuesday morning, Caldwell deleted the tweet “because it incorrectly implies a transactional nature in Kennedy’s replacement.”
I’ve deleted this tweet because it incorrectly implies a transactional nature in Kennedy’s replacement. I am told by a source who was not directly part of the talks that Kennedy provided Pres. Trump/ WH a list of acceptable replacements. (1/2) pic.twitter.com/ptxJmrbH9S
— Leigh Ann Caldwell (@LACaldwellDC) July 10, 2018
She began by claiming that the White House and Kennedy had been in conference for months on the topic and that Justice Kennedy himself had been the driving force behind getting Kavanaugh over the finish line.
Caldwell said her source went even further, claiming that the only reason five new names were more recently added to Trump’s shortlist was to make sure Kavanaugh was on it — and the other four names added at the same time were referred to as simply “cover.”
Caldwell’s conclusion gave a bit of a caveat; she admitted that the information came from a single unnamed source and that she was unaware of any conversations between President Donald Trump and Justice Kennedy prior to their meeting the day Kennedy ha announced his retirement.