- REUTERS/Carlos Barria
- Early this year, before his confirmation to the US Supreme Court, Neil Gorsuch was quoted as saying he found President Donald Trump’s criticism of the federal judiciary “disheartening” and “demoralizing.”
- The Washington Post on Monday reported that Trump was infuriated by the remarks at the time and suggested rescinding Gorsuch’s nomination.
Though he has often touted his nomination of Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court, President Donald Trump once expressed doubts about his loyalty and suggested rescinding the nomination, The Washington Post reported Monday.
Gorsuch, whom Trump nominated to take the late Justice Antonin Scalia’s seat on the Supreme Court, in February was widely reported to have told Democratic Sen. Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut that he found Trump’s criticisms about the federal judiciary “disheartening” and “demoralizing.”
Following reports of Gorsuch’s comments, The Post said, citing a source with knowledge of the discussions, Trump spoke about rescinding his nomination and expressed worry that he would not be “loyal.” The Post said it interviewed 11 people familiar with the episode, one of whom said it was “clear” that Trump was “very upset” with Gorsuch’s comments.
The comments came amid Trump’s rants about a federal judge, who shut down his travel ban that prevented people from seven majority-Muslim countries from entering the US.
“Just cannot believe a judge would put our country in such peril,” Trump said on Twitter in February. “If something happens blame him and court system. People pouring in. Bad!”
The Post described a meeting with top Republican leaders in which it said Trump assailed Gorsuch and said, “He’s probably going to end up being a liberal like the rest of them.”
The Post, citing White House officials, also said Trump was upset that Gorsuch did not appear to be sufficiently grateful for his nomination. Though Gorsuch wrote a handwritten letter dated March 2 thanking Trump for the nomination, Trump did not see it until eight days later, The Post reported.
“Your address to Congress was magnificent,” Gorsuch said in his letter, according to The Post. “And you were so kind to recognize Mrs. Scalia, remember the justice, and mention me. My teenage daughters were cheering the TV!”
White House officials publicly denied that Gorsuch’s nomination was in jeopardy, and The Post acknowledged that Trump could have just been venting frustration without seriously considering pulling the nomination. “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,” the White House spokesman Raj Shah said in a statement to The Post. “At no point did the president consider withdrawing Justice Gorsuch’s nomination. He is very proud of the accomplishment.”