Earlier today, the Washington Post published an article saying that President Trump was close to “rescinding” the nomination of Justice Gorsuch before his confirmation hearing:
[E]arlier this year, Trump talked about rescinding Gorsuch’s nomination, venting angrily to advisers after his Supreme Court pick was critical of the president’s escalating attacks on the federal judiciary in private meetings with legislators.
Trump, according to several people with knowledge of the discussions, was upset that Gorsuch had pointedly distanced himself from the president in a private February meeting with Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), telling the senator he found Trump’s repeated attacks on the federal judiciary “disheartening” and “demoralizing.”
If true, it would be quite a bombshell. After all, Trump has frequently boasted in recent months that appointing Gorsuch is one of his signature achievements in his first year in office.
Funny enough, the Washington Post includes a caveat in its original report, however:
It is unclear whether Trump’s “explosion,” as another administration official described it, truly put Gorsuch’s nomination in jeopardy or whether the president was expressing his frustration aloud, as he often does. But at the time, some in the White House and on Capitol Hill feared that Gorsuch’s confirmation — which had been shaping up to be one of the clearest triumphs of Trump’s tumultuous young presidency — was on the verge of going awry.
In other words, the bombshell could be nothing of the sort… or it could be very big news indeed.
So which is it?
Well, President Trump has already responded — on Twitter, of course. He writes:
A story in the @washingtonpost that I was close to “rescinding” the nomination of Justice Gorsuch prior to confirmation is FAKE NEWS. I never even wavered and am very proud of him and the job he is doing as a Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court. The unnamed sources don’t exist!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 19, 2017
White House spokesman Raj Shah said in a statement:
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. At no point did the president consider withdrawing Justice Gorsuch’s nomination. He is very proud of the accomplishment.
In other words, as far as the White House is concerned this is fake news.
So who’s right? Well, if any WaPo reporters know President Trump (even a little bit!) they know that it’s rather normal for him to go off on rants, especially when he feels personally slighted. That doesn’t mean that he’s actually going to turn against someone; it just means that he needs to get his anger off his chest. That seems to be what has happened here.
Another important point is that you can’t be a successful businessman while constantly wavering on important personnel decisions. We can all agree that President Trump has done rather well for himself, so I highly doubt that he changes his mind every other day.
In other words, I’m giving this one to Trump. Another piece of fake news published by the mainstream media — and, of course, again fake news that’s meant to damage President Trump’s reputation. Funny, that.