Donald Trump considered doing a U-turn on Neil Gorsuch's Supreme Court nomination after finding out the justice had criticized his attacks on the judicial system.
"I never even wavered", Trump said of his decision to nominate Gorsuch.
Trump has repeatedly touted Gorsuch's confirmation to the Supreme Court as one of his most important achievements since taking office.
This person also said that Trump told aides he was concerned that Gorsuch wouldn't be "loyal", and that he was thinking of cutting the judge loose. Dick Blumenthal that the commander-in-chief's rhetorical attacks on the federal judiciary were "disheartening" and "demoralizing," the paper reported, citing interviews with 11 people familiar with Trump's reaction, which one administration official called an "explosion".
The White House pushed back against The Post's report. "And you were so kind to recognize Mrs. Scalia, remember the justice, and mention me", the letter read, according to The Post. The judge sent the president a handwritten letter dated March 2, thanking him for the nomination and explaining how grateful he was, according to a copy obtained by The Post. "My teenage daughters were cheering the TV!"
White House Legislative Affairs Director Marc Short was able to locate the note and show it to the president a week later, softening Trump's concerns.
The reference to "the justice" was to Antonin Scalia, the late justice whom Gorsuch replaced, and "Mrs. Scalia" is his widow, Maureen.
The Washington Post on Monday reported that Trump was infuriated by the remarks at the time and suggested rescinding Gorsuch's nomination. "I see daily their love of country and our Constitution, and know it is a tribute to you and your leadership for policy is always about personnel".
McConnell made good on his promise to ensure the rest of the process went smoothly, and the Senate confirmed Gorsuch by a vote of 54-45 on April 7.