- President Donald Trump spoke at length about his judicial court nominations in past interviews with Bob Woodward, for the journalist’s new book “Rage.”
- In audio recordings of the talks published by The Washington Post, Trump said he and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell “have broken every record” on judicial nominations.
- At the time of Trump and Woodward’s conversation, Trump had appointed 187 judges to the federal bench. As of Monday, that number has grown to 216.
- The report comes as Trump gets ready to name his third nominee to the Supreme Court after the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg last Friday.
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President Donald Trump has boasted about how he and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell had “broken every record” when it came to appointing new judges to the bench.
This is according to audio recordings of journalist Bob Woodward’s interviews with the president, for his new book “Rage.” The recordings were published by The Washington Post on Monday morning.
The Post reported on what was discussed between Woodward and Trump regarding the judiciary on Monday, as the president prepares to name a third Supreme Court nominee following the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg last Friday.
While Democrats are fighting to stop Trump from getting another conservative justice on the nation’s highest court with less than two months until an election, little stands in his way with the Republicans still in control of the Senate.
According to The Post, in the first of Trump’s 15 interviews with Woodward, which started in mid-December last year, Trump brought up judicial appointments four times during the conversation and had a list of appointment orders displayed on his desk “kind of like he was cherishing it,” according to Woodward.
At the time of their conversation, Trump had appointed 187 judges to the federal bench. As of Monday, that number has increased to 216 — making one in four court judges a Trump appointee.
“The only one that has a better percentage is George Washington, because he appointed 100%,” Trump told Woodward in another interview in January. “But my percentage is, you know, like, ridiculous.”
Listen to the recording here:
Trump also told Woodward that nominating right-leaning judges has been McConnell’s top priority.
In the mid-December interview, Trump said that if McConnell was given the choice between pushing ten ambassadorships or a single judge through the Senate confirmation process, McConnell “will absolutely ask me: ‘Please, let’s get the judge approved instead of 10 ambassadors.'”
McConnell has played a pivotal role in turning the judiciary to the right, by blocking former President Barack Obama from filling more than 100 open judgeships, including his nomination of Merrick Garland to replace Antonin Scalia on the Supreme Court in 2016, because it was an election year.
When Trump won the election, he saw Neil Gorsuch fill the position instead.
There is no arguing that reshaping the judiciary has been one of Trump’s most important accomplishments, and at one point Woodward joked that they should put a statue of Trump outside the Supreme Court.
“Oh, what a good idea,” Trump said in response. “I think I’ll have it erected tomorrow. What a great idea. I’ll think I’ll use it.”
“I won’t say it came from me,” Trump added.