President Trump wanted to nominate former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, a Trump loyalist, to the United States Supreme Court, according to a new tell-all book about the White House released Friday.
According to the new book, Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House, the president questioned why his Supreme Court nomination “wasn’t going to a friend and loyalist.”
“In the Trump view, it was rather a waste to give the job to someone he didn’t even know,” the book said.
The president ultimately nominated Neil Gorsuch, a judge on the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, to fill the vacancy on the Supreme Court. Gorsuch was confirmed by the Senate in April.
But before settling on Gorsuch, Trump “had run through all his lawyer friends — all of them unlikely, if not peculiar choices, and, in almost every case, political nonstarters.”
“The one unlikely, peculiar and nonstarter choice that he kept returning to was Rudy Giuliani,” author Michael Wolff writes.
Giuliani and Trump were longtime friends, and the former mayor was a loyal defender of the Trump during the presidential campaign.
The former New York City mayor wanted to be tapped for secretary of state, and Trump offered him the jobs of attorney general, director of National Intelligence, and secretary of Homeland Security, all of which Giuliani declined, according to “Fire and Fury.”
Trump, meanwhile, “kept returning to the idea of putting Giuliani on the court.”
The president seemed to regret nominating Gorsuch instead of Giuliani after it was reported Gorsuch told Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., he thought Trump’s derogatory comments about the federal judiciary were “disheartening” and “demoralizing.”
After the comments came to light, president at one point decided to rescind Gorsuch’s nomination, as the Washington Post reported last month.
“Trump, in a moment of pique, decided to pull his nomination, and during conversations with his after-dinner callers, went back to discussing how he should have given the nod to Rudy,” Wolff wrote. “He was the only loyal guy.”
Trump has denied wanting to pull Gorsuch’s nomination.
The White House has vehemently pushed back on the accuracy of Wolff’s book, which was released Friday but excerpts of which were published earlier this week. Trump called the book “phony” and “full of lies, misrepresentations and sources that don’t exist” on Thursday.
I authorized Zero access to White House (actually turned him down many times) for author of phony book! I never spoke to him for book. Full of lies, misrepresentations and sources that don’t exist. Look at this guy’s past and watch what happens to him and Sloppy Steve!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 5, 2018
White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said the tell-all was “complete fantasy and just full of tabloid gossip.”
There have also been several errors found in the book, and Maggie Haberman, the New York Times’ White House correspondent, said Wolff got basic information wrong.