President Trump discussed with advisers revoking the nomination of Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court after Gorsuch was critical of Trump's comments concerning the federal judiciary, according to a new report.
Trump was irritated Gorsuch had told Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., Trump’s numerous attacks on the federal judiciary “disheartening” and “demoralizing,” according to the Washington Post. As a result, Trump was concerned Gorsuch would not be “loyal” and he threatened to rescind Gorsuch’s nomination.
It’s uncertain whether Trump’s threats endangered Gorsuch’s nomination, however, some staffers at the White House and Capitol Hill were concerned it would negatively impact Gorsuch’s confirmation.
Trump perceived a lack of gratefulness from Gorsuch for being tapped for the position. On March 2, Gorsuch did submit a handwritten letter to Trump where he vocalized his gratitude for the nomination.
Trump did not receive the note until March 10, according to legislative affairs director Marc Short.
“As head of legislative affairs, our team was in charge of his nomination, and never did I view his nomination in jeopardy, nor did the president ever suggest to me that he wanted to pull him,” Short said, according to the Washington Post. “The process obviously caused frustration, but that frustration was compounded by the fact that Gorsuch had sent him a personal letter that he never received.”
The White House also pushed back that Trump threatened to withdraw Gorsuch’s 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,” White House spokesman Raj Shah said in a statement. “At no point did the president consider withdrawing Justice Gorsuch’s nomination. He is very proud of the accomplishment.”
Gorsuch was confirmed to the Supreme Court in April. He filled the late Justice Antonin Scalia’s seat.