Neil Gorsuch‘s appointment to the U.S. Supreme Court may be one of President Donald Trump‘s early victories during his first year in office, but according to the new book Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House, Trump originally had someone very different in mind for the job. While Gorsuch’s qualifications were acknowledged even by his ideological opponents, Trump initially wanted to give the job to a friend. “In the Trump view,” the book says, “it was rather a waste to give the job to someone he didn’t even know.”
So who did Trump have in mind?
“The one unlikely, peculiar, and nonstarter choice that he kept returning to was Rudy Giuliani,” author Michael Wolff wrote.
Last month, it was reported that Trump had doubts about Gorsuch even after announcing him as his pick, and considering pulling the nomination before Gorsuch sent him a gushing thank you note. Indeed, the book backs this up, saying, “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.”
Giuliani, you’ll recall, was a staunch supporter of Donald Trump during his presidential campaign. When scandals broke during the campaign, including the infamous Access Hollywood tape of Trump making crude comments about women came out, Giuliani stood by his side, making the rounds on television news programs in support of Trump. That loyalty is apparently what Trump was hoping for in a Supreme Court justice.
Instead, Trump took the advice of advisers, who helped compile a list of possible Supreme Court candidates, ultimately deciding on Gorsuch, who had been an appellate judge for the Tenth Circuit.
This is just one of many revelations in Wolff’s book, which White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders has criticized as “fantasy” containing “numerous mistakes.”
[Image via ABC screengrab]