The Washington Post ran a story in their newspaper on Tuesday claiming that, for a while back in the early days of his presidency, Donald Trump was seriously thinking about withdrawing Neil Gorsuch’s nomination to the Supreme Court. Reason? Because Gorsuch supposedly said some unflattering things about the president to Democrat Sen. Richard Blumenthal when making the rounds on Capitol Hill. Between that and being perceived as not “grateful enough” for the nomination, reported WaPo, Gorsuch almost found himself pushed aside for another nominee.
But in a tweet on Tuesday, President Trump said that not a word of the story was true.
“A story in the Washington Post that I was close to ‘rescinding’ the nomination of Justice Gorsuch prior to confirmation is FAKE NEWS,” wrote Trump. “I never even wavered and am very proud of him and the job he is doing as a Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court. The unnamed sources don’t exist!”
This was one of those stories that we knew was fake even before the president weighed in. How did we know? Well, because the story ITSELF admits it!
Here’s the headline: Trump Talked About Rescinding Gorsuch’s Nomination.
Okay, that’s sure to bring in the clicks. The only problem is that if you read the whole article, you won’t find ONE INSTANCE where the reporters talked to anyone who said Trump said any such thing!
“Trump, according to several people with knowledge of the discussions, was upset that Gorsuch had pointedly distanced himself from the president in a private February meeting with Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), telling the senator he found Trump’s repeated attacks on the federal judiciary ‘disheartening’ and ‘demoralizing,’” reports the Post.
The next paragraph is the sole mention of what the headlines claims:
“The president worried that Gorsuch would not be ‘loyal,’ one of the people said, and told aides that he was tempted to pull Gorsuch’s nomination — and that he knew plenty of other judges who would want the job.”
Immediately after: “It is unclear whether Trump’s ‘explosion,’ as another administration official described it, truly put Gorsuch’s nomination in jeopardy or whether the president was expressing his frustration aloud, as he often does.”
That’s the flimsy reporting on which this story is based. One anonymous aide told the Post that the president angrily ranted about Gorsuch’s comments to Blumenthal…and that’s about it. This isn’t a story, and it certainly doesn’t warrant the headline that the Post ran with. Trump was not seriously thinking about pulling Gorsuch’s nomination and they know it. This is clickbait of the worst kind, and the Washington Post should be above this sort of mindless fake news.
Emphasis, of course, on “should.”