Veteran journalist Bob Woodward said he’s ready to release more audio recordings of his conversations with President Trump in which the Supreme Court was discussed.
The Watergate sleuth, whose new book on the Trump administration, Rage, was recently released, was on CNN’s Fareed Zakaria GPS to offer insight into Trump’s thinking on judicial nominations, an issue that has risen to the forefront after Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg died on Friday.
“I’m going to release some transcripts and audios later today that will show Trump talking about that relationship and how important moving the Supreme Court and the judges,” Woodward said, after referring to how Republicans have been very gung ho about judicial appointments. “Trump will have appointed 300 judges. I mean, think about that. That remakes the federal judiciary. If he gets another appointment here, it will be the third justice that he’s put on the court. A thunder clap, if you look at it in terms of this country.”
Woodward, who has already released several tapes of his 18 interviews with Trump that helped him in writing his book, said he believes the president moving forward with a nominee to replace Ginsburg before Election Day would play to his advantage.
“I think if the Republican Party gets Trump’s justice through and that — a woman because Trump said he’s going to appoint a woman, will really help the Trump campaign and Trump in a very profound way, help the Republican Party,” he said. “Think about the Trump supporters, people who are evangelical, the whole issue of abortion is front and center and if he gets one of these justices appointed, who is very conservative, very anti-abortion, you kind of solidify the conservative base there.”
Trump said on Saturday he expects to announce his nominee for the Supreme Court “next week” and will be picking a woman.
Ginsburg died on Friday evening at the age of 87 after complications with her battle with pancreatic cancer, according to the Supreme Court.
In his book, which was released last week, Woodward wrote that he asked Trump if he shared the concerns of Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham about the potential partisanship of the judiciary. “Well, it depends,” Woodward quoted Trump saying. “Yeah, it’s very partisan right now, basically. It’s always a party vote. I mean, look, the whole country right now is a partisan vote.”
Woodward also corrected a claim by Trump that he proportionally nominated more judges than any other president besides George Washington. “Among recent presidents, Clinton, Carter and Nixon had each filled a greater percentage of federal judgeships by late January of the fourth year of their first term. He was also not alone in appointing two Supreme Court justices in his first term — Presidents Obama, Clinton and George H. W. Bush had also done so,” Woodward wrote.
In addition, Trump declined to criticize Associate Justice Neil Gorsuch to Woodward, who he appointed in 2017, despite the fact the two had diverging opinions on Bostock v. Clayton County, a major Supreme Court case pertaining to gay and transgender employment discrimination. “But this is the way he felt. And, you know, I want people to go the way they feel. I mean, he felt he was doing the right thing. I do think it opens — I do think it opens the spigots for a lot of litigation,” Trump said, according to Woodward.
Trump would not comment how he would have decided in the case.
Source: Washington Examiner: Bob Woodward says he will release audio tapes of Trump talking about Supreme Court