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Trump Considered Dumping Gorsuch Over Perceived Disloyalty

Eric Thayer  Getty Images

"I never at any point faltered and am extremely glad for him and the activity he is doing as a Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court".

The Washington Post reports that an incredulous Trump told aides he was inclined to revoke the nomination after Gorsuch told Democratic Sen. He's new to government, and so he probably wasn't steeped in the long-running protocols that establish the relationships between [the Justice Department], FBI and White House. The Post reports that he privately complained about Gorsuch in a meeting with Paul Ryan and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell. Short told the Post he never considered the Gorsuch nomination to be in jeopardy, but he did appear to confirm the anecdote of the missing note.

One source told the Post that Trump was concerned Gorsuch would not be "loyal" to him. The president had just tweeted that a "so-called judge" put the nation "in such peril", by blocking his travel ban targeting majority-Muslim countries, adding, "if something happens blame him and court system".

The reference to "the justice" was to Antonin Scalia, the late justice whom Gorsuch replaced, and "Mrs. Scalia" is his widow, Maureen. Dick Blumenthal that the commander-in-chief's rhetorical attacks on the federal judiciary were "disheartening" and "demoralizing," the paper reported, citing interviews with 11 people familiar with Trump's reaction, which one administration official called an "explosion".

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At the time, Gorsuch was having courtesy meetings with senators, including Blumenthal.

Trump has also been frustrated by what he sees as a lack of loyalty from Republican members of Congress who have failed to pass his agenda, ignoring the fact that they were elected by their own constituents and come from what the Constitution lays out as coequal branches of government. "You never know with these guys".

President Trump had reportedly been unhappy that Gorsuch hadn't been appreciative enough of the nomination, and was anxious after Gorsuch appeared to be critical of some of Trump's statements regarding federal courts.

The Senate later confirmed Gorsuch on a vote of 54 to 45.

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