Investigative journalist Bob Woodward released more audio of his conversations with President Donald Trump he discussed Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s (R-Ky.) affinity for filling judicial vacancies.
On Sunday evening, Woodward released tapes that detailed McConnell’s stance on prioritizing judges over ambassadors.
According to Trump, the top-ranking Republican lawmaker’s top priority is the confirmation of judges to federal courts.
“You know what Mitch’s biggest thing is in the whole world? His judges,” Trump said.
He continued, “If I have 10 ambassadors … and a judge can take long to get approved, you know? Which I guess is probably right. Should be, right? He will absolutely ask me, please let’s get the judge approved instead of 10 ambassadors.”
During another discussion with Woodward, Trump described federal judges as “golden nuggets” as he projected the number of federal judges he planned to appoint. Trump insisted the number of judges confirmed would likely reach 280.
See Trump’s remarks below:
McConnnell released a statement hours after Ginsburg’s death in which he vowed that Trump’s nominee would get a vote on the Senate floor.
The move to fill the vacancy has sparked outrage among Democratic lawmakers.
Former President Barack Obama and a string of Democratic lawmakers fired back at McConnell criticizing his decision to hold a vote on the Senate floor for Trump’s nominee with less than 45 days to the upcoming election.
Noting the Senate leader’s principle invented in 2016, the former president used McConnell’s own words against him.
Obama said, “Four and a half years ago, when Republicans refused to hold a hearing or an up-or-down vote on Merrick Garland, they invented the principle that the Senate shouldn’t fill an open seat on the Supreme Court before a new president was sworn in.”
When former Supreme Court Judge Antonin Scalia passed away several months before the general election in 2016, McConnell blocked Obama’s Supreme Court nominee Merrick Garland.
He also insisted voters would choose the next president and that president would appoint the next nominee.
Despite charges of hypocrisy, Trump and Senate Republicans plan to move forward with a Supreme Court nominee “without delay.”
The president is set to announce that nominee, likely a woman, on Friday or Saturday this week.