It took President Trump just a single in-person interview to decide to nominate Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court, Politico reports. And before he had his finalists, Trump had mainly allowed others to do the choosing, using a list of 21 potential judges put together by the Federalist Society and the Heritage Foundation.
Trump personally interviewed four Supreme Court finalists, three at his home in New York before he moved to the White House, according to two people involved in the search. The others were Judge Thomas Hardiman, who sits on the Third Circuit with Trump's sister, Judge Maryanne Trump Barry; 11th Circuit Court Judge Bill Pryor; and Judge Amul Thupar, who sits on the U.S. District Court for Eastern District of Kentucky.
Only one other person was in the room during Trump's full interviews with the finalists: White House Counsel Don McGahn, the two officials said. And Trump only met with each of the finalists once before deciding, although he did later speak with some by phone. Trump's top lieutenants — Vice President Mike Pence, McGahn, chief of staff Reince Priebus, and chief strategist Stephen Bannon — also had their own interviews with the four finalists, along with several other candidates in New York. [Politico]
"I don't think you'll find any person in this room that was not impressed with how he went about it," House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy said.