white house drama
One of the few big things to go President Trump's way this year was conservative Neil Gorsuch becoming a Supreme Court justice, but an errant thank you note and words said in private nearly derailed his nomination.
Several people told The Washington Post that earlier this year, Trump was infuriated by critical comments Gorsuch made about him to Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) and didn't think Gorsuch was sufficiently grateful or particularly loyal, telling advisers he wanted to rescind the nomination. One person shared with the Post that Trump told House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) that Gorsuch was "probably going to end up being a liberal like the rest of them. You never know with these guys." McConnell, who made sure the seat remained open by refusing to hold a hearing for former President Barack Obama's nominee, Judge Merrick Garland, told Trump not to give up on Gorsuch.
The Post saw a copy of a handwritten note Gorsuch wrote to Trump, dated March 2. He thanked Trump for the nomination and gushed that his "address to Congress was magnificent." Trump aides told the Post the note got lost along the way, and Trump didn't see the letter until March 10, at which point he felt better about Gorsuch. A White House spokesman denied that Trump ever considering withdrawing Gorsuch's nomination, and did not comment on the tardiness of the letter.