Remember when President Donald Trump told the public after Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s death that he would nominate a woman to the Supreme Court and that he was still deciding on whether the nominee would be Amy Coney Barrett or Barbara Lagoa or even Allison Jones Rushing? According to Senate Majority Mitch McConnell’s (R-Ky.) former chief of staff, the pick was always going to be Barrett and McConnell told the president that’s who the nominee had to be.
Justice Ginsburg died on Sept. 18, a Friday. Josh Holmes told PBS FRONTLINE in the new documentary Supreme Revenge: Battle for the Court that McConnell called President Trump on Air Force One that night and “told him two things.”
First, McConnell said he would release a statement saying he would fill Ginsburg’s seat. McConnell did exactly that mere hours after Ginsburg’s death and before the 2020 election, infuriating Democrats.
“President Trump’s nominee will receive a vote on the floor of the United States Senate,” he said.
The second part of the phone call, according to Holmes, was McConnell telling Trump that then-Seventh Circuit Judge Barrett had to be Ginsburg’s replacement.
“McConnell told him two things,” Holmes said. “McConnell said, first, I’m going to put out a statement that says we’re going to fill the vacancy. Second, he said, you’ve gotta nominate Amy Coney Barrett.”
The rest is history.
The documentary is 53 minutes long. Watch it here.
[Image via Win McNamee/Getty Images]
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