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Trump praises Barrett's performance on day one of questioning

Trump praises Barrett's performance on day one of questioning
© UPI Photo

President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump admin to announce coronavirus vaccine will be covered under Medicare, Medicaid: report Election officials say they're getting suspicious emails that may be part of malicious attack on voting: report McConnell tees up Trump judicial pick following Supreme Court vote MORE on Tuesday praised Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett for her performance before the Senate Judiciary Committee and lashed out at Sen. Cory BookerCory Anthony BookerDemocratic senators unveil bill to ban discrimination in financial services industry Obama endorses Espy in Mississippi Senate race Durbin says he will run for No. 2 spot if Dems win Senate majority MORE (D-N.J.) in particular for pressing the judge on the fate of the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

"I think Amy is doing incredibly well. It’s been a great day," Trump told reporters as he left the White House for a campaign rally in Pennsylvania.

The president did not take questions as he departed, but it was apparent he spent a portion of his day watching Barrett's confirmation hearing. Tuesday marked the second day of the hearing but the first time Barrett took questions from senators.

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Trump tweeted shortly before he left about Booker's line of questioning, which focused on the fate of the ACA.

"How dare failed Presidential Candidate (1% and falling!) @CoryBooker make false charges and statements about me in addressing Judge Barrett," Trump tweeted of Booker, who dropped out of the Democratic presidential primary months ago.

"Guy is a total loser! I want better Healthcare for far less money, always protecting people with Pre-existing conditions. He has done nothing on Healthcare, cost or otherwise, or virtually anything else. An empty suit!!!" the president added. 

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Trump has not presented any health care plan to replace ObamaCare, but his administration is suing to dismantle it. The Supreme Court is slated to hear a case on the health care law next month, something that has been a clear focus for Democrats as they question Barrett.

During his time questioning the judge, Booker pointed to Trump's tweet while he was campaigning for president that he would appoint only judges who would overturn the Affordable Care Act.

"Is it unreasonable for people to fear... that the ACA would be overturned if you were confirmed to the court?" Booker asked.

"I want to stress to you, Sen. Booker, as I've stressed to some of your colleagues today, that I am my own person. I'm independent under Article III, and I don't take orders from the executive branch or the legislative branch," Barrett responded.

Booker also asked Barrett whether presidents should commit to a peaceful transfer of power, a clear nod to Trump's refusal to do so in recent weeks should he lose the election next month. Barrett sought to avoid the question, noting that she felt she may be stepping into a political matter, but said a peaceful transfer of power has been a hallmark of the U.S. governing system.

Republicans are aiming to confirm Barrett to the Supreme Court by the end of the month, providing a win for vulnerable senators and the president in the lead-up to the Nov. 3 election.