Trump tells Woodward he’s ‘broken every record’ on appointing judges: ‘My percentage is … ridiculous’
President Trump boasts of his record appointing Supreme Court justices and other federal judges in tapes just released by journalist Bob Woodward, with the president saying his percentage is “ridiculous.”
“I just signed my 187th federal judge. It’s a record, 187 judges in less than three years, Bob. And two Supreme Court judges. Never been done before. The only one that has a better percentage is George Washington, because he appointed 100 percent. But my percentage is … ridiculous,” Trump said in the tapes, which Woodward shared with CNN’s Anderson Cooper Sunday night.
The audio stretches across several conversations between the president and Woodward from December to this summer.
Woodward fact-checked the claim in his recently released bestselling book, “Rage.”
“Among recent presidents, Clinton, Carter and Nixon had each filled a greater percentage of federal judgeships by late January of the fourth year of their first term. He was also not alone in appointing two Supreme Court justices in his first term — Presidents Obama, Clinton and George H. W. Bush had also done so,” Woodward writes.
According to a July study by the nonpartisan Pew Research Center, “Trump has appointed more federal appeals court judges to date than any recent president at the same point in their presidency.”
“The overall number of federal judges Trump has appointed to date (194) is similar to the number appointed by George W. Bush at the same juncture in his presidency (197),” Pew reported. “Trump, however, stands out for his unusually large number of appeals court judges — the powerful regional jurists who have the final word on most appeals that do not end up in the Supreme Court and who frequently end up becoming Supreme Court justices themselves. Eight of the nine current high court justices, including both of Trump’s appointees, previously served as appeals court judges.”
Trump told “Fox & Friends” on Monday morning that he will announce his Supreme Court nomination to replace the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg on Friday or Saturday, with the president indicating he has a shortlist of five female nominees.
In a tweet on Saturday to his more than 87 million followers, the president left little doubt he will attempt to fill Ginsberg’s vacant seat before Election Day on Nov. 3.
“We were put in this position of power and importance to make decisions for the people who so proudly elected us, the most important of which has long been considered to be the selection of United States Supreme Court Justices,” he wrote on Saturday. “We have this obligation, without delay!”
Democrats have warned they will attempt to add more seats to the Supreme Court in response to Trump’s nomination weeks before the election if they gain control of the Senate.