MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough predicted on Thursday that President Donald Trump will pick “the white man” given the choice between a woman and a man, which prompted an awkward moment with co-host Mika Brzezinski and a guest appearing on “Morning Joe.”
Axios co-founder Mike Allen told Scarborough and Brzezinski that he believes the president’s pick from a list of six candidates will ultimately come down to the person Trump is “most comfortable” with following his recent interviews.
People on that list reportedly include appeals court judges Brett Kavanaugh, Raymond Kethledge, Amy Coney Barrett, Amul Thapar, Joan Larsen and Thomas Hardiman.
Allen stated that Kavanaugh and Barrett seem to be rising to the fore.
“The inside line is that Amy Barrett will be better for the base, but a tougher confirmation fight,” he said. “But that’s the calculus aides are making.”
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“But people are involved and for the president it is going to be all about the personal connection. Who he feels comfortable with in the moment,” Allen added.
Scarborough interjected proclaiming, “So you’re saying that he’s going to pick the man … the white man.”
Allen appeared visibly uncomfortable with that assessment, while Brzezinski responded shaking her head, “Oh, no, I totally don’t think that.”
“You disagree?” Scarborough asked, to which Allen responded, “I don’t know.”
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Scarborough then sought to defend his statement saying, “If you look and see through the first year, 90 percent of Donald Trump selections for U.S. Attorneys and judges were white men.”
According to a report released by Senate Democrats in May, Trump’s picks for federal prosecutors and judges have been largely white men.
Eight percent of his picks for federal prosecutors were women, and 8 percent are racial minorities, Politico reported.
Regarding judgeships, 25 percent of Trump’s district court nominees and 19 percent of his circuit court nominees are women, while 8 percent of his district court nominees and 11 percent of his circuit court nominees are minorities.
Barrett — a former Supreme Court clerk to the late Justice Antonin Scalia — was appointed to the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago by Trump last fall.
Among the short list, Larsen was also appointed by Trump last fall to the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati, Ohio. Prior to her appointment, she served as a justice on the Michigan Supreme Court.
Thapar, whom the president appointed to the 6th Circuit as well in May 2017, is the child of Indian immigrants.
Fox News’ John Roberts reported on Thursday that Kethledge’s stock is rising among those on the list. He, like Larsen and Thapar, serves as a 6th Circuit appeals court judge.
Kavanaugh and Barrett, who has written about her pro-life views, are said to be still in the running, according to Roberts.
Trump has pledged to appoint justices to the Supreme Court from his list of originalists and textualists judges released during the 2016 presidential campaign, which he as added to since taking office.
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