Former President Donald Trump cemented his legacy with three successful appointments to the U.S. Supreme Court.
In remarks to political writer Michael Wolff, however, he expressed disappointment in the behavior of Justice Brett Kavanaugh after he was confirmed to the nation’s highest court.
“He just hasn’t had the courage”
Trump spoke to Wolff for the book Landslide: The Final Days of the Trump Presidency, which is set to be released later this month.
During that interview, the former president revealed what he thought of the Supreme Court justice he supported throughout a contentious confirmation process.
“I can’t even believe what’s happening,” Trump said. “I’m very disappointed in Kavanaugh. I just told you something I haven’t told a lot of people. In retrospect, he just hasn’t had the courage you need to be a great justice. I’m basing this on more than just the election.”
The then-president nominated Kavanaugh to replace Anthony Kennedy, who retired from the Supreme Court in 2018. During the scandalous confirmation that followed, critics brought forth a series of dubious and salacious attacks against the nominee.
“Fought like hell for Kavanaugh”
Since then, Trump and some other conservative supporters have found him to be weak in defending the Constitution and at times even an ideological liability.
“I had plenty of time to pick somebody else,” Trump lamented, noting that he “fought like hell for Kavanaugh,” saving his “life” and “career” in the process. Of course, Kavanaugh’s confirmation itself might represent a cultural win to some on the right — including Trump.
Democrats attempted to destroy the nominee’s career and image over an allegation of sexual assault, but Republicans made it clear that a mere accusation should not be enough to derail an individual’s entire future.
Trump concluded that without his support, Kavanaugh would effectively be unemployable following the vicious attacks against him.
“I saved his life,” Trump declared. “He wouldn’t even be in a law firm. Who would have had him? Nobody. Totally disgraced. Only I saved him.”