In Change, McConnell Implies He’d Consider Trump SCOTUS Nom In Election Year

U.S. President Donald Trump and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) head for the weekly Senate Republican Policy Committee luncheon in the U.S. Capitol November 28, 2017 in Washington, DC. Republicans in the Senate hope to pass their tax cut legislation this week and work with the House of Representatives to get a bill to Trump before Christmas.
Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images North America

In 2016, when Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) announced Republicans’ plan to keep the late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia’s seat open until the next president took office, a year away, he issued a conclusive statement: “The American people should have a voice in the selection of their next Supreme Court Justice. Therefore, this vacancy should not be filled until we have a new President.”

On Sunday, after the confirmation of the second Supreme Court justice nominated by President Donald Trump — and with the potential for more Supreme Court nominations before Election Day in 2020 — McConnell rewrote his own invented rule in Republicans’ favor.

McConnell now claims that in blocking Obama nominee Merrick Garland’s confirmation process for months, “we simply followed the tradition in America, which is that if you have a Senate of a different party than the President you don’t fill a vacancy created in a presidential [election] year.”

By retroactively narrowing his own rule, McConnell implied he would work to confirm a Supreme Court nominee referred by a Republican president, namely Trump, to the Republican-controlled Senate.

Fox News’ Chris Wallace pressed McConnell on his new rule later in the interview, watch below:

CBS’ John Dickerson also pressed McConnell on the point in an interview on “Face the Nation” Sunday:

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