US

White House forms team to defend Supreme Court nominee

ANKARA

The White House is forming a team to “fiercely defend” Supreme Court nominee Judge Amy Coney Barrett at her Senate confirmation fight ahead of November election, according to a report on Monday.

The team splits into two parts that one is focused on communications, while the other is centered on guiding Barrett through the confirmation process in the Capitol Hill, senior White House officials told to media broadcaster.

The “uniquely equipped” team will include White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany as “lead spokesperson,” Deputy Press Secretary Brian Morgenstern, and White House communications officials Alyssa Farah and Ben Williamson.

It will also include White House staff who will be dedicated to a rapid response effort and research.

“We will need to be knife fighters with the opposition, and will be prepared to marshal information quickly, and disseminate it to push back on any false narratives or attacks on her and her family, because we anticipate, unfortunately, that Democrats will go there,” a senior official told anonymously to media outlet.

“So we’re mounting an offensive strategy on her behalf because she is such an incredible and inspiring nominee,” the official added. “We’ll be defending her fiercely every day.”

The communications team will be “very well-synced” with Senate communicators, including Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s office, the Senate Republican conference and the Senate Judiciary Committee, the official said and added: “We will work closely with them.”

White House Counsel Pat Cippollone, and Chief of Staff Mark Meadows will play “integral roles” at the Hill process, and Meadows “will be tasked with prepping Barrett and shepherding her through the Senate.”

“He knows exactly the senators we’ll need to win over, and the issues that matter to them,” a senior White House official said. “He knows which senators to target that could bring over votes for her, and will help her to remain independent and speak to her own judicial record to win those key votes. He’s a Capitol Hill strategist.”

For Cippollone’s role, an official said that he “knows what she’ll be questioned on.”

“He’ll know ways to navigate those without telegraphing too much to get through the confirmation. Between Pat’s legal mind and Meadows’ Hill mind, we feel we have the strongest team in place to get through this,” another official told to media.

“We have muscle memory from being through two confirmations now, we have a White House counsel team who knows what to expect, and we feel highly confident about where we are,” the official said, referring the confirmation processes of Justice Neil Gorsuch in 2017 and Justice Brett Kavanaugh in 2018.

Republicans target Oct. 12 as beginning of the confirmation hearings.

However, Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden urged Senate to not take action about Barrett’s nomination until after “the American people select their next president and the next Congress.”

“Supreme Court decisions affect our everyday lives, and the Constitution was designed to give voters a voice on who makes those decisions,” Biden tweeted Saturday, following the official nomination by Trump.

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