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Pool report #4 SCOTUS listening session
Sarah Westwood • Washington Examiner
February 9, 2017: 12:52 PM

Pool was ushered into Roosevelt Room at 12:33 pm for the Supreme Court listening session.

Seated at the table were Sens. Joe Manchin, Heidi Heitkamp, Jon Tester, Lamar Alexander, Chris Coons, Shelley Moore Capito, John Cornyn, Chuck Grassley, Joe Donnelly and Michael Bennet.

Former Sen. Kelly Ayotte and White House counsel Don McGahn were seated at the table as well.

POTUS and VPOTUS entered at 12:41 pm.

Reince Priebus accompanied them and sat at the head of the table.

"I want to start by thanking Sen. Manchin for having the courage to vote for somebody who's really very outstanding," POTUS said.

POTUS said defense is the "number one" issue in terms of importance followed by the confirmation of his Supreme Court nominee, Judge Neil Gorsuch.

"I've always considered the Supreme Court nominees to be right up there."

"He has impeccable academic and legal credentials," POTUS said of Gorsuch.

"He will apply the law as written." "He's a mainstream judge very much mainstream and I urge you all to confirm him."

"A lot of people are liking him very much on the other side," POTUS said, adding that Democratic friends of his have said that they like him but may not vote for him for political reasons.

"I have a lot of friends on the other side too," POTUS noted.

"That's one of the reasons why our country is in stagnation in so many different forms," POTUS said, referring to the politicization of the SCOTUS confirmation vote.

He said the lawmakers would discuss the Supreme Court nomination.

Asked for his thoughts on Gorsuch's judge comments, POTUS said those comments had been misrepresented.

"His comments were misrepresented and what you should do is ask Sen. Blumenthal about his Vietnam record which didn't exist."

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