Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) revised his rule for Supreme Court appointments in election years on Sunday, telling Chris Wallace at Fox News that he would consider confirming a potential nominee by President Donald Trump in 2020.
"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," the Majority Leader said over the weekend.
That's a far cry from what he claimed two years ago.
In 2016, McConnell proudly blocked Merrick Garland, President Barack Obama's pick to replace Justice Antonin Scalia.
“The American people should have a voice in the selection of their next Supreme Court Justice," McConnell said at the time. "Therefore, this vacancy should not be filled until we have a new President.”
McConnell changed his tune on Sunday. When asked by Wallace if he would uphold the rule he implemented two years ago, the 76-year-old Republican said: "we'll see if there's a vacancy in 2020."
McConnell claimed that not since 1880 has a Senate of a different party than the president confirmed a Supreme Court nominee.
Watch the full segment below:
McConnell now implies he will consider a Trump SCOTUS nominee in the 2020 election year, if Republicans hold the Se… https://t.co/9rE8T2p6jG— Matt Shuham (@Matt Shuham)1538926023.0
McConnell reiterated this point on CBS's Face the Nation, but this time host John Dickerson noted that in 1956, a Democratic Senate confirmed William Brennan, who was nominated by Republican President Dwight Eisenhower, to the bench.
And in 1968, the Republican leader in the Senate allowed hearings to fill a Supreme Court vacancy under Democratic President Lyndon Johnson.
Dickerson's point was that McConnell was mischaracterizing history to fit his own agenda.
Watch the clip below:
Here he is making the same point to CBS' John Dickerson: https://t.co/q4aJR0vOpc— Matt Shuham (@Matt Shuham)1538926101.0
The American people remember exactly what happened in 2016.
@laurasweetjane @teaandmagnolias @CBSNews @gmabambam @FaceTheNation https://t.co/Zqf7qZWmIv— Rhonda Harbison (@Rhonda Harbison)1538942500.0
@rhonda_harbison @laurasweetjane @teaandmagnolias @CBSNews @gmabambam @FaceTheNation We won’t forget We won’t forgive !— Cari Corbett🆘 (@Cari Corbett🆘)1538947426.0
@samstein The case against Garland was a lie. https://t.co/uOcKK69t07— 🌊🌊SO-CALLED Pres Trump🌊🌊 (@🌊🌊SO-CALLED Pres Trump🌊🌊)1538955047.0
@samstein Garland and the American people were robbed. The turtle must go.— Jim White (@Jim White)1538941179.0
@CBSNews @FaceTheNation McConnell stole a SCOTUS seat from the voters who overwhelmingly reelected Barack Obama in 2012.— Connie C. Keys (@Connie C. Keys)1538937701.0
@CBSNews @FaceTheNation "middle of an election" - It was a whole fucking year before the election.— DDay DUTY TO RESIST (@DDay DUTY TO RESIST)1538936584.0
Twitter users weren't surprised by McConnell once again changing the rules as he goes along.
@mattshuham Of course he will! Does anyone think that McConnell cares a whit about how callous he is?— Andrew Ingino (@Andrew Ingino)1538958463.0
Nor were they shocked over his hypocrisy.
@CBSNews @FaceTheNation "Disagreement about history" = "alternative facts" from McConnell— JPG Pumpkin Pie Eater🥧😋 (@JPG Pumpkin Pie Eater🥧😋)1538938509.0
@CBSNews @FaceTheNation It doesn’t matter Biden’s or anyone’s conjecture or McConnell’s interpretation of history s… https://t.co/v1iV00htDd— Emily Kennedy (@Emily Kennedy)1538950455.0
@RealEggcredible @CBSNews @FaceTheNation You’re totally right. He’s making up “rules” to fit his situation.— 𝕂𝕒𝕥𝕙𝕖𝕣𝕚𝕟𝕖ℙ𝕒𝕪𝕟𝕖 🇺🇸 (@𝕂𝕒𝕥𝕙𝕖𝕣𝕚𝕟𝕖ℙ𝕒𝕪𝕟𝕖 🇺🇸)1538952974.0
Dickerson's pushback was much appreciated too.
@CBSNews @FaceTheNation This was a jaw dropping exchange. Dickerson knows the facts, the history. McConnell only wa… https://t.co/XCU31zvFTs— LJS Neff (@LJS Neff)1538930831.0
@smith_neff @CBSNews @FaceTheNation This was amazing! Love John Dickerson! He’s fair & he does his homework, so whe… https://t.co/Ra3xVRzOE0— Mac33Cam (@Mac33Cam)1538939376.0
@Mac33Cam1 @smith_neff @CBSNews @FaceTheNation I know it would be at least 10 times a day,but I wish journalists would do this to DT— Karen King (@Karen King)1538950592.0
@CBSNews @FaceTheNation Well this is refreshing. A journalist pushing back on Republicans' narrative of lies to fur… https://t.co/bpedmskfdm— (((Barbls23))) (@(((Barbls23))))1538939132.0
@NancyElwell @CBSNews @FaceTheNation That’s because so few journalists prepare for interviewing these shady politic… https://t.co/jRQyvfPsRe— Mac33Cam (@Mac33Cam)1538941304.0
@CBSNews @FaceTheNation Thank you CBS for standing your ground https://t.co/pA1kSuZhNU— JeanneD 🐘 (@JeanneD 🐘)1538938953.0
@CBSNews @JuddApatow @FaceTheNation Wow, love seeing a reporter hold politicians accountable on the spot with facts.— Keith Negley (@Keith Negley)1538933117.0
@CBSNews @FaceTheNation Thank you @FaceTheNation for calling out McConnell's lies. Like Trump, he is gaslighting th… https://t.co/Es0k66IMiL— NaomiPDX (@NaomiPDX)1538934998.0
@CBSNews @JustAGurLnSwedn @FaceTheNation John Dickerson did his homework and his job--unlike too many network news… https://t.co/81D9zqKsOn— Joyce Tyler (@Joyce Tyler)1538936578.0
@CBSNews @FaceTheNation That is how you interview. That is how you counter lies - with facts. That is how you kee… https://t.co/vQo7TltVtC— PMCinTX (@PMCinTX)1538943431.0
One person summed it up nicely.
@CBSNews @FaceTheNation McConnell’s thinking is based on a fully disingenuous notion that a rare event can be defin… https://t.co/EscsfZp7uS— Eggcredible (@Eggcredible)1538938850.0
We're not buying it, Senator.