Earlier Tuesday, Twitchy reported on a tweet by NBC News’ White House correspondent Geoff Bennett suggesting that Justice Anthony Kennedy agreed to retire only after President Trump had assured him his pick for a replacement would be Brett Kavanaugh.
Source familiar tells NBC that Justice Kennedy had been in negotiations with the Trump team for months over Kennedy’s replacement. Once Kennedy received assurances that it would be Kavanaugh (his former law clerk) Kennedy felt comfortable retiring – @LACaldwellDC & @frankthorp
— Geoff Bennett (@GeoffRBennett) July 10, 2018
1. My sources say this is simply made up.
2. Leonard Leo of @fedsoc, who would know as someone very involved in picking #SCOTUSnominee, denied it to @hughhewitt.
3. The reporter, @LACaldwellDC, has walked it back a bit (see her most recent tweets). #scotus https://t.co/bJP392pL6v
— David Lat (@DavidLat) July 10, 2018
NBC Capitol Hill reporter Leigh Ann Caldwell eventually deleted her tweet on the same story, because it incorrectly implied “a transactional nature in Kennedy’s replacement.” Instead, Kennedy had just provided Trump with a list of suggested replacements.
Bennett — eight hours later — finally posted “an important clarification” to his earlier tweet:
— Geoff Bennett (@GeoffRBennett) July 10, 2018
That first tweet is closing in on 18,000 retweets; the clarification currently stands at 105 retweets. And a lot of people are in a blind rage over that first tweet …
The fucking corruption is endless.
And I won’t let my daughter’s reproductive rights be negotiated away by corruption. https://t.co/Breaqnfyuk
— Alyssa Milano (@Alyssa_Milano) July 10, 2018
If this is true, our SUPREME COURT has been bought and sold. Independence is a thing of the past. I wish there was an emoji that is a flag at half mast. https://t.co/VzNiOWEnC6
— Debra Messing (@DebraMessing) July 10, 2018
Relax … it’s not true. Check out the “important clarification.”
Apparently Supreme Court Justices can hand pick their successors for lifetime appointments. I was under the impression #America was a democracy or republic. ?
— alina apodaca (@alinamercedes) July 10, 2018
— TheFrenchConnection (@beachersella) July 10, 2018
i can’t believe what’s happening to this country.
— marie (@egyptologist_) July 10, 2018
If this turns out to be true, America has undergone a full-on coup.
— Patricia Crawford (@crawford_p) July 10, 2018
THIS. IS. NOT. NORMAL. https://t.co/Ta2VGz5Tta
— Eliza Orlins (@eorlins) July 10, 2018
BREAKING: Looks like my hunch was right. The fix *was* in, as NBC now confirms. This was a backroom deal that Trump deliberately hid from the American people by pretending he was vetting candidates. He *wasn't* vetting candidates; he *got* this vacancy by making a secret promise. https://t.co/2wkixQgeCd
— Seth Abramson (@SethAbramson) July 10, 2018
“As NBC now confirms.”
Does anything happen in this admin that doesn't involve subterfuge, collusion and corruption? I wonder how much Trump had to be paid to pick Kavanaugh? Because I no longer believe he does anything for free. He is Rod Blagojevich on steroids.
— USAWasAlreadyGreat (@erik_lehtis) July 10, 2018
If everyone could stop freaking out for just one second …
Hey, Geoff. Any reason this is still up and getting retweets?
In fact it’s gotten more than a thousand more since the main thrust was retracted. https://t.co/hlTPXrKfdu
— Actually, Quite a Dignified M’Fin Pickle (@sunnyright) July 10, 2018
11,000 retweets and going https://t.co/TwfyajqTPl
— Stephen Miller (@redsteeze) July 10, 2018
Almost 18,000 now.
Here's why the media spin of "sure we make mistakes but we correct them" rings hollow…this story was far too explosive to just toss out there. The reaction to something so juicy shouldn't be, "I gotta get this out NOW" but "slow down and dig in". https://t.co/3uyuUsp6kF
— Drew McCoy (@_Drew_McCoy_) July 10, 2018
This is why we don't trust #FakeNews
This clown tweeted a "source" that the #Scotus pick was part of a negotiation for Kennedy's retirement… 8 hours later "clarification"
The original is still up for click bait and that libs will see and believe only what they want https://t.co/GaSabBdr1y
— Nuke it (@NukinEgr) July 10, 2018
Well at least your "clarification" got 35 retweets, you hack. https://t.co/nwvZ6YvJAO
— eric (@eriContrarian) July 10, 2018
JFC what the hell is wrong with you all? https://t.co/1OPAf2BFRx
— EricEEE (@EEElverhoy) July 10, 2018
Delete the incorrect tweet you incompetent hack. https://t.co/jZvVyaGSwE
— Tommy (yes, I can hear you) (@Tutone731) July 10, 2018
Or, just leave it up and let Debra Messing and Alyssa Milano keep passing it around The Resistance.
AND DOWN IT GOES: NBC News reporter deletes tweet on Kennedy-WH deal to pick Kavanaugh https://t.co/zUmtfTkKK5
— Twitchy Team (@TwitchyTeam) July 10, 2018