Naysayers like to say President Trump isn’t a real conservative, but the New York billionaire-turned politician was admired by one of America’s top conservative icons: Antonin Scalia.
The late Supreme Court Justice reportedly told a friend he found then-candidate Trump’s take on politics “refreshing,” and considered him his favorite pick for the 2016 Republican ticket.
Author Bryan Garner spoke with the Wall Street Journal about his ten-year friendship with the legendary justice, which he details in his book “Nino and Me: My Unusual Friendship with Justice Antonin Scalia.”
Garner spent time with Scalia just before his surprising death in February 2016. When the revered constitutionalist passed, he and Garner had just spent two weeks on a trip through various Asian countries.
Bryan, the editor of a prominent legal dictionary, became acquainted with Scalia through novelist David Foster Wallace.
His new book sheds light on the late Scalia’s political inclinations.
“Justice Scalia thought it was most refreshing to have a candidate who was pretty much unfiltered and utterly frank,” Garner told the Journal.
He also said the Reagan-appointee was fond of Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, although he preferred the politically-incorrect businessman.
“[H]e was fascinated by the fact that Trump was so outspoken in an unfiltered way, and therefore we were seeing something a little more genuine than a candidate whose every utterance is airbrushed.”
Garner gave a disclaimer, saying Scalia’s comments were made “early” in the campaign. “These [were] early days in the campaign. It shouldn’t be looked at through the lens of everything that’s happened since.”
Scalia’s death proved to one of the most consequential issues of the 2016 election, raising the question of whether a liberal or conservative would be appointed to the nation’s highest court.
President Trump filled Scalia’s seat with Justice Neil Gorsuch, a respected constitutionalist.
The support for the president from one of the modern era’s greatest conservatives is just further evidence Americans made the right choice.