After meeting with President Trump twice during the transition, first in December and again in mid-January, the Newark, N.J.-born television personality told several people that Trump said he was on the list of judges from whom he was selecting a nominee for the high court.
“He said, ‘Trump said I’m on the list,’” said a source who spoke with Napolitano shortly after one of his meetings with the then president-elect. “He’s been saying that since the transition.”
Friends warned Napolitano not to take the president too literally – or seriously. “He’ll take your call and invite you to the Oval Office, but he just wants you to say nice things about him on TV,” the source says he told Napolitano at the time. But that didn’t sink the ambitious judge’s hopes…
But the salt-and-pepper-haired Napolitano, 66, who served as a New Jersey Superior Court judge until 1995 and joined Fox News in 1998, was a sleeper candidate, he told his skeptical friends. He claims he’s submitted both academic and personal resumes to Trump aides, and that they’ve pored over the judge’s writings, including several popular non-fiction books.