After Kennedy’s recommendation of Kavanaugh to the president, Donald McGahn, then White House counsel, made sure the then-52-year-old judge’s name was added to the public list of candidates from which Trump had vowed to make any selection.
When Kennedy met with Trump on June 28, 2018, to say he was retiring, Kennedy suggested Kavanaugh as his replacement, Marcus reports, although she says there are conflicting reports from those familiar with the meeting as to whether he also mentioned another former clerk, Judge Raymond Kethledge.
McGahn, the architect of Trump’s successful efforts to transform the federal judiciary, was Kavanaugh’s most aggressive advocate, according to the book. President George W. Bush, for whom Kavanaugh had served in various positions, was an important behind-the-scenes supporter.
Although his endorsement might boomerang with Trump, Marcus says Bush told his presidential library to spend whatever it took to produce the papers relating to Kavanaugh’s work in the White House; the research price tag ran into the millions of dollars.