(1 Mar 2016) FOR CLEAN VERSION SEE STORY NUMBER: apus049741
After an Oval Office sit-down on Tuesday did nothing to move Republican Senate leaders off their hard line against a Supreme Court nomination, Democrats pulled out another weapon in the heated election-year fight: Donald Trump.
In a White House meeting that lasted less than an hour, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., and Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, told President Barack Obama that any confirmation process during a presidential campaign would politicize the court. They offered up no potential candidates that would win their backing and no route to filling the seat.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said that the nomination will be decided by the American people and the next president.
Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid retorted that perhaps the Senate Republicans were waiting to see what President Trump was going to do with the nomination process.
The meeting, which also included Vice President Joe Biden, Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., the ranking Democrat on the judiciary committee _ was the first time the leaders have met since Justice Antonin Scalia's death last month set off a high-stakes clash over the Supreme Court vacancy.
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