The author of a new book about Antonin Scalia says the late Supreme Court justice was fascinated by then-candidate Donald Trump’s outspokenness during the 2016 presidential elections.
“Justice Scalia thought it was most refreshing to have a candidate who was pretty much unfiltered and utterly frank,” Bryan Garner, a legal dictionary editor, told The Wall Street Journal in an interview published Monday.
“[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 added.
The interview comes one day before the release Garner's new book, “Nino and Me,” in which he recounts his long friendship with Scalia.
Despite Scalia's initial intrigue with the business mogul, Garner would not speculate about what he might think about the president's time in office.
“These [were] early days in the campaign. It shouldn’t be looked at through the lens of everything that’s happened since,” Garner said.
Garner traveled with Scalia for two weeks throughout Asia in 2016, just before the jurist died in February of that year.
Trump's promise to nominate a successor to the bench who was “very much in the mold of Justice Scalia,” helped the Republican candidate gain support from the conservative justice's base, including those who opposed abortion as well as same-sex marriage.
The book, which refers to the nickname that Scalia's friends and colleagues regularly used, primarily focuses on the how Garner and the jurist became friends through their shared love of language.
“It’s fundamentally a book about friendship,” Garner told the newspaper.