NH1 News Reports: Ayotte back to DC to guide SCOTUS nominee through US Senate
CONCORD – Former Sen. Kelly Ayotte will be back in the nation’s capital on Wednesday, in her new role shepherding Neil Gorsuch, President Donald Trump’s nominee to the U.S. Supreme Court, through the Senate confirmation process.
NH1 News quickly confirmed Tuesday evening that the Republican from Nashua would be taking a leading role in guiding Gorsuch, a federal appeals court judge, through the U.S. Senate, introducing him to her former colleagues. The news was first reported by the Washington Post.
Trump announced the Gorsuch nomination in a prime time event at the East Room of the White House on Tuesday night.
In a statement provided to NH1 News prior to the President’s announcement, Ayotte said "I am honored to have have the opportunity to assist the president in the confirmation process of the next conservative justice on the Supreme Court."
New Hampshire GOP chair Jeanie Forrester praised the move by the Trump White House, saying "as our state's first female Attorney General and former US Senator, President Trump could not have picked a better advisor and counselor than Kelly Ayotte to help guide Neil Gorsuch through the nomination process."
NH1 News learned from a Republican source that the White House reached out to Ayotte in the past 24 hours and asked her to assist the Supreme Court nominee through the Senate nomination process.
The White House decision to ask for Ayotte’s help is interesting. As she ran for re-election last year, Ayotte kept her distance from Trump, saying she would vote for the GOP nominee but not make an endorsement. In October, after the emergence of an 11 year old recording of Trump using extremely lewd language describing how his celebrity allowed him to kiss and fondle women against their will, Ayotte announced she would no longer vote for Trump. She said she wrote in the name of Vice President Mike Pence on Election Day.
Ayotte ended up losing re-election to then-Democratic Gov. Maggie Hassan by around 1,000 votes out of some three-quarters of a million cast.
Aaron Jacobs, Sen. Hassan's communications director, told NH1 News that "?Senator Hassan congratulates Kelly Ayotte on her position in the Trump administration."