A conservative attorney seeking approval after President Donald Trump nominated him to the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals ran into a buzzsaw on Thursday when Sen. Al Franken (D-MN) confronted him with his history of pushing racist conspiracy theories online.
Judicial nominee John Kenneth Bush posted over 400 blog stories under the alias 'G. Morris' that included links to such dubious publications as World News Daily.
"World News Daily was also well known for trafficking in birtherism — the widely debunked and racist belief that President Obama was not born in the United States," Frankin reminded, as reported by Real Time Politics. "The article you quote from suggests that a reporter in Kenya was detained by the government because he was investigating 'Barack Obama’s connections in the country.' What point were you trying to make in this post?"
When John Bush refused to answer whether he found World News Daily to be a credible source, Sen Franken ended up cutting him off mid-sentence.
"Using sources that engaged in fake news, hate speech," Franken summarized. "And in my mind, using my judgment to confirm someone to the circuit court who felt free to blog posts, and can’t answer how he decides whether to cite a source or not, whether it’s credible or not, that’s disturbing to me.”
"Among the posts Bush said he now regrets is one that equated the U.S. Supreme Court's 1857 Dred Scott decision, which upheld slavery, with the Court's 1973 Roe v. Wade decision legalizing abortion," NPR reported. "Specifically, Bush called slavery and abortion 'the two greatest tragedies in our country.'"
Senator Franken wasn't the only member of the committee who was troubled by the nominee's blog posts.
"Mr. Bush, I've read your blogs," NPR reported Senator John Kennedy (R-LA) noted. "I'm not impressed."
"His pen name, G. Morris, is a likely homage to Gouverneur Morris, a founding father who was involved in drafting the US Constitution," Buzzfeed reported. "Bush noted in his questionnaire that he had written a historical novel about Morris that he hoped would be published."
Watch the exchange: