Two weeks after attorney Chuck Cooper suddenly removed himself from what was considered a certain appointment as U.S. Solicitor General, the White House on Thursday voiced concern over other potential appointees being discouraged by the tactics of Senate Democrats during the confirmation process.
"I think for folks who have to go through the Senate confirmation and to watch what is happening to some of these fine individuals, the delay tactics, the tearing apart of their personal lives, it is discouraging," Press Secretary Sean Spicer told Newsmax at the regular briefing for White House reporters.
In withdrawing his name February 13 from consideration for the number three position at the U.S. Department of Justice, Cooper explained that "after witnessing the treatment that my friend [Attorney General] Jeff Sessions, a decent and honorable man who bears only good will and good cheer to everyone he meets, had to endure at the hands of a partisan opposition that will say anything and do anything to advance their political interests, I am unwilling to subject myself, my family, and my friends to such a process."
Spicer referred to Cooper's exit as "somewhat of an isolated case, and I understand what he's talking about here, but those are few and far between."
But, he quickly added, "I think when you realize what is happening at the expense of Senate Democrats, in terms of dragging these people through a very delayed and arduous process, for fairly political points. I think there are some people who could look at that process and potentially say 'Hey, I don't want to serve.'"
"Luckily, we've not come to that beyond a handful of folks," Spicer said. "The President is very confident we have a deep bench of folks. During the transition, we talked about this, the number of people who expressed a huge interest in joining the President in fulfilling his agenda. That list is robust and long."
Asked by Newsmax about growing rumors that the administration was sounding out Washington attorney and onetime D.C. Court of Appeals nominee Miguel Estrada to be solicitor general, Spicer replied: "We don't comment on 'personnel decisions until they're finalized. So I won't comment on that."
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