“We have noticed some comments made in the media about my incredibly qualified nominee, Amy,” said Trump. “The New York Times said her religion is not consistent with American values — she’s Catholic.”
Trump was apparently referring to an opinion piece by a Catholic writer — published by The Times on Saturday, the same day that he introduced Barrett as his nominee to replace the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
“That’s a very disgraceful thing to say,” Trump said Sunday of the critique.
Trump similarly lashed out at “comedians” he didn’t identify by name.
“I don’t think they’re comedians, because comedians are supposed to be funny,” he said. “They’re nasty. They’re mean. They think they’re funny.”
Critics of Barrett’s nomination — which would further tilt the scales of the Supreme Court in favor of its conservative wing, six justices to three — have voiced concerns that her Catholic ideals might get in the way of legal impartiality on matters including abortion.
The commander-in-chief said that he was disappointed to see what he perceived as anti-Catholic bias in a nation that elected a Catholic president.
“I thought we settled this 60 years ago with the election of John F. Kennedy,” he said. “It’s unprecedented. They’re basically fighting a major religion in our country. This is incredible.”
Trump was joined at the briefing by two Catholic political allies in former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, now Trump’s personal lawyer.
They echoed his sentiment on Barrett.
“It’s obvious what they’re doing,” said Christie. “She’ll be strong. She’ll be tough. And she’ll stand up for what she believes in.”
Added Giuliani, “I think the article in The New York Times today reveals a very strong anti-Catholic bias. It says in the article that Catholicism and the American ethos contradict each other. What is the American ethos? It’s their version of it.
“And then it’s saying that Catholics have difficulty separating public and private morality,” continued Giuliani. “I don’t have difficulty separating public and private morality. So what I see is the beginning of a really strong anti-Catholic attack.”
Confirmation hearings on Barrett are scheduled to begin during the week of October 12.