An NBC News report on a supposed secret backroom deal between Donald Trump and soon-to-be-retired Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy for the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh has prompted more Trump-directed outrage from celebrities online, even after NBC retracted its claims.
As The Daily Wire reported Tuesday, NBC News' Leigh Ann Caldwell claimed online that Trump and Kennedy had worked out an agreement months ago for Trump to name Kavanaugh as Kennedy's replacement.
"Kennedy and Trump/WH had been in negotiations for months over Kennedy's replacement," Caldwell alleged in a series of tweets Tuesday. "Once Kennedy received assurances it would be Kavanaugh, his former law clerk, Kennedy felt comfortable retiring, according to a source who was told of the discussions. Furthermore, the five names Trump added to his list of Federalist Approved judges last November was to get Kavanaugh on that list. The other four names were considered cover, per source. In other words: the decision has been baked for a while."
Caldwell felt nervous enough about the claim to add a qualifier later: "To be clear: This is from one source and dont have any info on whether potus talked to kennedy about a possible replacement."
After strong pushback online to the Trump-Kennedy conspiracy theory, Caldwell deleted her initial tweet about the "negotiations" and a few hours later, issued a retraction: "I’ve deleted this tweet because it incorrectly implies a transactional nature in Kennedy’s replacement. I am told by a source who was not directly part of the talks that Kennedy provided Pres. Trump/ WH a list of acceptable replacements. Kavanaugh was the only one who was thought conservative enough to consider, I’m told. They added Kavanaugh – and 4 other names - to the public Federalist list that Trump would choose from in November. We are continuing to report this story."
But, as pointed out by Twitchy, the "fake news" did its work among some Hollywood liberals, including full-time Twitter activist and sometime actress Alyssa Milano and Debra Messing (warning: some hyperbolic language):
A few responses to the actresses' tweets: