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Photo: Twitter/CNN

Journalist Bob Woodward released new audio clips that aired on CNN Sunday night in which President Trump said he expects to have appointed "more than 50% of the federal judges in the country" by the time he leaves office.

Why it matters: The tapes from December to this summer offer insights into the importance Trump places on judicial appointments in his presidential legacy. In one interview, he described federal judges in one interview as being "like golden nuggets."

  • Trump said Saturday he would announce a nominee for Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg's vacant Supreme Court seat "next week" and "it will be a woman," despite the election being some six weeks away.

What they're saying: In one interview, for Woodward's book on Trump, "Rage," the president said that he had "just signed" his 187th federal judge and incorrectly claimed he had "broken every record."

  • "It's a record, 187 judges in less than three years, Bob," Trump said. "And two Supreme Court Judges. Never been done before. The only one that has a better percentage is George Washington, because he appointed 100%. But my percentage is, you know, like ridiculous."
  • Woodward corrected him that former Presidents Clinton, Carter and Nixon were among those to have "filled a greater percentage of federal judgeships by late January of the fourth year of their first term" and that former Presidents Obama, Clinton and George H. W. Bush had appointed two Supreme Court justices in their first term.

Of note: Trump told Woodward during one interview that the "biggest thing ... in the whole world" for Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) is appointing new judges.

  • "If I have 10 ambassadors — and a judge can take long to get approved, you know? Which I guess is probably right," the president said. "Should be, right? He will absolutely ask me, please let's get the judge approved instead of 10 ambassadors."

Go deeper: Democrats use Bob Woodward tape in new anti-Trump ad

Go deeper

Kushner to Woodward in April: Trump is "getting the country back from the doctors"

Senior White House adviser Jared Kushner bragged in an interview with Bob Woodward on April 18 about Trump "getting the country back from the doctors," in reference to the lifting of coronavirus restrictions, according to audio obtained by CNN.

Why it matters: Trump has campaigned on a message of "opening up" the country after lockdowns designed to curb the spread of COVID-19 in the spring resulted in widespread economic disruption. But some health experts have criticized states for opening up too fast, leading to a second and third surge of coronavirus infections as Election Day nears.

Oct 28, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Supreme Court won't expedite Pennsylvania GOP's request to block mail-in ballot extension

Amy Coney Barrett being sworn in by Chief Justice John Roberts. Photo: Fred Schilling/Collection of the Supreme Court of the United States via Getty Images

The Supreme Court voted 5-3 on Wednesday to deny a bid from Pennsylvania Republicans to expedite their request to shorten the deadline for receiving mail-in ballots. Newly confirmed Justice Amy Coney Barrett did not participate in the decision.

Why it matters: A lower court ruling allowing ballots to be counted until 5pm on Nov. 6, as long as they are postmarked by Election Day, will remain in place for now.

51 mins ago - Health

U.S. tops 88,000 COVID-19 cases, setting new single-day record

Expand chart
Data: COVID Tracking Project; Chart: Axios Visuals

The United States reported 88,452 new coronavirus cases on Thursday, setting a single-day record, according to data from the COVID Tracking Project.

The big picture: The country confirmed 1,049 additional deaths due to the virus, and there are over 46,000 people currently being hospitalized, suggesting the U.S. is experiencing a third wave heading into the winter months.