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Trump marks judicial confirmations at White House event

As the impeachment inquiry engulfs the Trump White House, border wall construction is slow, and the president's party struggles to pass any significant legislation, President Trump is celebrating one thing his administration has undeniably accomplished: confirming scores of conservative judges to lifetime appointments on federal courts across the country.

On Wednesday, in the middle of deposition transcript releases and administration officials defying congressional subpoenas, Mr. Trump commemorated that agenda accomplishment with an East Room event on federal judicial confirmations. More than 150 of the president's judicial nominees have been confirmed by the Senate.

"Would you like to add a few judges? That wouldn't be a bad idea. How 'bout adding another 100 or so?" the president said in an apparent joke.

Greeted by thunderous applause, Mr. Trump said he thinks his judicial confirmations may only be topped by those of the nation's first president, George Washington. In his speech, the president lamented liberal "activist" judges, including ones who have blocked his attempts to institute a travel ban and crack down on illegal immigration. He also recalled the contentious nomination of Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh.

Attorney General William Barr, Vice President Mike Pence, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Sen. Lindsey Graham and others sat in the front row for the president's remarks. Confirming federal judges is also top priority too for McConnell, who has made it part of his mission to help reshape the courts. Mr. Trump singled out McConnell, noting his dedication to the issue.

In brief remarks, McConnell noted that Mr. Trump was helped by his own efforts to keep Obama Supreme Court nominee Merrick Garland from being confirmed. That spot on the nation's highest court was eventually filled by current Supreme Court justice Neil Gorsuch.

"I think there's nobody that's ever done a better job ever, than Mitch McConnell," Mr. Trump told his audience.

Moments before coming out to speak, the president announced he will meet with Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on November 13 at the White House, despite Turkish forces' invasion of Syria. Mr. Trump made that announcement on Twitter after speaking with Erdogan on the phone Wednesday.

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