Fact Check: Did Amy Coney Barrett Take a Swipe at Trump in 2016?

The five second clip below is trending on Twitter. The clip attempts to show that Amy Coney Barrett takes a swipe at Donald Trump, with the whole room laughing.

The Tweet says,
“What would we have in a Trump court? Who knows?” Amy Coney Barrett said, as room responded with laughter. Please don’t share this, @realDonaldTrump won’t like it. #BlockBarrett

The Characterization That Amy Coney Barrett Took a Swipe at Trump is FALSE

Amy Coney Barrett did not take a swipe at Donald Trump.

Rather, her words are an honest assessment of the circumstance and knowledge about Trump at the time. You see, this was in 2016 before Trump was elected for the first time. He was new to politics — and by everyone’s assessment — wasn’t a typical politician. No one really knew what to expect.

So, you see, it’s a very fair statement to say, “who knows.”

This speech was recorded just days before the 2016 election. For Republicans, it was a very eventful primary. For everyone, it was a very different election year. Her laugh was in response to the irony of predicting SCOTUS nominations as it relates to the most unpredictable candidate for US president in recent memory.

Also, in the full speech, Amy Barrett explains what she meant by who knows.

  • Trump provided a list of potential nominations, but he’s not bound by the list. Who knows if he would select from the list?
  • Trump’s nominee’s could be a mixed bag of justices from moderate to conservative. Who knows?


  • The overall tone of the speech was not at all about taking a swipe at anyone.
  • The overall approach was very academic. She treated Trump, in the hypothetical he’d win the election, very seriously. She offered a logical and practical assessment given what was known about Trump at the time.

We rate the characterization that Amy Barrett’s speech was meant as a swipe at Trump, FALSE.

Now watch the full speech and decide for yourself.

We will be happy to hear your thoughts

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