Ginni Thomas, the wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, has long been involved in far-right activism but a recent White House meeting with President Donald Trump, reported by the New York Times, is raising eyebrows.
Trump listened “quietly” while Thomas and a group of ultra-conservative activists criticized transgender people, women in the military and Republican leadership last week, according to the paper. The group convened for about an hour in the Roosevelt Room, where Trump sat “saying little but appearing taken aback,” the Times reported citing three unnamed sources familiar with the matter.
They began with a prayer, the paper’s sources said. Attendees also prayed at various times throughout the session.
Thomas, who operates a one-woman political consultancy, has been criticized in recent months for pushing more obviously partisan messages than some deem appropriate for the spouse of a justice of the Supreme Court, an institution that has recently seen its impartiality questioned.
Over Facebook, she regularly posts unvarnished praise for Trump and slams Democratic leadership. This week, she shared a racist meme about immigrants. (Not her first.) Thomas once called the Parkland, Florida, school shooting survivors “dangerous to the survival of our nation” because of their battle for stronger gun control policy.
Others at the meeting were Connie Hair, chief of staff to Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Texas); Frank Gaffney, an anti-Muslim conspiracy theorist; and Rosemary Jenks, who works for the anti-immigration group NumbersUSA ― along with around six White House aides, the Times reported.
Thomas and Hair were particularly hung up on certain administrative appointments they wanted Trump to make, accusing White House aides of blocking them, according to the report.
One woman present reportedly argued that all women should be barred from military service due to their physical differences from men.
Someone also told the president that Republican congressional leaders should be “tarred and feathered” over the partial government shutdown, although the attendees apparently did not say what the leaders should have been doing. While news of the meeting comes just after the White House agreed to temporarily reopen the federal government, at the time the shutdown would have seemed indefinite.
At one point, Trump pulled his daughter Ivanka Trump, who is also a White House aide, into the meeting, “saying she would be beloved if she were serving a liberal president, instead of getting negative news coverage.”
The unusual meeting reportedly came to be after the president and first lady dined with the justice and his wife but had been delayed for months, the Times said.