Trump nom­i­nee de­cried crit­i­cism of judges, se­na­tors agree

Cape Breton Post - - WORLD -

U.S. Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump in­sisted Thurs­day that com­ments by his Supreme Court nom­i­nee crit­i­ciz­ing his own at­tacks on the ju­di­ciary were “mis­rep­re­sented,” even as Repub­li­can and Demo­cratic law­mak­ers vouched for the ve­rac­ity of the re­marks.

Trump re­sponded af­ter pri­vate re­bukes from Judge Neil Gor­such, who said in meet­ings with law­mak­ers on Wed­nes­day that the pres­i­dent’s com­ments about fed­eral judges were “dis­heart­en­ing.”

Gor­such, who was nom­i­nated by Trump last week to the na­tion’s high­est court, made the com­ments in meet­ings with se­na­tors af­ter Trump ac­cused an ap­peals court panel con­sid­er­ing his im­mi­gra­tion and refugee ex­ec­u­tive or­der of be­ing “so po­lit­i­cal.” Over the week­end, he la­beled a judge who ruled on his ex­ec­u­tive or­der a “so-called judge” and re­ferred to the rul­ing as “ridicu­lous.”

Demo­cratic Sen. Richard Blu­men­thal of Con­necti­cut first re­layed Gor­such’s re­marks on Wed­nes­day fol­low­ing a meet­ing with him. Trump’s own con­fir­ma­tion team for Gor­such later con­firmed he had made the re­marks. But Trump said dur­ing a Thurs­day lun­cheon with se­na­tors that Blu­men­thal had mis­rep­re­sented Gor­such. “His com­ments were mis­rep­re­sented. And what you should do is ask Sen­a­tor Blu­men­thal about his Viet­nam record that didn’t ex­ist af­ter years of say­ing it did,” he said.

Blu­men­thal, who served in the Ma­rine Corps Re­serves dur­ing Viet­nam, apol­o­gized in 2010 for say­ing he had served in Viet­nam.

The pres­i­dent made the com­ments while mak­ing the case for Gor­such dur­ing a lun­cheon with 10 se­na­tors, in­clud­ing six of Blu­men­thal’s fel­low Democrats.

Blu­men­thal, a for­mer state at­tor­ney gen­eral, ar­gued Thurs­day that Gor­such would need to go fur­ther to pub­licly de­nounce Trump’s ver­bal as­sault on ju­di­cial in­de­pen­dence.

AP PHOTO

U.S. Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump ap­plauds as he stands with Judge Neil Gor­such in East Room of the White House in Washington Jan. 31, af­ter an­nounc­ing Gor­such as his nom­i­nee for the Supreme Court.

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