By John Wagner
WASHINGTON - President Trump lashed out on Twitter on Thursday at the Democratic senator who publicly shared that Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch had told him he found Trump’s attacks on the federal judiciary “disheartening” and “demoralizing.”
In a morning tweet, Trump tried to question the credibility of Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., by referencing a 2010 acknowledgment by Blumenthal that he had misspoken about having served in Vietnam, when in fact he had never gone to war.
“Sen. Richard Blumenthal, who never fought in Vietnam when he said for years he had (major lie), now misrepresents what Judge Gorsuch told him?” Trump said in his tweet.
On Wednesday, Blumenthal relayed to reporters comments he said were made by Gorsuch, Trump’s Supreme Court nominee, during a private meeting. The account was confirmed by Ron Bonjean, a member of the group guiding the judge through his confirmation process on behalf of Trump’s administration.
Trump did not elaborate as to how he thought Gorsuch’s comments had been misrepresented. The White House did not immediately respond to a request to explain the president’s assertion on Twitter.
Trump has made several disparaging comments about the federal judiciary in the wake of an order halting his directive temporarily barring refugees and those from seven Muslim-majority countries from entering the United States.
Trump on Wednesday declared that an appeals court’s hearing Tuesday night regarding his controversial immigration executive order was “disgraceful” and that judges were more concerned about politics than following the law.
The remarks followed earlier tweets from Trump disparaging “the so-called judge” who issued a nationwide stop to his plan and saying the ruling “put our country in such peril. If something happens blame him and court system.”
Blumenthal came under sharp criticism during his 2010 Senate campaign for repeated remarks over the years that he had “served” in Vietnam, although he did his full Marine service in the United States. Blumenthal obtained several deferments between 1965 and 1970 and then joined the Marines Reserves, but did not serve in Vietnam. He later said he misspoke and intended to say that he was in the Marines Reserves during the Vietnam conflict.