Blumenthal: We're careening 'toward a constitutional crisis'

Sen. Richard BlumenthalRichard BlumenthalSenate votes to confirm Rosenstein as deputy attorney general Hoyer not insisting on ObamaCare subsidies in spending bill Airlines promise friendlier skies MORE (D-Conn.) on Thursday warned that the country is heading toward a "constitutional crisis," moments after President Trump attacked him for sharing Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch's concerns with the president's attacks on judges. 

"I said to Judge Gorsuch and I believe that ordinarily a Supreme Court nominee would not be expected to comment on issues or political matters or cases that come before court, but we're in a very unusual situation," Blumenthal said on CNN's "New Day."

"We're careening, literally, toward a constitutional crisis. And he's been nominated by a president who has repeatedly and relentlessly attacked the American judiciary on three separate occasions, their credibility and trust is in question."

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Blumenthal said the president has also established a litmus test for his nominee to be "pro-life, to be pro-Second Amendment, to be conservative."

Blumenthal told reporters Wednesday that Gorsuch called Trump's tweets attacking federal judges "disheartening" and "demoralizing."

A spokesman for Gorsuch later confirmed to CNN that the judge used the terms when describing Trump's tweets during his meeting with Blumenthal.

Despite the confirmation by Gorsuch’s spokesman, Trump tweeted Thursday morning that those weren’t the judge’s true feelings.

"Sen. Richard Blumenthal, who never fought in Vietnam when he said for years he had (major lie), now misrepresents what Judge Gorsuch told him?" the president tweeted.

Blumenthal on Thursday urged Gorsuch to make his concerns public.

"Behind closed doors, Judge Gorsuch expressed disappointment with President Trump’s attacks on the judiciary, but a Supreme Court Justice must prove that he has the courage and independence to stand up to a President in public," Blumenthal said.

"I asked Judge Gorsuch to make that statement publicly, and he declined."

On Saturday, Trump ripped the "so-called judge" in Seattle who halted his travel ban, saying the ruling was "ridiculous and will be overturned."

Federal Judge James Robart, who was appointed by former President George W. Bush and approved by a 99-0 Senate vote in 2004, issued an immediate nationwide restraining order late last week on Trump’s executive order, which temporarily bars refugees and people from seven predominately Muslim countries from entering the U.S.

Trump has fought the decision since.

On Wednesday president also went after the panel of federal judges weighing the Department of Justice's appeal to restore the travel ban.