Dem rep: Gorsuch comments may have been 'choreographed'

Dem rep: Gorsuch comments may have been 'choreographed'
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Rep. Adam SchiffAdam Bennett SchiffCourt filings show Trump, Cohen contacts amid hush money payments House passes annual intelligence bill Judge finds Stone violated gag order, blocks him from using social media MORE (D-Calif.) pushed back on Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch’s comment that President Trump’s criticism of judges is “demoralizing,” claiming that Gorsuch’s remarks may have been “choreographed.”

Some Republicans are pointing to Gorsuch's comment as evidence that he’ll be independent from Trump. But Schiff rejected that premise in a Thursday interview, suggesting that the criticism could have been intentional with the hopes that it would be leaked to reporters.

“It maybe had been quite calculated in terms of what Judge Gorsuch said,” Schiff said during a Thursday interview on CNN.

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“It may have been very well choreographed, very specific intention to use those terms knowing that they’d essentially be leaked to the press.”

On Wednesday, Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) said that Gorsuch called Trump’s tweets attacking a federal judge “disheartening” and “demoralizing” during their private meeting and urged the Supreme Court nominee to make those comments public.

A spokesman for Gorsuch eventually confirmed those comments to CNN, but on Thursday morning, Trump contradicted the spokesman in a tweet, saying that Blumenthal was “misrepresenting” Gorsuch’s comments.

Over the weekend, Trump attacked a “so-called judge” in Washington for halting his executive order that temporarily banned travel from seven Muslim-majority countries as well as indefinitely halted on Syrian refugees coming into the country.

Schiff claimed that Gorsuch's comments could have been part of the administration’s confirmation strategy, though he noted that there’s no definitive evidence of that.

The California Democrat doesn’t get a vote on a Supreme Court nominee, but he told CNN that the Senate shouldn’t confirm Gorsuch unless Trump nominates a moderate justice “in the mold of Merrick Garland,” who was former President Obama's nominee to replace the late Justice Antonin Scalia. Senate Republicans, however, refused to hold a hearing or vote on Garland's nomination.