Gorsuch backs up Dem senator in spat with Trump: Attacks on judges 'demoralizing'

Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch backed up a Democratic senator who feuded with President Trump, saying during his confirmation hearing Tuesday that he finds criticism of judges' integrity "disheartening and demoralizing."

Trump angrily refuted Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) when Blumenthal told reporters after a private meeting that Gorsuch had expressed misgivings over the president’s harsh criticism of James Robart, the federal judge for the Western District of Washington, who placed a halt on Trump's first travel ban.

Trump blasted Robart's decision on Twitter, calling him a "so-called judge." 


After Blumenthal recounted his conversation on the topic with Gorsuch, Trump suggested that Blumenthal is a serial liar and urged the media to ask him about his Vietnam War record, which he had once exaggerated.

"His comments were misrepresented and what you should do is ask Sen. Blumenthal about his Vietnam record, which didn't exist,” Trump insisted last month.

But Gorsuch on Tuesday corroborated Blumenthal’s version of events by admitting that he was disturbed by Trump’s harsh treatment of Robart, who was appointed to his seat by former President George W. Bush. 

“I know these people and how decent they are and when anyone criticizes the honesty, integrity and motives of a federal judge, I find that disheartening and demoralizing because I know the truth,” Gorsuch told Blumenthal Monday when asked to recall last month’s meeting during his confirmation hearing.
“Anyone, including the president of the United States?” Blumethal asked, seeking clarification.
“Anyone is anyone,” Gorsuch replied.

But White House press secretary Sean Spicer quickly took to Twitter to claim that Gorsuch was not referring to the president's remarks specifically, writing, "He spoke broadly and never mentioned any person."