Trump: Heitkamp will be 'told' to vote against any nominee to replace Kennedy

Trump: Heitkamp will be 'told' to vote against any nominee to replace Kennedy
© Greg Nash

President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump rallies in Nevada amid Supreme Court flurry: 'We're gonna get Brett' Trump: 'Good news' that Obama is campaigning again Trump boosts Heller, hammers 'Wacky Jacky' opponent in Nevada MORE took aim at North Dakota Sen. Heidi HeitkampMary (Heidi) Kathryn HeitkampThe Memo: Tide turns on Kavanaugh McCaskill to oppose Kavanaugh nomination Election Countdown: Trump confident about midterms in Hill.TV interview | Kavanaugh controversy tests candidates | Sanders, Warren ponder if both can run | Super PACs spending big | Two states open general election voting Friday | Latest Senate polls MORE (D) on Wednesday, accusing her of conspiring with Senate Democrats to obstruct the confirmation of his eventual Supreme Court justice nominee.

Speaking at a campaign rally in North Dakota, Trump suggested that Heitkamp would be instructed by party leaders to vote against his nominee, and would go along with it.

"Heidi will vote 'no' to any pick we make to the Supreme Court," Trump told the crowd.

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"She'll be forced to vote 'no,'" Trump added. "Maybe because of this she'll be forced to vote 'yes.' But she will vote 'no' the day after the election, on everything."

Heitkamp, however, voted for Trump's previous Supreme Court nominee, Justice Neil Gorsuch, last year.

She was also the first Democratic senator to announce her support for now-Secretary of State Mike PompeoMichael (Mike) Richard PompeoOvernight Defense: Trump identifies first soldier remains from North Korea | New cyber strategy lets US go on offense | Army chief downplays talk of 'Fort Trump' Pompeo backed continued US support in Yemen war over objections from staff: report Pompeo’s staff cracks down on ‘correct use of commas’ at State Dept MORE's nomination to the position after serving as Trump's CIA chief. Heitkamp also backed Gina Haspel, Trump's pick to replace Pompeo as head of the CIA.

The comments came hours after Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy announced he would be retiring from the bench at the end of next month. Kennedy's retirement leaves Trump with his second nomination to the Court, which Republicans hope to pass through the Senate before November's midterms.

Trump praised Kennedy at his rally later in the afternoon, telling the crowd that the justice was leaving his legacy in the president's hands.

"I'm very honored that he chose to do it during my term in office, because he felt confident in my ability to make the right choice to carry on his legacy," he said.

Heitkamp is up for reelection in November, and a recent poll shows her narrowly trailing her GOP challenger, Rep. Kevin CramerKevin John CramerElection Countdown: Trump confident about midterms in Hill.TV interview | Kavanaugh controversy tests candidates | Sanders, Warren ponder if both can run | Super PACs spending big | Two states open general election voting Friday | Latest Senate polls Kavanaugh becomes September surprise for midterm candidates The Hill's Morning Report — Sponsored by United Against Nuclear Iran — Kavanaugh confirmation in sudden turmoil MORE.