FAIRFIELD COUNTY, Conn. -- President Donald Trump lashed out at U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) on Twitter Thursday morning after Blumenthal revealed that Trump's pick for the Supreme Court called the president's remarks about judges "disheartening."
Blumenthal met Wednesday with Judge Neil Gorsuch, Trump's nominee to serve on the Supreme Court. After their meeting, Blumenthal told reporters that Gorsuch had said that Trump's recent criticism of the judiciary was "disheartening" and "demoralizing," according to multiple media accounts.
Trump has taken to Twitter in the past week to criticize the decision of U.S. District Court Judge James Robart, who put a temporary hold on the president's travel ban. While courts decide if the travel ban is constitutional, the president has called Robart a "so-called judge" and said that he has opened up the country's borders to people who would do it harm.
"Just cannot believe a judge would put our country in such peril. If something happens blame him and court system," Trump tweeted on Sunday.
A spokesperson for Gorsuch confirmed to the Washington Post that the nominee had indeed made the comments that Blumenthal reported. But Trump said that Blumenthal had misrepresented what the judge said.
"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 tweeted Thursday morning.
Trump was referring to a story that first emerged when Blumenthal was running for the Senate in 2010. Blumenthal came under fire for stating that he had "served in Vietnam." While Blumenthal had served in the U.S. Marine Corps Reserves in the 1970s after receiving several deferments, he never went overseas. He later said that he had misspoken, and had meant to say that he served "during" Vietnam.
Trump also tweeted criticism of a CNN anchor for not bringing up the Vietnam issue during an interview with Blumenthal over his meeting with Gorsuch.
"Chris Cuomo, in his interview with Sen. Blumenthal, never asked him about his long-term lie about his brave "service" in Vietnam. FAKE NEWS!" the president tweeted.
After the tweet, Cuomo pointed out on air that he brought up the Vietnam issue in his very first question during the Blumenthal interview.
In a statement following his meeting with Gorsuch, Blumenthal said he still had concerns about the nominee and whether he would stand up to Trump.
“As the nominee of a President who has viciously attacked the independence of the judiciary and declared multiple litmus tests for justices, Judge Gorsuch has a special responsibility to reassure the American people that he will be an open-minded and independent jurist. 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. If he wants the American people to believe that he is truly independent, Judge Gorsuch must tell them in no uncertain terms that President Trump’s attacks are not just disappointing – they are abhorrent and destructive to our Constitutional system – and he must condemn them publicly."
In an interview Thursday morning on MSNBC, Blumenthal again called on Gorsuch to come out in public and condemn Trump's comments about the judiciary. Blumenthal also said that Gorsuch explicitly told him that Blumenthal could share Gorsuch's remarks about Trump. Blumenthal also criticized Trump's behavior toward the judiciary.
"Americans dislike bullies, and President Trump is acting like a bully against the judiciary," Blumenthal said.