- The Washington Times - Thursday, February 9, 2017

President Trump slammed Sen. Richard Blumenthal on Thursday after Mr. Blumenthal relayed comments from Judge Neil Gorsuch, Mr. Trump’s Supreme Court nominee, that the president’s recent attacks on the judicial branch were demoralizing.

“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.

Mr. Blumenthal said Wednesday that Judge Gorsuch called Mr. Trump’s tweets attacking a federal judge who temporarily halted the president’s immigration executive order “demoralizing” and “disheartening.”

A spokesman for Judge Gorsuch confirmed the comments.

Mr. Blumenthal, Connecticut Democrat, claimed during his 2010 U.S. Senate campaign that he misspoke about his military service record when, during at least one appearance, he said he served “in” Vietnam rather than “during” Vietnam. He was in the Marine Corps reserves at the time.

Former Sen. Kelly Ayotte, who has been the Trump administration’s “sherpa” to help Judge Gorsuch navigate meetings with senators, sought to clarify his remarks.

“Judge Gorsuch has made it very clear in all of his discussions with senators, including Senator Blumenthal, that he could not comment on any specific cases and that judicial ethics prevent him from commenting on political matters,” she said in a statement Thursday. “He has also emphasized the importance of an independent judiciary, and while he made clear that he was not referring to any specific case, he said that he finds any criticism of a judge’s integrity and independence disheartening and demoralizing.”

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