President Trump's counselor Kellyanne Conway said during an interview on Fox News Thursday morning that Trump will still back his nominee for the Supreme Court, Judge Neil Gorsuch, despite the comments Gorsuch made criticizing Trump's tweets against a federal judge.
Conway echoed Trump's tweets from Thursday morning claiming that Gorsuch's comments were misrepresented and that a private conversation shouldn't be revealed to the public. She then added that Trump was trying to inform the public about Blumenthal's misstatement about serving in Vietnam in order to establish his lack of credibility.
Conway would not say if Gorsuch and Trump had spoken since the nominee criticized the president, but struck back when asked if Trump was unfairly attacking the judiciary:
What about when President Obama tried to shame the Supreme Court in front of the world at the State of the Union address after the Citizens' United decision? You had Justice Alito literally shaking his head because it was just such a shocking thing to have a sitting president with the Supreme Court right in front of him, scolding them for an opinion. Talk about not having an independent judiciary, talk about interfering with different branches of government. But this is a different standard because it's a different standard applied to us in the Trump administration. But I'm glad that he said that and we have full faith and confidence in Judge Gorsuch.
"Of course not," she said when asked if Trump is reconsidering the nomination. "The president is fully confident in the nominee."
She continued the interview by flashing a paper with polls that showed Americans were favorable to Trump's travel ban, and then defended his daughter Ivanka over the Nordstrom controversy.
Trump's tweets on Thursday morning defended Gorsuch and attacked Blumenthal, the first Senator to report Gorsuch's remarks.
Sen.Richard Blumenthal, who never fought in Vietnam when he said for years he had (major lie),now misrepresents what Judge Gorsuch told him?— Donald J. Trump (@Donald J. Trump)1486641479.0
The tweet references the controversy over Connecticut Senator Blumenthal's insinuation that he had served in the military at Vietnam, when he was instead stateside as a member of the Marine Reserve.
Chris Cuomo, in his interview with Sen. Blumenthal, never asked him about his long-term lie about his brave "service" in Vietnam. FAKE NEWS!— Donald J. Trump (@Donald J. Trump)1486646348.0
Blumenthal told reporters Wednesday that Judge Gorsuch had called Trump's tweets against the judiciary "disheartening" and "demoralizing." Although the report was confirmed by a member of the group helping Gorsuch maneuver through the confirmation process, Trump is maintaining that Blumenthal is misrepresenting what Gorsuch said.
The report was further corroborated by Senator Ben Sasse of Nebraska on "Morning Joe."
.@BenSasse confirms on @morning_joe that #Gorsuch was disheartened by Trumps judicial attacks. Says Gorsuch got "pretty passionate about it"— Sarah Boxer (@Sarah Boxer)1486644074.0
Blumenthal had appeared on CNN Wednesday to explain the context of Gorsuch's comments:
Sen. Blumenthal details his conversation with SCOTUS pick Gorsuch, who called Trump attacks on judges "demoralizing" https://t.co/suYhm8s5j0
— CNN (@CNN) February 9, 2017
The controversial attacks in question were posted to Trump's official Twitter account Saturday:
The opinion of this so-called judge, which essentially takes law-enforcement away from our country, is ridiculous and will be overturned!— Donald J. Trump (@Donald J. Trump)1486213922.0
Just cannot believe a judge would put our country in such peril. If something happens blame him and court system. People pouring in. Bad!— Donald J. Trump (@Donald J. Trump)1486327145.0
These tweets were a response to a Seattle federal judge's decision imposing a restraining order on Trump's travel ban, which is now being challenged in court by the administration. It is unclear when a decision is expected from the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals on the administration's appeal.
Democrats have promised to filibuster Gorsuch, an announcement many people saw as evidence of the far left wing of the party gaining prominence. Meanwhile Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas) vowed that the Democrats would not derail the confirmation, and Senate Republicans remain publicly confident that Gorsuch will be confirmed.