Speed Reads

Trump tweets

Trump isn't happy that his Supreme Court nominee criticized him, so he attacked the messenger

On Thursday, President Trump's first tweet of the day was a critique of Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), who on Wednesday had met with Trump's Supreme Court nominee, federal appellate Judge Neil Gorsuch, and released a statement saying Gorsuch was unhappy with Trump's criticism of the judicial branch. Trump noted that Blumenthal had misrepresented his military service during the Vietnam War when he was running for Senate in 2010, called that a "major lie," then asked how Blumenthal "now misrepresents what Judge Gorsuch told him?"

Blumenthal said Wednesday that Gorsuch had called Trump's "so-called judge" tweet, on top of the president's other disparagement of the judiciary, "demoralizing and disheartening, and he characterized them very specifically that way." A spokesman for Gorsuch, Ron Bonjean, confirmed that Gorsuch had called Trump's tweet about a fellow federal judge "disheartening" and "demoralizing." That did not satisfy Blumenthal, in any case, who said he still isn't sure if he will vote to confirm Gorsuch. "I said they were more than disheartening and I said to him that he has an obligation to make his views clear to the American people, so they understand how abhorrent or unacceptable President Trump's attacks on the judiciary are," Blumenthal told CNN. He reiterated the point to CNN's Chris Cuomo on Thursday morning, and said Trump is steering America toward a "constitutional crisis":

Trump has not yet explained which part of Blumenthal's characterization of his conversation with Gorsuch he finds inaccurate, but he followed up with a second tweet complaining that Cuomo did not ask Blumenthal about "his long-term lie about his brave 'service' in Vietnam." In 2010, Blumenthal, who was in the Marine Corps Reserve starting in 1970, said he should have said he served "during" Vietnam, not "in" Vietnam; Connecticut elected him anyway, then re-elected him in November. Trump received four deferrals from serving in the military during Vietnam due to a bone spur in his foot.