Trump: Never thought of dropping Gorsuch because of his comments to Blumenthal

Office of Sen. Richard Blumenthal

Sen. Richard Blumenthal meEt with Neil M. Gorsuch in the senator’s office in February.

Washington – President Donald Trump on Tuesday blasted as “FAKE NEWS” a report that he considered pulling the nomination of then-Supreme Court candidate Neil Gorsuch because the judge criticized the president’s escalating attacks on the federal judiciary to Sen. Richard Blumenthal.

“A story in the @washingtonpost that I was close to ‘rescinding’ the nomination of Justice Gorsuch prior to confirmation is FAKE NEWS,” Trump tweeted. “I never even wavered and am very proud of him and the job he is doing as a Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court. The unnamed sources don’t exist!”

The Washington Post late Monday said Trump vented angrily to advisers after Gorsuch was critical of the president in a private meeting with Blumenthal in February,  a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee who would vet the nominee.

Blumenthal said Gorsuch told him the president’s attacks on the federal judiciary were “disheartening” and “demoralizing.”

“The president worried that Gorsuch would not be ‘loyal,’” the Post reported, telling aides he “was tempted to pull Gorsuch’s nomination — and that he knew plenty of other judges who would want the job.”

When Blumenthal disclosed Gorsuch’s criticisms of Trump in February, the president attacked Blumenthal’s credibility.

“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.

Blumenthal, who was a stateside Marine Corps reservist during the war, acknowledged that he “misspoke” while campaigning for the Senate in 2008 when he said, “We have learned something important since the days that I served in Vietnam.”

But Blumenthal said he did not misspeak about his conversation with Gorsuch, saying, “I have absolutely accurately stated what Judge Gorsuch said to me.”