President Donald Trump laced into Connecticut Senator Richard Blumenthal over his military service record, after the lawmaker met with Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch and said Gorsuch had criticized the president’s recent statements about judges as “demoralizing” and “disheartening.”
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 (@realDonaldTrump) February 9, 2017
Trump was referring to a controversy that flared six years ago, when Blumenthal first ran for the Senate. Blumenthal, then Connecticut’s attorney general had misspoken on several occasions and implied that he served in Vietnam. While he was in the Marine Corps Reserve during the conflict, he never went overseas. The president himself received five draft exemptions, five for college attendance and another for defective feet.
Gorsuch, now an appellate judge on the Tenth Circuit, has been making the rounds on Capitol Hill ahead of confirmation hearing that could prove contentious, as Democrats might use the filibuster against his nomination.
Since Trump instituted a “Muslim ban” and called out the judges who blocked it, issues of executive power and overreach have trickled into the Gorsuch nomination. The confirmation process usually figures as a kind of kabuki theater, in which nominees try to avoid giving away their opinions on explosive issues, lest they lose votes. Before his remarks to Blumenthal, Gorsuch had remained mum on Trump, leading some like Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer to criticize him.
Daniel J. Solomon is the Assistant to the Editor/News Writer at the Forward. Originally from Queens, he attended Harvard as an undergraduate, where he wrote his senior thesis on French-Jewish intellectual history. He is excited to have returned to New York after his time in Massachusetts. Daniel’s passions include folk music, cycling, and pointed argument.