It was a bit of a kiss-and-tell moment when Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., told reporters that President Donald Trump’s nominee for the Supreme Court, Judge Neil Gorsuch, had called Trump’s attacks on the judiciary “demoralizing” and “disheartening.”
The account was readily confirmed on the record by a White House adviser, Ron Bonjean, working to advance the Gorsuch confirmation.
But that wasn’t enough to stop the president from going after Blumenthal where it hurt. As Trump said on Twitter: “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 was referring to 2010 news, broken in The New York Times, a media outlet he has openly criticized, that Blumenthal had exaggerated his Vietnam-era service.
The president, who might want to be making friends with the senators who need to confirm Gorsuch, tipped his hand as to what news program he was watching Thursday morning: CNN, where Blumenthal was being interviewed. Trump registered his discontent.
“Chris Cuomo, in his interview with Sen. Blumenthal, never asked him about his long-term lie about his brave ‘service’ in Vietnam. FAKE NEWS!”
Actually, Cuomo did ask about Blumenthal’s service, he said on Twitter. “sadly, potus is just wrong about the facts. it was my first point to the senator - about his having misrepresented military career. sigh”
It is also unclear what was “fake” about a story that relied as much on the people shepherding the Gorsuch nomination through the Senate as on one of the senators who will cast a vote.
Sen. Ben Sasse, R-Neb., confirmed the Blumenthal account Thursday morning, as did former New Hampshire Sen. Kelly Ayotte, a Republican and one of Gorsuch’s shepherds.