Thursday, February 9, 2017

What did Donald Trump do today?

He reacted badly to reports that his Supreme Court nominee had said his attacks on judges were "disheartening" and "demoralizing."

Judge Neil Gorsuch's remarks were made public by Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), and then subsequently confirmed by Gorsuch's White House minder, Ron Bonjean. Former Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-NH) was also in the room and also confirmed that Gorsuch had used those words. Sen. Ben Sasse (R-NE) said Gorsuch said similar things in their meeting and "got pretty passionate" about Trump's attacks on the judiciary.

Trump nevertheless tweeted this morning that Blumenthal was "misrepresenting" Gorsuch, then repeated the claim this afternoon. 

Trump has repeatedly attacked the integrity and legitimacy of judges whose rulings have gone against him.

Why is this so bad?

  • It's a very bad sign if a president cannot believe that someone has criticized him, even when three members of his own party independently confirm it.
  • Presidents should not expect deference from judges on the subject of attacking judges.