President Donald Trump's nominee for the Supreme Court has called the president's recent criticism of the judiciary "disheartening" and "demoralizing," a spokesman for the nomination confirmation team told NBC News on Wednesday.
Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Connecticut, said Wednesday that he spoke with U.S. Appeals Court Judge Neil Gorsuch and that Gorsuch "certainly expressed to me that he is disheartened by the demoralizing and abhorrent comments made by President Trump about the judiciary."
A spokesman for the team shepherding Gorsuch's nomination in the Senate confirmed Blumenthal's version of the conversation to NBC News and said Gorsuch did use the words "disheartening" and "demoralizing."
On Twitter and in a speech Wednesday, Trump criticized judges and attorneys involved in a legal fight over his immigration travel executive order, which suspended entry to the United States from seven predominantly Muslim nations and temporarily halted the entry by refugees.
Trump called the federal judge in Seattle who blocked the order last week a "so-called judge." U.S. District Judge James Robart was appointed by President George W. Bush.
In a speech Wednesday, the president criticized pointed questions by a three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals a day earlier.
"I don't want to call a court biased, but courts seem to be so political," Trump complained during a joint conference in Washington, D.C., of the Major County Sheriffs' Association and the Major Cities Chiefs Association.
"I listened to a bunch of stuff last night that was disgraceful," he added. "It was disgraceful."
The president in an earlier tweet Wednesday had already blamed "politics" in the event the judges don't rule in his favor.
"A bad high school student would understand this," Trump told the conference room of law enforcement officials. "Anybody would understand this."