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Fending Off Critiques of Failed Leadership, Twitterer-in-Chief Lashes Out

U.S. President Donald Trump on Thursday once again lashed out on his critics, attacking both Sens. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) and John McCain (R-Ariz.) in an early morning Twitter rant for highlighting concerns about his assault on the judiciary as well as the recent botched raid in Yemen.

Trump alleged that Blumenthal had “misrepresent[ed]” comments made by Supreme Court nominee Judge Neil Gorsuch, who had told the senator that he found the president’s personal attacks against federal judges “disheartening” and “demoralizing.” Though Gorsuch made the remarks “behind closed doors,” they were confirmed by his spokesperson after Blumenthal shared them with the press late Wednesday.

But that did not stop the president from going after Blumenthal (and squeezing in a swipe at the media), bringing up the senator’s previous distortion of his Vietnam-era military record—despite the fact that Trump himself never served in the U.S. military.

For his part, Blumenthal encouraged Gorsuch to go public with his concerns.

“Behind closed doors, Judge Gorsuch expressed disappointment with President Trump’s attacks on the judiciary, but a Supreme Court Justice must prove that he has the courage and independence to stand up to a president in public,” Blumenthal said on CNN‘s “New Day” on Thursday. “I asked Judge Gorsuch to make that statement publicly, and he declined.”

As CNN’s Jeremy Diamond observed,

“We’re careening, literally, toward a constitutional crisis,” Blumenthal continued. “And he’s been nominated by a president who has repeatedly and relentlessly attacked the American judiciary on three separate occasions, their credibility and trust is in question.”

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After attempting to intimidate the federal judge who blocked his highly-controversial travel ban, Trump on Wednesday accused the judiciary of political bias.

Recounting the exchange, Mark Sumner, editor of the “Devilstower” column on Daily Kos, noted that “Trump isn’t bothered that his actions are ‘abhorrent.'” Rather, “Trump’s version of reality doesn’t allow for the idea that someone on ‘his team’ might actually disagree with him. About anything.”

At the same time he was dredging up Blumenthal’s military skeletons on Thursday, the president was also admonishing McCain, a former prisoner of war, for questioning the supposed “success” of the recent military raid in Yemen, which Trump ordered without sufficient intelligence and which resulted in the deaths of one U.S. Navy SEAL, and 25 civilians, including nine children.

This is not the first time that Trump has questioned McCain’s heroism. During his campaign for the presidency, Trump made waves when he declared the senator was “not a war hero.”

“He was a war hero because he was captured. I like people who weren’t captured,” he said at the time.

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Summing up the president’s morning, journalist Steven Greenhouse wrote on Twitter: “This is so UNPRESIDENTIAL.”

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