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White House press secretary’s tweet draws scrutiny

White House press secretary Sean Spicer weighed in on Judge Neil Gorsuch’s remarks about finding the criticism of federal judges “disheartening” and “demoralizing,” arguing they did not apply specifically to Trump:

Gorsuch declined to comment specifically on Trump’s criticism of some federal judges. But he did say he finds such criticism bothersome when it comes from “anyone.”

And later, when asked by Sen. Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii) if he was “merely speaking broadly,” Gorsuch took issue.

“I don’t think I was merely speaking broadly,” he said, adding: “I was speaking about anyone.”

Hirono then mentioned Spicer’s tweet.

Neil Gorsuch confirmation hearings: Updates and analysis on the Supreme Court nominee
Gorsuch appears before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Monday. (Michael Reynolds/EPA)

Judge Neil Gorsuch, a federal appeals court judge from Colorado, is on Capitol Hill today for confirmations hearings for a seat on the Supreme Court. Gorsuch was nominated by President Trump to fill the seat left open by the death of Antonin Scalia and has broad support among Republicans.

It’s a chance for Senate Democrats to take a stand against the Trump administration, and express their anger that Republicans blocked a hearing for President Barack Obama’s selection for the seat, Judge Merrick Garland of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit.

Monday is the beginning of four days of hearings. Follow along.