Vice President Mike Pence Saturday disputed attacks on President Donald Trump for slamming "so-called judge" James Robart, the federal district court jurist who issued a nationwide block on his immigration executive order late Friday.
"I don't think it does," Pence told George Stephanopoulos of ABC News in an interview to be broadcast on Sunday on whether Trump's tweets questioned Robart's legitimacy.
"I think the American people are very accustomed to this president speaking his mind and speaking very straight with them."
Robart, 69, who was nominated to the Seattle bench in 2003 by former President George W. Bush, issued the national ban on President Trump's temporary order barring travelers from seven majority-Muslim countries from entering the United States.
Trump slammed Robart, who was confirmed on a 99-0 vote by the Senate in 2004, as a "so-called judge" in a Twitter rant early Saturday.
In his ABC interview, Pence noted that some legal scholars have backed Trump's concerns about national security in his attack on the ruling.
"It's very frustrating when, when scholars on the left and the right, people as distinguished as Jonathan Turley of George Washington University, have said that while he doesn't agree with the executive order, he recognizes the president has the full authority to put the security of the homeland first in determining who comes into this country," he told Stephanopoulos.
"And a sitting judge actually suspends that order across the country, George, that is frustrating to all of us.
Stephanopoulos then noted Robart's nomination by Bush and unanimous confirmation.
"How is he a 'so-called judge'?" the host asked.
"We face a dangerous enemy," Pence began, "inspiring people to come into this country — frankly, inspiring people who are already in this country — and the president is determined to use the authority he has under the Constitution and under the law, but we'll work through the courts on that."
The vice president also acknowledged that the judge had the authority to make his decision.
"He certainly does — and that's why the administration is complying with that order as we speak," Pence said. "We'll go through the process in the courts to get a stay of that order so that — again — we can implement this action that is entirely focused on the safety and security of the American people.
"Look, we've got to do things differently."
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