White House playing cleanup

(CNN)President Donald Trump's advisers are back in a familiar role: playing cleanup after a tweet from their boss.

With one tweet early Thursday morning, Trump complicated any attempt Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch might have been making to build support among Senate Democrats who will be crucial to his confirmation.
In a series of meetings on Wednesday, senators said Gorsuch told them he found Trump's recent tweets critical of the judiciary "disheartening" and "demoralizing."
Trump has said Gorsuch's words were "misrepresented," and his aides have argued the nominee was not speaking specifically about Trump's recent criticism of the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, which ruled against the Justice Department Thursday night in deciding not to reinstate the President's travel ban.
    "There is no doubt in my mind that he was referring to these attacks," Connecticut Democratic Sen. Richard Blumenthal told CNN's Anderson Cooper Thursday, pointing to confirmations from Gorsuch's spokesperson and several other Senate colleagues. "President Trump ought to listen to them and his own White House staff."
    Media coverage of the judge's comments sparked a heated exchange earlier Thursday between reporters and White House press secretary Sean Spicer.
    Spicer said Trump doesn't regret any of his past comments about the federal judges who are hearing arguments over the legality of his immigration executive order.
    "I think the President's comments speak for -- no, the President doesn't have any regrets," Spicer said.
    "He has no regrets," Spicer repeated, saying that Gorsuch's remarks weren't referring to any specific federal judge or court.
    Kellyanne Conway, a top adviser to Trump, told Fox News Thursday the President has "full confidence" in Gorsuch.
    "We're happy that he's up there talking to the different senators and getting acclimated to the process of Capitol Hill," she said. "There's nothing here that's negative insofar as the judge is free to speak his mind."
    Conway said Trump also has the right to speak his mind.
    "We know that members of the judiciary have a right to speak out, but the President also has the right to speak out," she said. "That's a time-honored tradition. Our independent -- our branches of government are independent and equal."
    Trump started the day by speaking his mind, going after Blumenthal.
    "Sen. Richard Blumenthal, who never fought in Vietnam when he said for years he had (major lie), now misrepresents what Judge Gorsuch told him?" Trump tweeted just before 7 a.m. Thursday.
    The tweet once again highlighted the White House's difficulty maintaining a messaging strategy under a president who frequently takes to Twitter on his own accord.
    Trump pressed forward with his attack on Blumenthal during an early afternoon meeting with a group of Republican and Democratic senators, again accusing him or having "misrepresented" Gorsuch's criticism and pointing to Blumenthal's "Vietnam record."