Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley said when the White House and Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch disagree, believe the judge.
During Gorsuch's nomination hearing on Tuesday, the judge refused to say whether he would overturn Roe v. Wade and said President Trump never asked him to commit to overturning it. As a presidential candidate, Trump said he would appoint judges who would overturn the 1973 high court ruling granting abortion rights.
Asked by reporters during a break from the hearing whether to believe Gorsuch or the White House's assurances on the issue of abortion and other discrepancies, Grassley picked Gorsuch.
"I think you should believe Judge Gorsuch for this reason: I remember one time and I won't say who the president was, I won't say who the nominee is, but I asked a president one time when there was a Republican nominee up if they asked the question about abortion and that president was offended that I would even ask the question," Grassley told reporters. "I think this person has demonstrated his integrity over a long period of time that his adherence to the law and principle of independence that he would be saying it the way it really is."
Grassley also blasted Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer's "ridiculous" call for Republicans to delay Gorsuch's confirmation process because of the FBI's investigation into potential ties between Trump's presidential campaign and Russia.
"There is a process for determining whether or not the president should be in office, but as long as he's in office he can exercise his constitutional powers and that's what's being done here," Grassley said. "And I think it's ridiculous to think when a president is duly elected, he should stop functioning as president of the United States. That's simply ridiculous."