Donald Trump’s nominee for the Supreme Court has described the president’s attacks on the judiciary as “demoralising” and “disheartening”.
Neil Gorsuch’s comments were made to a Democratic senator and confirmed by his spokesman.
The president called a judge who halted his controversial travel ban a “so-called judge”, and said any terror attacks on US soil would be his fault.
The ban on arrivals from seven mainly Muslim countries faces a legal test.
Judge James Robart made headlines last week when he issued a stay on the president’s refugee and immigration ban, arguing it was unconstitutional.
Mr Trump reacted by tweeting: “The opinion of this so-called judge, which essentially takes law-enforcement away from our country, is ridiculous and will be overturned!”
He also attacked the judge several times over the weekend and on Wednesday said federal judges opposed to the ban were acting politically.
Democrats and other critics have said Mr Trump’s comments about the judiciary undermine a core principle of US democracy that courts are supposed to be independent.