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The Latest: Trump, Roberts clash over judiciary independence

The motorcade with President Donald Trump, drives into the Trump International Golf Club in West Palm Beach, Fla., Wednesday, Nov. 21, 2018. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on Chief Justice John Roberts and President Donald Trump (all times local):

7:50 p.m.

President Donald Trump and Chief Justice John Roberts are clashing over the independence of America’s judiciary, with Roberts bluntly rebuking the president for denouncing a judge who rejected his migrant asylum policy as an “Obama judge.”

Roberts has issued a strongly worded statement says there’s no such thing. Trump is defending his own comment, tweeting defiantly, “Sorry Justice Roberts.”

The pre-Thanksgiving dustup is the first time Roberts, the Republican-appointed leader of the federal judiciary, has offered even a hint of criticism of Trump, who has several times blasted federal judges who have ruled against him.

Before now, it has been highly unusual for a president to single out judges for personal criticism. And a chief justice’s challenge to a president’s comments is downright unprecedented.

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4:15 p.m.

President Donald Trump and Chief Justice John Roberts are engaged in an extraordinary public back-and-forth over Trump’s description of a judge who ruled against his administration as an “Obama judge.”

Trump tweeted Wednesday: “Sorry Chief Justice John Roberts, but you do indeed have ‘Obama judges,’ and they have a much different point of view than the people who are charged with the safety of our country.”

Roberts, in a statement to The Associated Press earlier Wednesday, had pushed back against Trump’s description, saying the country doesn’t have “Obama judges or Trump judges, Bush judges or Clinton judges.” Roberts said an “independent judiciary is something we should all be thankful for.”

Trump says it would “be great if the 9th Circuit was indeed an ‘independent judiciary,'” but says their rulings are “Very dangerous and unwise!”

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12:35 p.m.

Chief Justice John Roberts is pushing back against President Donald Trump for his description of a judge who ruled against Trump’s migrant asylum policy as an “Obama judge.”

It’s the first time the Republican-appointed leader of the federal judiciary has offered even a hint of criticism of Trump, who has previously blasted federal judges who ruled against him.

Roberts said Wednesday the U.S. doesn’t have “Obama judges or Trump judges, Bush judges or Clinton judges.” He commented in a statement released by the Supreme Court after a query by The Associated Press.

Roberts said on the day before Thanksgiving that an “independent judiciary is something we should all be thankful for.”

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