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Sen. Schumer Says He Didn't Threaten Supreme Court Justices: 'I'm From Brooklyn. We Speak In Strong Language'

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- After being accused of making threats against members of the Supreme Court, Sen. Chuck Schumer offered a clarification On Thursday.

It happened as arguments were being made in Washington on one of the most divisive topics a politician could ever touch, CBS2's Jessica Layton reported.

"I shouldn't have used the words I did, but in no way was I making a threat. I never, never would do such a thing," Schumer said.

It was a clarification that stopped short of an actual mea culpa from New York's senior senator.

Sen. Chuck Schumer
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer speaks to the media following the weekly Democratic caucus luncheon on March 3, 2020 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Sarah Silbiger/Getty Images)

"My point was that there would be political consequences, political consequences. I'm from Brooklyn. We speak in strong language," Schumer said.

He calls it strong language. Others saw it as an attack taken too far against two Supreme Court justices nominated by President Donald Trump who disagree with him on abortion.

"I want to tell you, Gorsuch, I want to tell you, Kavanaugh, you have released the whirlwind and you will pay the price. You won't know what hit you if you go forward with these awful decisions," Schumer said Wednesday.

The controversial comments aimed at justices Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh came as arguments were heard by the Supreme Court in a high-stakes abortion case.

Frequently at odds with his Democratic counterpart, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell blasted Schumer, calling his comments reckless and irresponsible.

"I'm not sure where to start," McConnell said. "There's nothing to call this except a threat."

It also prompted a rare public criticism from Chief Justice John Roberts, who was nominated by President George W. Bush in 2005. He called the comments "threatening, inappropriate, and dangerous."

On what Schumer said, the president tweeted in part, "If a Republican did this, he or she would be arrested, or impeached," adding "Serious action MUST be taken NOW."

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