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Vice President Mike Pence speaks at Congress Hall in Philadelphia on Saturday, Feb. 4, 2017, on the Constitution, role of the judiciary and the Supreme Court nomination of Neil Gorsuch. The event was hosted by the Federalist Society, a conservative legal group. (David Swanson/The Philadelphia Inquirer via AP, Pool)

Pence defended Trump's 'so-called judge' comments, saying Trump was 'speaking his mind'

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Vice President Mike Pence defended President Trump's harsh criticism of federal judge James Robart in an interview on Sunday, saying Trump was "speaking his mind."

Pence said  on ABC's "This Week" it was "frustrating" to hear criticism over Trump's controversial travel ban, saying Trump had acted within his legal authority. Early Sunday morning, another judge rejected a Justice Department appeal of a ruling that suspended the ban. 

Here's a clip from that interview. 

Pence said Robart "certainly does" have authority to block the travel ban, but Trump has questioned Robart's legitimacy as a judge, calling him a "so-called judge" on Twitter.

Robart was appointed by former President George W. Bush and confirmed by the Senate by a 99-0 vote. 

Pence also praised the speed at which Trump has been signing executive orders.

Pence also said Trump was "troubled" by increasing tensions between Ukraine and Russia. A cease-fire was broken last week as Ukrainian and Russian forces clashed. Recently appointed U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley condemned Russia's actions on Thursday.

Trump said in an interview set to air Sunday afternoon he "respects" Russian President Vladimir Putin, who has been widely accused of violating human rights.

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