Chief Justice Roberts and President Trump trade criticisms

Image 1 of 3

The chief justice of the United States offered a rare rebuke of a sitting president one day after Donald Trump criticized a federal circuit judge who overruled the administration's ban on asylum for illegal border crossers.

"This was an Obama judge and I'll tell you what—it's not going to happen like this anymore," Trump said.

In a statement, Chief Justice John Roberts, a George W. Bush-appointee, strongly defended the federal judiciary.

"We do not have Obama judges or Trump judges, Bush judges or Clinton judges," Roberts said. "What we have is an extraordinary group of dedicated judges doing their level best to do equal right to those appearing before them. That independent judiciary is something we should all be thankful for."

The president on Wednesday showed that no one is off-limits to his Twitter attacks.

"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," Trump tweeted. "It would be great if the 9th Circuit was indeed an 'independent judiciary,' but if it is why… are so many opposing view (on Border and Safety) cases filed there, and why are a vast number of those cases overturned. ... these rulings are making our country unsafe! Very dangerous and unwise!"

A chief justice issuing a public statement challenging a president's comments is unprecedented in modern times, the AP reported.

A president criticizing a judge's character or integrity was almost unheard of. And then Trump took office.

With the Associated Press.