WASHINGTON – President Donald Trump on Wednesday attacked Representative Debbie Dingell and her late husband during a campaign rally in the Dingells’ home state of Michigan.
Trump was railing against Democrats who voted to impeach him when he turned his sights on Debbie Dingell, lamenting that he gave former longtime Rep. John Dingell an “A+” memorial service only to be repaid by the congresswoman with her support for the two articles of impeachment.
The president said Dingell had offered him “profuse” thanks for lowering U.S. flags in honor of her husband’s death in February and that he would be “looking down” and “so thrilled” with the honors he received. But Trump said John Dingell might have been looking on from someplace else.
“Maybe he’s looking up, I don’t know. I don’t know, maybe. Maybe. But let’s assume he’s looking down,” Trump told a crowd of supporters in the city of Battle Creek, many of whom groaned at the remark.
Dingell responded on Twitter.
“You brought me down in a way you can never imagine and your hurtful words just made my healing that much harder,” she wrote.
The president made similar comments about Dingell in a weekend tweet, calling her decision to back impeachment despite the funeral arrangements “really pathetic.”
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi told reporters that Trump’s comments are “not funny at all, it’s very sad.” She said Trump doesn’t understand that “cruelty is not wit.”
Rep. Fred Upton, a Michigan Republican, tweeted late Wednesday that “an apology is due” to Dingell for the president’s “crass” comments.
When asked on ABC’s “Good Morning America” about Trump’s comments, White House Press Secretary Stephanie Grisham said the president has been “under attack” and was “just riffing” on the events of the past few days.
“I think that as we all know the president is a counterpuncher. It was a very, very supportive and wild crowd,” she said.
The House voted minutes before Trump made his remark to impeach him for abuse of power and obstruction of Congress over his efforts to get Ukraine to investigate his political rivals and what House Democrats say are the White House’s attempts to stymie their probe.
John Dingell was the longest-serving House member, having been a member of Congress for 60 years before retiring in 2015. He died in February at the age of 92.