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Lawmakers blast Trump for insulting dead lawmaker

Credit: Reuters Studio
Published on December 20, 2019 - Duration: 03:31s

Lawmakers blast Trump for insulting dead lawmaker

The White House on Thursday defended Donald Trump’s verbal assault against former Democratic Representative John Dingell, as members of Congress blasted the Republican president for insulting another veteran lawmaker after his death.

Jonah Green reports.

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Lawmakers blast Trump for insulting dead lawmaker

In the face of near-universal criticism, the White House on Thursday defended Donald Trump's insult aimed at a dead Democratic lawmaker and his widow.

(UPSOUND) (English) U.S. PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP, SAYING: "Then there's Dingell, Dingell." Representative John Dingell and died in February.

He served in Congress for 59 years.

To mark the passing, the White House lowered its flag to half staff.

That tribute came up on Wednesday night at a rally in Michigan, when Trump complained that Dingell's widow, who currently sits in Congress, voted in favor of articles of impeachment, even through he gave her deceased husband what he called "A plus treatment." (UPSOUND) (English) U.S. PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP, SAYING: "I didn't give him the B treatment.

I didn't give him the C or the D.

I could have.

I gave him the A plus treatment.

Take down the flags.

[flash] she calls me up.

'It's the nicest thing that's ever happened thank you so much.

John would be so thrilled.

He's looking down, he'd be so thrilled.

Thank you so much sir.'

I said, 'that's OK, don't worry about it.

Maybe he's looking up, I don't know.

But let's assume he's looking down." Representative Debbie Dingell responded on Twitter, writing, "Mr. President, let's set politics aside.

My husband earned all his accolades after a lifetime of service.

I'm preparing for the first holiday season without the man I love.

You brought me down in a way you can never imagine and your hurtful words just made my healing much harder." Trump's remarks echo his personal attacks on former Republican U.S. Senator John McCain, who died in 2018.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) U.S. PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP, SAYING: "I have to be honest.

I've never liked him much.

Never been for me." In that case as well, Trump seemed irked he didn't get more gratitude for approving a stately funeral.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) U.S. PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP, SAYING: "I didn't get thank you.

That's OK." His new insults of Dingell drew condemnation Thursday.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) U.S. DEMOCRATIC HOUSE SPEAKER NANCY PELOSI, SAYING: "What the president misunderstands is that cruelty is not wit.

Just because he gets a laugh for saying the cruel things that he says doesn't mean that he's funny.

It's not funny at all.

It's very sad." White House Spokesperson Stephanie Grisham told ABC News "the president is a counter puncher," and "he was just riffing..." but she told CBS News that she didn't hear the president's insults of John and Debbie Dingell the night before.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) WHITE HOUSE SPOKESPERSON STEPHANIE GRISHAM, SAYING: "I will say that we, we do thank her for her service and we are very, very sorry for the passing of her husband.

We thank him for his service.

The president did do at her request all that he could.

He lowered the flag at the White House, did all that he could to honor him.

You've got to remember, this president has been under attack now for two and a half years.

Tensions are high.

At the rally last night, there was a lot of passionate people." The president's attacks also brought new attention to a tweet by the late lawmaker.

In December last year, he wrote: "We've had presidents of almost every stripe, but this one will be remembered as the smallest and most vile.

A petty man with no interest in a greater good for us all.

All I want for Christmas is January 20th, 2021."

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