Rep. Debbie Dingell, D-Mich., said President Trump’s “hurtful” words at a rally in her state Wednesday implying her late husband former Rep. John Dingell might be in hell made her “healing much harder.”
Trump attacked Dingell and her husband at a “Merry Christmas” rally in Battle Creek, Mich., about two hours away from her district as the House voted to impeach him.
“Debbie Dingell, that’s a real beauty,” Trump said to a rapt crowd that booed the mention of Dingell's name. The president said he gave Dingell the “A+ treatment” after his death last February and Debbie had called him to say “it’s the nicest thing that’s ever happened, thank you so much. John would be so thrilled. He’s looking down.”
“I said, 'That's OK. Don't worry about it.' Maybe he's looking up. I don't know," he quipped to mixed reactions from the audience. “Maybe, but let’s assume he’s looking down.”
Dingell, who voted to impeach the president Wednesday, 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.”
The congresswoman represents Dearborn, Mich., succeeding her husband, who served Michigan for 59 years, in 2015.
Rep. Fred Upton, R-Mich., said Trump should apologize to Dingell.
“I’ve always looked up to John Dingell - my good friend and a great Michigan legend,” Upton wrote on Twitter. “There was no need to 'dis' him in a crass political way. Most unfortunate and an apology is due.”
Dingell was the longest-serving congressman in history, having represented Michigan from December 1955 until January 2015.