Lawmakers from both sides of the political aisle have condemned President Donald Trump for comments he made on Wednesday night toward the widow of one of the longest-serving lawmakers in U.S. history.
Trump lambasted Rep. Debbie Dingell, a Democrat who voted for impeachment, at a campaign event on Wednesday in her home state of Michigan. He bragged about giving her husband, the late Rep. John Dingell, “A-plus” treatment following his death in February, including lowering the flags to half staff.
Trump suggested in his comments during the rally that her husband was likely watching the events on this plane unfold in the afterlife — and implied that John Dingell might be in hell while doing so.
“Maybe he’s looking up, I don’t know,” Trump said.
A number of lawmakers, including members of Trump’s own party, lashed out at the president for his distasteful remarks.
Fox News’ Chad Pergram reported on Twitter that several sources told him Trump was “playing with fire” by making those comments, Raw Story reported.
“Multiple sources tell Fox Trump is playing w/fire by taking on the Dingells in the swing state of Michigan and suggesting that longest serving Congressman in history, late Dem MI Rep John Dingell is in hell. ‘He could lose Michigan alone on this one,’ said senior GOP Congressman,” Pergram wrote.
Some lawmakers even took to Twitter to express their disdain with Trump’s words, including Michigan Republican Rep. Fred Upton and Rep. Dan Crenshaw of Texas.
I’ve always looked up to John Dingell – my good friend and a great Michigan legend. There was no need to 'dis' him in a crass political way. Most unfortunate and an apology is due.
— Fred Upton (@RepFredUpton) December 19, 2019
Merry Christmas Debbie, you deserve to be able to heal in peace. Those comments were totally unnecessary. https://t.co/eAn5Eu5hKM
— Rep. Dan Crenshaw (@RepDanCrenshaw) December 19, 2019
Cindy McCain, wife of the late Sen. John McCain, who often sparred rhetorically with Trump, also sent her condolences to Dingell.
“I’m terribly sorry. Please know I am thinking about you,” McCain said on Twitter, per reporting from The American Independent.
Dingell responded to Trump’s words in a tweet of her own, telling the president that he brought her down during a time of grief “in a way you can never imagine.”
“Your hurtful words just made my healing much harder,” she added.