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Press Sec Defends Trump’s Attacks On Dingell: POTUS Was Just ‘Riffing’ When He Implied Late Congressman Was In Hell

Press Sec Defends Trump’s Attacks On Dingell: POTUS Was Just ‘Riffing’ When He Implied Late Congressman Was In Hell

During a campaign rally in Michigan on Wednesday night, the same evening he was being impeached by the U.S. House of Representatives, President Donald Trump took aim at Rep. Debbie Dingell, a Democrat who represented the district the president was speaking in.

Roy Rochlin/Getty Images; Paul Morigi/Getty Images

Trump expressed frustration at Dingell for voting in favor of impeachment, after he said he had given her late husband and former congressman John Dingell an “A-plus” memorial service earlier this year. Trump further implied that John Dingell was watching history unfold, but implied he could be watching events from hell rather than heaven.

“Maybe he’s looking up, I don’t know,” Trump said at the rally, according to MLive.

Rep. Dingell wrote a response to Trump’s words on Twitter, telling him directly that his words made it difficult for her to heal from her husband’s recent departure:

“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.”

Press Secretary Stephanie Grisham was asked on “Good Morning America” to comment about her boss’s words, and whether she could shed some light on why he said what he did. Grisham responded, “You’d have to talk to the president about that.”

She placed potential blame on other factors as well, including the president having been at a rally with a “wild crowd.”

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“He was at a political rally. He has been under attack and under impeachment attack for the last few months, and then just under attack politically for the last two-and-a-half years,” Grisham attempted to explain. “I think that as we all know, the president is a counter-puncher. It was a very, very supportive and wild crowd, and he was just riffing on some of the things that had been happening for the past few days.”

Before he died, John Dingell dictated to his wife his final message to the American people.

“In our modern political age, the presidential bully pulpit seems dedicated to sowing division and denigrating, often in the most irrelevant and infantile personal terms, the political opposition,” Dingell said.

Dingell had served in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1955 to 2015. He died in February 2019.

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