Michigan GOP lawmaker calls on Trump to apologize for Dingell remarks

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Rep. Fred Upton (R-Mich.) called on President Trump to apologize after the president suggested at a rally in Michigan Wednesday evening that the late Rep. John Dingell (D-Mich.), who died earlier this year, was not in heaven.

“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,” Upton, a former chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, tweeted.

“Most unfortunate and an apology is due,” he added.

At his rally in Battle Creek, Trump took aim at the late congressman and his widow, Rep. Debbie Dingell (D-Mich.), after she voted in support of impeaching the president for abuse of power and obstruction of Congress. 

Trump said that he gave the late congressman “A-plus treatment” during his memorial services and noted how he ordered flags to be lowered following his death.

“I gave him everything. I don’t want anything. I don’t need anything for anything,” he said.

“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.’” 

Trump then added, “Maybe he’s looking up, I don’t know.” 

“I don’t know. Maybe,” he continued. “But let’s assume he’s looking down.”

In a tweet shortly after his remarks on late Wednesday, the congresswoman said that Trump’s words hurt her “in a way you can never imagine.” 

“Mr. President, let’s set politics aside. My husband earned all his accolades after a lifetime of service,” she said.

“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,” she added.

John Dingell was the longest-serving member in the history of Congress. He died at age 92 in February.

Another Michigan Republican, Rep. Paul Mitchell, also said an apology was due from Trump.

“John Dingell was a well-respected man & I consider Debbie a close colleague and friend. To use his name in such a dishonorable manner at last night’s rally is unacceptable from anyone, let alone the President of the United States. An apology is due, Mr. President @realDonaldTrump,” Mitchell tweeted Thursday morning.

“#IStandWithDingell,” he added.

Updated at 10:14 a.m.

Tags Debbie Dingell Donald Trump Fred Upton John Dingell Paul Mitchell

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