GOP lawmaker: Trump attack on Dingell ‘unacceptable from anyone’

Michigan GOP Rep. Paul Mitchell criticized President Trump on Thursday for his “dishonorable” attack on the late Rep. John Dingell (D-Mich.).

“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,” Mitchell tweeted.

“An apology is due, Mr. President.”

Mitchell joined other Michigan lawmakers from both sides of the aisle calling on Trump to apologize for suggesting late Wednesday that Dingell may be “looking up” instead of down from heaven. Trump made the remarks during a rally in Michigan on the same night that Dingell’s wife, Rep. Debbie Dingell (D-Mich.), joined almost all House Democrats in voting in favor of Trump’s impeachment.  

During his rally in Battle Creek, Mich., Trump said that he gave the late John Dingell “A-plus treatment” during his memorial service.

“She calls me up: ‘It’s the nicest thing that’s ever happened,” Trump said, quoting a conversation he recalled with Debbie Dingell. “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,” Trump added. 

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

The comments sparked an audible groan from Trump’s audience. 

Debbie Dingell responded in a tweet shortly afterward, saying 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 in February at 92.

Michigan Republican Rep. Fred Upton similarly tweeted a call for Trump to apologize for the remarks.

“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.

Updated at 10:50 a.m.

Tags Debbie Dingell Donald Trump Fred Upton John Dingell Paul Mitchell Trump

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