Hillary Clinton defends Dingell as 'everything that Trump is not'

Hillary Clinton defends Dingell as 'everything that Trump is not'
© Greg Nash

Former Secretary of State Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonOmar endorses progressive Georgia Democrat running for House seat Bernie Sanders's Super Tuesday problem Democrats worried about Trump's growing strength MORE defended the late Rep. John DingellJohn DingellOverwhelming majority of voters say civility is needed in politics Lawmakers discuss how to work together in midst of impeachment fight James Taylor to perform at awards ceremony for Ruth Bader Ginsburg this week MORE (D-Mich.) as “everything that Trump is not” after the president went after the former congressman at a rally this week.

Clinton tweeted that Dingell was "a true public servant and statesman in a way this president knows he can never be.” 

“I’m so proud of what @DebDingell has done to carry on John's work in Michigan and Bill and I are standing with her today,” she added, referring to Rep. Debbie DingellDeborah (Debbie) Ann DingellDemocratic congresswomen wear white to Trump's address in honor of suffrage movement Hillicon Valley: Tech confronts impact of coronavirus | House GOP offers resolution to condemn UK over Huawei | YouTube lays out plans to tackle 2020 misinformation Overwhelming majority of voters say civility is needed in politics MORE (D-Mich.), John Dingell’s widow. 

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The tweet comes amid backlash from members of both parties over Trump's broadside against the Dingells in their home state of Michigan this week.

Trump sparked both cheers and moans from the crowd gathered in Battle Creek, Mich., on Wednesday night after saying John Dingell, the former dean of the House, was “looking up” from hell after noting he lowered flags to half-staff in the wake of his death.

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“She calls me up. 'It's the nicest thing that's ever happened. Thank you so much. John should be so thrilled. He's looking down. He'd be so thrilled,” Trump said, referring to a call he received from Debbie Dingell. “'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 said.

The attack drew rebukes from several Republicans, with lawmakers calling it inappropriate and urging the president to apologize.

“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,” said Rep. Fred UptonFrederick (Fred) Stephen UptonOvernight Health Care — Presented by Partnership for America's Health Care Future — Democrats seek to preempt Trump message on health care | E-cigarette executives set for grilling | Dems urge emergency funding for coronavirus Democrats slam GOP on drug prices in bilingual digital ads Lawmakers discuss how to work together in midst of impeachment fight MORE (R-Mich.). 

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