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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 ClintonIntercept DC bureau chief says Biden picks are 'same people' from Obama years The Hill's 12:30 Report - Third vaccine candidate with 90% efficacy Biden won — so why did Trump's popularity hit its highest point ever? MORE defended the late Rep. John DingellJohn DingellRaces heat up for House leadership posts Democrats flubbed opportunity to capitalize on postal delays COVID-19 bill limiting liability would strike the wrong balance 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 DingellGM reverses on Trump, exits suit challenging California's tougher emissions standards Ex-AG Holder urges GOP to speak against Trump efforts to 'subvert' election results McEnany disputes any Trump 'advocacy' with invite to Michigan lawmakers 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.

“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.'"

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"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 UptonPressure grows from GOP for Trump to recognize Biden election win Republican Michigan congressman: 'The people have spoken' GOP lawmaker patience runs thin with Trump tactics MORE (R-Mich.). 

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