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 ClintonTop Democratic pollster advised Biden campaign to pick Warren as VP Longtime Democratic pollster: Warren 'obvious solution' for Biden's VP pick How Obama just endorsed Trump MORE defended the late Rep. John DingellJohn DingellThe continuous whipsawing of climate change policy A quiet, overlooked revolution in congressional power The Memo: Trump tests limits of fiery attacks during crisis 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 DingellPelosi: George Floyd death is 'a crime' OVERNIGHT ENERGY: Coal company sues EPA over power plant pollution regulation | Automakers fight effort to freeze fuel efficiency standards | EPA watchdog may probe agency's response to California water issues Automakers fight effort to freeze fuel efficiency standards 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 UptonBipartisan Senate group offers new help to state, local governments Bipartisan bill aims to help smallest businesses weather the coronavirus crisis Lawmakers press HHS for answers on coronavirus drug distribution MORE (R-Mich.). 

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