DETROIT – Local 4 spoke with Rep. Debbie Dingell about comments President Donald Trump made about her late husband, John Dingell.
When Debbie Dingell said her husband would be looking down, happy that she voted for Trump’s impeachment, the president responded at a rally Wednesday in Battle Creek, saying, “Maybe he’s looking up.”
People on both sides of the aisle are condemning Trump’s comments about John Dingell.
“I was not prepared for the shot at my husband, and I’m already having a hard time with the holidays, so it didn’t make it easier," Debbie Dingell said. “It is hard. You know, some people are surprised by how open I am. But I do talk about how we’re human because I think sometimes we forget that our elected representatives are human people who do have feelings, who hurt, who go through happy times and difficult times.”
She said she wasn’t watching the speech, but she heard about the remarks from a reporter. Since then, she said she’s heard plenty more -- all of it good.
“I have heard from all kinds of people,” Dingell said. “The Republicans in the House have been incredible today. Some people have said it’s almost like John Dingell is upstairs arranging things because it’s on a day that could have been very hard on the House floor. We came together as a community and people were incredibly kind to me.”
Local 4′s Devin Scillian brought up that after leaving Congress, John Dingell would occasionally go after Trump on Twitter. Debbie Dingell said she had to get him to tone it down from time to time, all hopefully leading up to a teachable moment.
“Maybe we’ll all take a deep breath and understand that the tone of the rhetoric in this country is far too negative, that the bullying that takes place on social media is far too negative, that the (vitriol), the hatefulness that occurs -- it’s not OK," Dingell said.
When Trump was asked Thursday if he regretted the remarks or intended to apologize to Debbie Dingell, he declined to answer.
Debbie Dingell said she’s trying to stay on the high road, thanking Trump for his call about her husband’s death.
“That phone call did mean a lot,” Dingell said. “He was very kind. He was very empathetic on that call and seemed to understand how sad I was, and my grief, and even now as I tell you about that phone call, I was grateful. I’m still grateful, even after what he said yesterday. Last night, I think the president may not have realized how much he hurt me by what he said about the man that I love still, that I really miss every day.”