Congresswoman won't demand apology after Trump implied her husband is in hell


'I don't want to politicize his death,' Rep. Debbie Dingell said after Trump attacked her late husband because of her impeachment vote.

Rep. Debbie Dingell (D-MI) is refusing to engage with Donald Trump after he suggested Dingell's late husband, former Michigan Rep. John Dingell, is in hell.

"I'm not going to get into any politics. Michelle Obama said 'when they go low, you go high,'" Dingell said when asked Thursday morning on CNN if she was demanding an apology from Trump. "I don't want to politicize my husband. I don't want to politicize his death."

After discussing how hard the upcoming holidays will be, she added, "I'm going to go back to doing my job, and doing a good job for the people of my district."

John Dingell, the longest-serving member of Congress in American history, passed away in February at the age of 92. During a Wednesday night rally in Michigan, Trump attacked Debbie Dingell over her vote to impeach Trump and brought up her husband's death.

Trump told the crowd that Debbie Dingell called him after her husband's death to thank him for his assistance with funeral arrangements.

"I gave him everything. I don't want anything. I don't need anything for anything," Trump said. "She called me up: 'It's the nicest thing that's ever happened. Thank you so much. John would be so thrilled. He's looking down. He'd be so thrilled. Thank you so much, sir.'"

Moments later, Trump added, "Maybe he's looking up, I don't know. I don't know. Maybe," suggesting John Dingell was in hell. The audience can be seen and heard laughing at Trump's remark.

On Wednesday night, Debbie Dingell responded to Trump on Twitter, saying, "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."

According to Dingell's congressional office, the story Trump told at the rally wasn't even true. The only person Debbie Dingell spoke to regarding funeral arrangements was House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Further, it was Trump who called Dingell, not the other way around, and the call came only after all the arrangements had been made. Dingell's office also noted that her husband, who served in the Army during World War II, earned his right to be buried at at Arlington National Cemetery.

Many individuals reached out to Debbie Dingell following Trump's attack, including Cindy McCain, who was married to the late Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), a frequent target of Trump's attacks even after his death.

"I’m terribly sorry. Please know I am thinking about you," McCain wrote on Twitter.

McCain has an idea of what Dingell is going through. In June, months after John McCain passed away, Trump suggested the late senator may be in hell.

In a speech before religious leaders, Trump brought up McCain's vote against a bill to repeal the Affordable Care Act.

"We needed 60 votes. And we had 51 votes. And sometimes, you know, we had a little hard time with a couple of them, right?" Trump said. "Fortunately, they're gone now. They've gone on to greener pastures. Or perhaps far less green pastures, but they're gone... I'm very happy they're gone."

Thus far, two Michigan Republicans, Reps. Fred Upton and Paul Mitchell, have called on Trump to apologize for his attack on Debbie and John Dingell.

White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham defended Trump's attacks, saying he is a "counter-puncher" and that he was "was just riffing on some of the things that had been happening the last few days" before a "very, very supportive and wild crowd."

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.