As the House of Representatives launched a formal vote on two articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump on Wednesday night, the president held a campaign rally in Battle Creek, Michigan in which he slammed a deceased Democratic member of Congress — a remark that garnered backlash from members of the Republican party.
According to The Hill, as he spoke to the large rally crowd, the president made a joke about Democratic Rep. Debbie Dingell’s late husband, John Dingell, who was a respected, high-ranking lawmaker.
“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. “‘Thank you so much, sir.’ I said, ‘That’s OK, don’t worry about it.’ Maybe he’s looking up. I don’t know.”
The remark didn’t sit well with Democrats or many Republicans, who recognized John’s service to the country as a U.S. representative and Dean of the House.
“Anyone who served with John Dingell respected him, knew he was a very serious legislator and that he represented the House of Representatives with the highest personal and professional integrity,” said Republican Rep. Tom Cole, who served with both Dingells in the House.
Cole also labeled Trump’s implication that John might be looking up from hell as “extraordinarily inappropriate.”
Two more Republican congressmen took it a step further, calling on Trump to issue an apology to Debbie for the remark.
“There was no need to ‘dis’ him in a crass political way. Most unfortunate and an apology is due,” said Republican Rep. Fred Upton. Rep. Paul Mitchell also reportedly said that Trump should apologize for the joke.
Republican Rep. Jamie Herrera Beutler also rebuked Trump’s remarks, saying “it’s really sad” that the president would make such comments about the deceased, even given their obvious political differences. She also insisted that it was wrong for Trump to say such harsh words so close to Christmas and insisted that Debbie’s late husband shouldn’t be turned into a political joke.
Another Republican lawmaker, Rep. Tom Reed, echoed the statement, even saying that he spent some time with Debbie after the House vote and saw that she was visibly upset upon hearing what the president said about her husband.
Several other Republican lawmakers joined in the criticism of Trump’s remarks, some of whom even offered an apology to Debbie on the president’s behalf.
As previously reported by The Inquisitr, Debbie expressed her strong disapproval of Trump’s ill-timed joke, explaining that it was already difficult enough to make it through the holiday season without her husband by her side.