WH Defends Trump’s Nasty Swipe At Dingell By Painting POTUS As A Tough ‘Counter-Puncher’

Stephanie Grisham, White House press secretary, attends the Congressional Picnic on the South Lawn of the White House on June 21, 2019. (Photo credit: SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)
December 19, 2019 3:37 p.m.

On Thursday, the White House’s spokespeople defended President Donald Trump’s appalling attack on late Rep. John Dingell (D-MI) by depicting the President as a tenacious fighter in the face of unjust persecution.

To hear them explain it, Trump’s suggestion that Dingell, whose widow Rep. Debbie Dingell (D-MI) had voted for impeachment, is in hell was the President’s way of rightfully settling the score.

“He has been under attack and under impeachment attack for the last few months, and then just under attack politically for the last two-and-a-half years,” White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham told ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos. “I think, as we all know, the President is a counter-puncher.”

“It was a very, very supportive and wild crowd, and he was just riffing on some of the things that had been happening the past few days,” she said.

However, the “very, very supportive” crowd at Trump rally in Battle Creek, Michigan, actually groaned when Trump said “maybe” Dingell is “looking up.”

White House spokesperson Hogan Gidley echoed Grisham’s defense, saying Trump was hitting back at those who “vote for impeachment” and “stab him in the back.”

“The President…look, he’s a counter-puncher,” Gidley said during an interview on Fox Business. “People attack him. He’s been under relentless assault by the media-”

“But [Debbie Dingell] hasn’t attacked him,” Fox Business host Maria Bartiromo observed.

“No, I’m saying in general. I’m not talking about her specifically,” Gidley replied, even though Trump himself had called out the congresswoman while attacking her late husband out of fury over her impeachment vote.

In another interview, Gidley told Fox News host Harris Faulkner that Trump was a victim of a smear campaign.

“No matter what the President says, people are going to parse it apart, try to tear it apart and focus on the most negative aspects of it,” Gidley lamented.

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