Deputy press secretary Hogan Gidley, while responding to criticism about President Donald Trump's comments implying the late Rep. John Dingell is watching his widow, Rep. Debbie Dingell, D-Mich., from hell, insisted Thursday the president does have "great respect" for both of them.
"Your heart goes out to Congresswoman Dingell and the loss she experienced," Gidley told Fox News' "Outnumbered Overtime" host Harris Faulkner. "In fact, when the late congressman passed, it was Donald Trump who reached out to the congresswoman to express his condolences."
The late lawmaker, who died in February, had served in the House of Representatives from 1955 through January 2015, when he retired. Rep. Debbie Dingell ran for his congressional seat and won, and was reelected in November 2018.
She said Thursday that Trump's attacks will not stop her from performing the duties of her office.
"The president has great respect for his service in World War II, for his longest-serving term in Congress, and for Congresswoman Dingell as well," Gidley said.
However, he said, no matter what Trump says, "people are going to parse it apart and try to tear it apart and focus on the most negative aspects of it. . . . so many of these Democrats, the hypocrisy in this town is staggering."
"It was hurtful," Faulkner responded. "You could see it in the congresswoman's face, her first holiday season without her husband."
Meanwhile, Trump is ready to move forward after Thursday's vote to impeach him, and the White House is working with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., to figure out the best way to do that, Gidley said.
He added House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's "latest ploy" of holding articles back until the rules of a Senate trial have been set further shows the "sham" against Trump.
"The whole thing is a joke," he said. "The problem is nobody's laughing because it affects real Americans, real lives."
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