Trump attacks ‘Richie’ Blumenthal on Twitter over Comey

GAGE SKIDMORE / CREATIVE COMMONS

President Donald J. Trump

Updated at 12:29 p.m. with Blumenthal’s response

President Trump used Twitter on Wednesday to dismiss a Democratic critic of his firing of the FBI director, resurrecting U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal’s misstatements about service in Vietnam. He called the senator “Richie.”

Trump assailed Blumenthal in a series of tweets, questioning the judgment of a senator he said “devised one of the greatest military frauds in U.S. history.” Trump said Blumenthal should be the one under investigation.

Blumenthal responded to Trump directly on Twitter later Wednesday morning, telling Trump his “bullying” would not stop his calls for a special prosecutor.

The tweets come amid strong condemnation from Blumenthal and others over Trump’s decision to fire FBI Director James Comey Tuesday.

 

 

Trump used a mix of fact and fiction in hitting at Blumenthal.

On at least a half-dozen occasions, Blumenthal falsely referred to service in Vietnam, commenting on how veterans like himself were treated upon their return to the U.S. He never, as Trump asserted, talked of “his great bravery and conquests in Vietnam.”

Blumenthal’s official biography correctly described him as a stateside Marine reservist during the war. In at least one public event, Blumenthal correctly and incorrectly referred to his service record.

His service record became an issue in his first race for the U.S. Senate in 2010, when the campaign of his opponent, Linda McMahon, found video of him referring to being in Vietnam. It was first reported by the New York Times.

Blumenthal said the Comey situation “feels and looks very Nixonian” on WNPR Wednesday morning, but had little reaction to what Trump had tweeted.

“I saw that he did, but I haven’t read it,” Blumenthal said.

About an hour after his radio appearance, he responded to Trump on Twitter, and sent out two additional tweets calling for a special prosecutor to investigate possible Russian interference in the 2016 election.

U.S. Sen. Chris Murphy, D-Conn., came to Blumenthal’s defense on Twitter Wednesday morning, calling Trump’s tweets “unhinged.”

This is not the first time Trump has used his Twitter account to attack Blumenthal’s credibility.

In February, Trump said in a tweet that Blumenthal misrepresented now-Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch’s statements after a private meeting with him during the nomination process. That tweet also made reference to Blumenthal’s Vietnam service record.

Gorsuch later made the same statements during his confirmation hearings that Blumenthal had attributed to him.

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