The morning after President Donald Trump suggested the late husband of Rep. Debbie Dingell (D-MI)—former congressman John Dingell—was in hell, two Fox anchors expressed sympathy with the congresswoman during Thursday morning interviews.
At his Wednesday night campaign rally in Michigan, which took place just as the House voted to impeach him, Trump took aim at Dingell for supporting his impeachment by claiming he gave the “A-plus treatment” after her husband died earlier this year.
“‘John would be so thrilled. He’s looking down, he’d be so thrilled,’” Trump claimed Debbie told him, adding his own insult: “Maybe he’s looking up, I don’t know.”
During an interview on Fox Business Network’s Mornings with Maria Bartiromo, anchor Maria Bartiromo—a noted Trump-booster who the president has repeatedly promoted—personally apologized to the Democratic lawmaker for the president’s extremely low blow.
“I’m sorry about this, what happened last night,” Bartiromo told Dingell. “This was completely—I don’t know why he—it was so unnecessary. How are you feeling?”
Dingell, for her part, noted that Wednesday was “a very difficult day” but that she’s back in Congress and doing her job because “that’s what we’ve got to do.”
In a later interview on the Fox News mothership’s America’s Newsroom, co-anchor Sandra Smith also appeared to give her sympathies to the Democratic lawmaker.
Noting that Dingell had already publicly spoken about the comments several times Thursday morning, Smith asked the congresswoman if she had a message to the president over his “hurtful words.”
“I said I thought we should put politics aside,” Dingell replied. “I loved my husband very much. I’m still having a hard time. He was my partner and the love of my life, and so I was already having a hard time with this holiday and the comments that he made was just—it made me sad.”
Dingell also called for bipartisanship, saying “compromise isn’t a dirty word” while adding that everyone should “treat each other with dignity and respect.”
“I know this will be your first Christmas without your husband,” Smith responded. “So our thoughts are with you, congresswoman.”
Interestingly, while Dingell made two appearances on Fox programming Thursday morning and much of the conversation on other morning news shows focused on the president’s callous attack, the president’s favorite morning show Fox & Friends completely ignored the topic during its three hours of airtime.
As for an official response from the Trump administration, White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham told ABC’s Good Morning America that the president is a “counter-puncher” who was “just riffing” at the rally, refusing to offer an apology on Trump’s behalf.