White House defends Trump as a ‘counter-puncher’ who’s ‘under attack’ after the president suggested late Mich. congressman in hell

ABC News(WASHINGTON) — After President Donald Trump lashed out against a Michigan congresswoman for supporting his impeachment — joking that her deceased husband may be in hell — the White House press secretary said on ABC’s Good Morning America Thursday that, while she was “very, very sorry” for the congresswoman’s loss, Trump was a “counter-puncher” who was “under attack.”As he became the third president in U.S. history to be impeached on Wednesday night, Trump told supporters at a campaign rally in Michigan that Rep. Debbie Dingell, a Democrat, had thanked him for his support after her husband, long-serving Rep. John Dingell, died earlier this year and that she told him he had been “looking down” and would have been “so thrilled.”But after Debbie Dingell backed Trump’s impeachment, Trump suggested her late husband may be in hell. “Maybe he’s looking up, I don’t know,” Trump said to moans from the crowd in Battle Creek, Mich., where he spoke as the House was voting.White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham told ABC News Chief Anchor George Stephanopoulos in an interview on Good Morning America Thursday morning that she had not spoken to the president about his comments but that Trump had been under heavy pressure.”He was at a political rally,” Grisham said. “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. I think that 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 continued.After Trump knocked her and her husband, Dingell took to Twitter to implore the president to “set politics aside.””Mr. President, let’s set politics aside,” Dingell wrote late Wednesday. “My husband earned all his accolades after a lifetime of service. I’m preparing for the first holiday season without the man I love. You brought me down in a way you can never imagine and your hurtful words just made my healing much harder.”Grisham said she was sorry for Dingell’s loss.”I would say that I am very, very sorry for her loss,” Grisham said. “And I would thank her and I would thank her late husband for all of the service to our country.”

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