When questions at a news conference about the revised North American trade deal with Canada and Mexico Monday afternoon turned to the issues surrounding Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, President Donald Trump launched a verbal attack on Connecticut Senator Richard Blumenthal.
During the televised news conference, the president brought up an eight-year-old issue of misstatements Blumenthal made about his military service during the Vietnam War.
“Look at some of the people asking the questions, OK. Look at Blumenthal. He lied about Vietnam. He didn't just say 'Hey, I went to Vietnam.' No. No. For 15 years he said he was a war hero. He fought in Da Nang Province,” Trump said.
Blumenthal later responded, saying false personal attacks from the president will neither silence nor stop him.
Trump was referring to a controversy in 2010. Blumenthal was running for U.S. Senate at the time when a report published in the New York Times said he wrongly said that he served in Vietnam.
After that report surfaced, Blumenthal apologized and said he said he unintentionally said he served "in" Vietnam when he meant "during" Vietnam.
Blumenthal served stateside in the Marine Reserve during Vietnam and received five deferments that, the New York Times reports, allowed him to avoid the war, travel abroad to study and to work in the White House.
“We call him 'Da Nang Richard.' That's his nickname, 'Da Nang.' He never went to Vietnam. And he's up there saying 'We need honesty and we need integrity.' This guy lied when he was the attorney general of Connecticut. He lied. I don't mean a little bit, and then when he got out, he actually dropped out of the race and he won anyway because Democrats always win in Connecticut. He won, very close. Probably the closest ever,” Trump said.
Blumenthal defeated former WWE CEO Linda McMahon, the Republican candidate, in the general election in November 2010 and McMahon now serves in the Trump administration as Administrator of the U.S. Small Business Administration
“(H)ere's a guy lied and now he's up there talking like he's holier than thou. You know what? Take a look at his record. And when he got out and when he apologized he was crying, the tears were all over the place. And now he acts like 'how dare you?' Trump said.
“There he goes again. I won’t be stopped or silenced by President Trump’s false personal attacks,” Blumenthal Tweeted Monday after the president’s news conference.