President Trump renewed an attack Monday night on Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), accusing him of misrepresenting his military service during the Vietnam War after the senator questioned the truthfulness of the president’s eldest son.
Trump’s broadside came in a tweet shortly after a television interview in which Blumenthal, a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, questioned whether Donald Trump Jr. had been truthful in closed-door testimony to the panel related to its Russia investigation.
“How does Da Nang Dick (Blumenthal) serve on the Senate Judiciary Committee when he defrauded the American people about his so called War Hero status in Vietnam, only to later admit, with tears pouring down his face, that he was never in Vietnam. An embarrassment to our Country!”
During his 2010 Senate campaign, Blumenthal came under sharp criticism for repeated remarks over the years that he had “served” in Vietnam, even though he did his full Marine service in the United States.
Blumenthal was granted several deferments between 1965 and 1970 and then joined the Marine Corps Reserve but did not serve in Vietnam. He later said he misspoke and intended to say that he was in the Marine Reserve during the Vietnam conflict.
Trump, who avoided military service through multiple deferments, aided by a diagnosis of bone spurs in his heels after graduating from college in 1968, has cited the Blumenthal controversy on several previous occasions when the two men were at odds.
Earlier Monday, Blumenthal introduced legislation with Sen. Charles E. Grassley (R-Iowa) that would ensure a report by special counsel Robert S. Mueller III on Russian interference in the 2016 election would be made available to Congress and the public.
Blumenthal appeared on MSNBC’s “The Rachel Maddow Show” on Monday night to discuss the legislation.
During the interview, Maddow brought up the issue of people lying to Congress, including recently indicted Trump adviser Roger Stone, and asked Blumenthal if testimony from other witnesses had been forwarded to Mueller for potential prosecution.
Blumenthal did not answer directly but said he was concerned about the truthfulness of several witnesses, including Trump Jr.
“I think many of them should be called back to testify in public, and I hope that will be true of other congressional committees as well, because behind closed doors, there arose — in my mind very clearly — questions, serious issues concerning their truthfulness, and that issue pertained particularly to Donald Trump Jr. in a number of his contentions before our committee.”