'He Called Me': Congresswoman Debbie Dingell Responds to Trump Suggesting Her Late Husband Is in Hell

Michigan Congresswoman Debbie Dingell responded to Donald Trump's suggestion that her late husband is in hell, demanding more civility in a country that has "turned so ugly and vitriolic."

Dingell, who was married to War War II veteran and longtime congressman John Dingell until his death earlier this year, said Trump's politicization of her deceased husband during her grieving process "kicked me in the stomach." The Democratic congresswoman, who currently holds her late husband's 12th congressional district seat, told Fox News Sunday that she did not plead and thank Trump in their phone call earlier this year as he suggested during a Battle Creek, Michigan rally. Dingell said it was the president himself who actually called her to say he was going to lower flags in the wake of her husband's February death, she asked for nothing.

Dingell said she had previously declined House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's offer to have her husband lay in state at the U.S. Capitol Rotunda because she only wanted what previous deceased veterans and members of Congress had received at their funerals.

"It just sort of kicked me in the stomach it was a politicization of something that did not need to be so," Dingell told Fox News Sunday anchor Chris Wallace. "And by the way, John Dingell earned--he was buried at Arlington Cemetery because he was a World War II veteran and that had been discussed with the Army a year before."

Dingell then responded to Trump's description of their phone call earlier this year in which he characterized her as not thankful enough for the honors her husband received. Dingell said the honors bestowed upon her late husband were not Trump's to give, but she thanked the president for his kind words regardless of his suggestion her husband may be "looking up" from hell.

"[The funeral honor] wasn't the president's to give. He called me to tell me he was lowering the flags, and to this day and this minute, I was grateful that he did it. I was grateful for the call, he was kind and empathetic and it meant a lot to someone who was hurting and loved her husband."

Speaking last week at the Michigan rally, Trump recalled their February phone call. "[Debbie Dingell] called me up and said, 'It's the nicest thing that's ever happened, thank you so much, sir,'" Trump said at the time. "'John would be so thrilled. He's looking down, he'd be so thrilled.' I said, 'That's okay. Don't worry about it.'

"Maybe he's looking up. I don't know. Maybe. But let's assume he's looking down," Trump added.

Dingell called for "more civility" back in not just the political environment, but also throughout the country in day-to-day life.

"The rhetoric in this country has turned so ugly, vitriolic and bullying...it's not okay, social media has destroyed our sense of communicating in this country," Dingell added.

debbie dingell responds trump hell
Michigan Congresswoman Debbie Dingell responded to Donald Trump's suggestion that her late husband is in Hell, demanding more civility in a country that has "turned so ugly and vitriolic." Screenshot: Fox News Sunday