Blumenthal Defends Special Counsel Legislation, Himself Against Trump’s Tweets
HARTFORD, CT — Monday was the third time President Donald Trump tweeted about U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal misstatement of his military service in 2008, but Connecticut’s senior senator was undeterred.
When Congress reconvenes in September, Blumenthal said they must approve legislation immediately that prevents a “constitutional crisis” if Trump tries to fire the special counsel investigating Russian meddling in the 2016 election. The bipartisan legislation would create a three-judge panel requiring the president to establish “good cause” for firing the special counsel.
Following Blumenthal’s appearance on CNN’s “New Day” around 7:45 a.m. Monday to talk about Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s ongoing investigation, Trump sent out three tweets.
“Interesting to watch Senator Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut talking about hoax Russian collusion when he was a phony Vietnam con artist!” Trump tweeted.
In the two tweets that followed, Trump said: “Never in U.S. history has anyone lied or defrauded voters like Senator Richard Blumenthal. He told stories about his Vietnam battles and…....conquests, how brave he was, and it was all a lie. He cried like a baby and begged for forgiveness like a child. Now he judges collusion?”
But there were never any allegations that Blumenthal spoke about “battles” or “conquests” in Vietnam.
Blumenthal replied in his own tweets.
“Mr. President: Your bullying hasn’t worked before and it won’t work now. No one is above the law,” Blumenthal said in the first.
“This issue isn’t about me - it’s about the Special Counsel’s independence and integrity,” he added.
Blumenthal served in the United States Marine Corps Reserves during the Vietnam War 40 years ago. He was stationed here in the U.S.
However, during the 2010 campaign against Linda McMahon the New York Times ran an exposé charging that Blumenthal had, in some public speeches, falsely claimed to have served in the military “in Vietnam,” rather than at home in the marine reserves during the Vietnam era.
McMahon is now serving in the Trump administration as head of the Small Business Administration.
On Monday at a Legislative Office Building press conference, Blumenthal refused to relive the 2010 controversy over his military service. “I am not going to be distracted or bullied by these slurs,” Blumenthal said.
He said he wants to focus on the legislation to protect the special counsel and “the rule of law.”
He said Trump’s comments on Twitter reinforce the need for the special counsel because the president’s tweets are proof of “intimidation and threats” he makes against anyone “who seeks to uncover the truth.”
“This investigation is not going away,” Blumenthal said.