President Donald Trump lashed out Wednesday morning at Sen. Richard Blumenthal, a harsh critic of the decision to fire FBI Director James Comey, suggesting that the senator should be investigated for misleading statements about his own military record.
Trump’s attack seemed a response to a Wednesday morning interview in which Blumenthal (D-Conn.) told CNN’s “New Day” that the president’s decision to fire Comey was based on “a pretense that is laughable” and had created “a looming constitutional crisis.”
Comey’s dismissal came in the midst of an FBI investigation into Russia’s interference into last year’s presidential election and any potential ties between the Kremlin and associates of Trump. Blumenthal called for the appointment of a special prosecutor to oversee the investigation.
Pinning a diminutive nickname on Blumenthal, Trump recalled 2010 controversy in which the Connecticut senator held a news conference to explain that while he had repeatedly said that he served “in” the Vietnam War, he had in fact only been a member of the military during the war and had never served overseas. Blumenthal was a member of the Marine Corps Reserves for six years, from 1970 to 1976, but was never deployed abroad.
“Watching Senator Richard Blumenthal speak of Comey is a joke. ‘Richie’ devised one of the greatest military frauds in U.S. history,” Trump wrote in a string of posts to Twitter that followed minutes after Blumenthal’s CNN interview. “For years, as a pol in Connecticut, Blumenthal would talk of his great bravery and conquests in Vietnam – except he was never there. When caught, he cried like a baby and begged for forgiveness…and now he is judge & jury. He should be the one who is investigated for his acts.”
It is not the first time that Trump, who himself was given five draft deferments during the Vietnam War, has retaliated against Blumenthal by attacking his misstatements about his military service. Blumenthal drew the president’s ire in February when he made public that Neil Gorsuch, who was then meeting with senators as Trump’s nominee for the Supreme Court, had told the Connecticut lawmaker that the president’s regular attacks against the judicial branch were “disheartening” and “demoralizing.”
“Sen. Richard Blumenthal, who never fought in Vietnam when he said for years he had (major lie), now misrepresents what Judge Gorsuch told him?” Trump wrote on Twitter at the time. "Chris Cuomo, in his interview with Sen. Blumenthal, never asked him about his long-term lie about his brave ‘service’ in Vietnam. FAKE NEWS!"