ERIE, Pa. – President Trump singled out Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., as one of the Democrats who most mistreated Brett Kavanaugh during Supreme Court confirmation hearings, branding him a hypocrite and launching into an extended tirade lampooning him making false claims about Vietnam.
After lashing Democrats likely to run against him in 2020, during an interview with the Washington Examiner ahead of his rally in Erie Wednesday evening, Trump turned his fire, unprompted, onto Blumenthal.
"The greatest, he's not running of course - he could never do that - but the greatest is Da Nang Dick," Trump said, using the derisive nickname he has given Blumenthal, who was a Marine Corps reservist during the Vietnam War and wrongly claimed years ago that he “served in Vietnam” but never said he was in Da Nang province.
"I just can't believe, it's because of the media, they've taken so much of it all, " Trump said. "But he, apologized like Jimmy Swaggart. Crying, bawling, because he conned the public when he was Attorney General of Connecticut for 15 years, talking about, 'As I went to Da Nang, bullets left and right. My friends going down.'” Meaning being killed.
"'Bullets flying right by my face and over my shoulder.' I thought he was a war hero for years. He's in Connecticut, I'm here. I say, 'Hey, he's a great war hero.' The guy was never in Vietnam. He was in the Reserves.
"Da Nang Dick. We call him Da Nang because it was Da Nang province. He said, 'When I was Da Nang province, going up the hill, my buddies falling left and right.' The guy was never ... If you remember, he dropped out of the race and then he won, because he's a Democrat. It's impossible not to win in Connecticut. "
Trump was referring to televangelist Jimmy Swaggart, who tearfully apologized in 1988 after he was implicated in a sex scandal involving a prostitute, saying: "I have sinned against you, my Lord."
Blumenthal, who was running for the U.S. Senate, apologized in 2010 for misrepresenting his service, telling reporters: “On a few occasions I have misspoken about my service and I regret that, and I will take full responsibility." He did not cry or temporarily drop out of the race, which he later won comfortably.
Trump continued: "By the way, that's why Connecticut is in the bad shape that they're in, because of guys like him. And then he looks at this incredible, number one student at Yale, and he says, 'We want transparency from you. We want honesty from you.'
"I'm saying, 'This is Da Nang Dick.' This is a man ... You know, it's one thing, some guy said, 'Hey, I was in the service.' This guy was like we should look at him for the Congressional Medal of Honor, okay? He's a total fraud. And he's looking at, Blumenthal is looking at this incredible, outstanding, Brett Kavanaugh, with one of the, who's been a judge for, at the highest level, and the most respected person. What they did to him is incredible."