Rep. Debbie Dingell responds to Trump's barb about late husband: 'A hurtful shot'

'Brought me down in a way you can never imagine'

U.S. Rep. Debbie Dingell called President Trump's barb about her late husband, a World War II veteran who previously held her seat for six decades, a "hurtful shot" in an interview Thursday with FOX Business' Maria Bartiromo.

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During a rally in Dingell's home state of Michigan -- held the same day that she and a majority of her Democratic colleagues in the House voted to impeach him -- Trump questioned John Dingell's fate after his death in February.

Debbie Dingell, he said, contacted the White House afterward to thank Trump for his "A-plus treatment" of her husband, and said, "He's looking down -- he'd be so thrilled. Thank you so much, sir."

But maybe, Trump continued, "he's looking up. I don't know." The remark was widely interpreted as a suggestion that John Dingell was in hell, rather than heaven.

Former U.S. Rep. John Dingell, left, and his wife, Debbie, during a legislative forum in Michigan in 2014. (AP Photo/Detroit News, Max Ortiz)

While Dingell said on Twitter that Trump's comment made healing "much harder," she told Bartiromo on Thursday that she's focused on doing her job because “that’s what I’ve got to do.”

Her husband, she said, earned the accolades he was given after his death. Trump issued a proclamation at the time ordering that flags at the White House and other government officers be flown at half-staff in Dingell's honor

“He was buried at Arlington Cemetery because he's a World War II veteran -- longest-serving member in the Congress," she said. "I didn't want to do anything out of the ordinary. I just wanted my husband to be with his friends.”

Dingell added that she’s doing what she thinks her husband would tell her to do, which is “work with my colleagues on the other side of the aisle.”